On September 12, 2011, Related closed Ruppert Playground depriving the community with the least amount of public open space in the ENTIRE CITY of a valuable park.
The Related Companies has decided to ignore the will and needs of the community and try to go ahead and build a 35 floor luxury rental building on the site of Ruppert Playground, a beloved park on E. 93rd Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues that has been an important part of our community since the late 1970's.
Related unveiled their irresponsible development plans on June 12th, which Community Board 8 promptly voted against - 25-5.
Related however can not legally build on the playground. The use of the playground CAN NOT be changed unless a previous-approved Large-Scale Residential Development Plan under the Ruppert Brewery Urban Renewal Area is amended which they are attempting to do now.
Related is seeking a zoning "text change" without getting the consent of the other property owners within the boundaries of the original Large-Scale plan which is required. This issue was heard by the City Council's Land Use Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises on September 30th.
Related disgracefully got away with claiming their massive development and the resulting dramatic change in land use from a community park to a 35-story, 231 unit tower complete with a school among other things - required only a "Minor Modification" as opposed to a "Major Modification" which the Department of City Planning Commission, as expected, and as usual, rubber stamped it and approved it.
Related is also attempting to avoid going through the full Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), the public review process required for projects that are not as-of-right.
They must not be allowed to get away with these actions.
We have organized a broad-based public awareness campaign to preserve Ruppert Playground from being developed. We need your help to protect this vital neighborhood resource! If we are to have a chance in our fight we must be very visible to be able to apply sufficient pressure!!