West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Volume 77, Number 26 | November 28 - December 04 2007

Support businesses and organizations that support The Villager: WASHINGTON SQUARE ASSOCIATION

Group dumps on Sanitation plan

By Patrick Hedlund

The Friends of Hudson Square have some unfriendly language for the Department of Sanitation regarding the agency’s proposal to build a massive garage in their neighborhood.

Responding to the department’s Nov. 7 announcement that the project would be moving forward, Friends of Hudson Square’s Sanitation Steering Committee shot back the following week with a statement critical of the plan that would consolidate multiple Sanitation garages at a single facility in Hudson Square.

The response took D.O.S. to task for a “disingenuous” and “counterintuitive” proposal to combine three districts’ worth of Sanitation trucks and equipment at a 140-foot-tall facility north of Spring St. between West and Washington Sts.

The committee — including members of the Tribeca Community Association, Canal West Coalition and the Canal Park Conservancy — ripped the department for waiting an additional eight days after its announcement to release an environmental impact statement, “so that residents and property owners and Friends of this Hudson Square neighborhood could properly start off their holiday season by reading a 500-plus page report.”

The statement also challenged Sanitation’s assertion that the garage would not cause any displacement of residents or result in “significant adverse socioeconomic impacts.”

“Try telling that to the Hudson Square property owners worried about their property values,” the statement read. “Adding two district garage fleets and concluding that they will not have a ‘significant impact’ on Canal Park or Canal Street traffic is counterintuitive.”

The missive then questioned the department’s decision not to build a dual-district garage at Block 675 in Chelsea, where the committee claims an engineering study concluded that location would actually provide a cheaper alternative to Hudson Square.

Friends of Hudson Square member Michael Kramer added that City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has recently taken an interest in the issue and that she brokered a meeting between the committee and Carmen Cognetta, the lawyer for the City Council’s Sanitation Committee.

However, the Friends’ Steering Committee will continue to look at pursuing legal action to stop Sanitation from becoming the neighborhood’s newest tenant.

“Friends of Hudson Square will engage their expert legal, lobbying and air-quality consultants to fight this plan,” the statement concluded. “Everyone in Hudson Square has spoken with one voice.”

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