In a letter to Adam Rose, the Tenants Association today voiced its serious concerns about the impact of the skating rink on the lives of residents in nearby buildings and safety risks to other residents presented by electrical lines strung across pathways and openly stored bins of chemicals. The letter, citing Rose’s unsatisfactory response to an earlier letter from Dan Garodnick, was sent as the “amenity” continues to take shape.
Citing Rose’s assurance that the rink’s music will end at 8pm although the rink will be open until 9pm promises little comfort to neighbors in the seven facing buildings, who can now look forward to a winter accompanied by music. The Tenants Association understands the imposition of the unwanted sound on people trying to enjoy the quiet of their homes after a long day of work, children doing homework, parents trying to get children to sleep and will continue to work toward getting management to modify its plans.
The TA’s letter appears below. Adam Rose’s response to Council Member Garodnick’s original letter as well as the Council Member’s most recent response follows.
Dear Mr. Rose,
I am writing on behalf of the Stuyvesant Town Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association (“STPCVTA”) to express its keen disappointment with your response to Council Member Garodnick regarding the ice skating rink being installed in Playground 10. Your response and its failure to address the genuine issues are unacceptable.
Living next to an ice skating rink, which will have music until 8pm and which will subject nearby residents to the noise of the mechanical equipment required to operate the rink, is not the equivalent of living next to a basketball court or children’s playground. The qualitative differences are obvious and your failure to recognize that demonstrates a complete lack of sensitivity for the concerns of the residents of buildings bordering the rink. We have the same concerns as Council Member Garodnick regarding the imposition of a fee for use of recreational space, which is an unprecedented diminution of access to such space, even on a temporary basis.
We are also concerned that some of the electrical lines that appear to support the operation of the rink are strung between the trees from a lamppost and others running from the buildings across the pedestrian pathway to the rink, present potential safety risks. The storage of large drums of chemical coolant on the site is also of concern. Esthetically, the massive tent that has been erected on the south side of playground can only be described as an eyesore.
The STPCVTA intends to closely monitor the operation to ensure that it is operated in a manner that respects the right of community residents to the peaceful enjoyment of their homes and that the rink, including its accompanying café, operates in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, including the Zoning Resolution. The Association urges you and CW Capital to seriously consider the many reasonable concerns and objections of tenants regarding this facility.
Alvin Doyle, President ST/PCV TA
Rose Associates Response to Dan’s Letter
Daniel R. Garodnick
211 East 43rd Street, Suite 1205
New York, NY 10017
Dear Council Member Garodnick:
Thank you for your letter dated October 24, 2011 regarding the ice rink that we plan to install for the winter months at Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town (PCVST). I write to respond to the questions you raised.
First, it is important to note that most residents of PCVST would prefer infrastructure projects not to be located near their apartments. This includes staff areas, work rooms, storage, refuse handling areas, amenities, and other similar uses. It is obviously not a viable way to operate a large property with a large population if all infrastructure is located “somewhere else.” We do our best to distribute the functions shared by all residents to different areas of the property. For example, many people live closer to active playgrounds than those that live near Playground 10, the site of the ice rink. Rarely do we hear complaints about a basketball court or children’s playground being “too close” to one building or another. It is fair to spread these around.
We will do everything possible to minimize the disturbance that may be caused by the ice rink to the buildings that surround it. The most important aspect of this is the operating hours which will require the rink to close at 9:00 PM. We expect to end the music by 8:00 PM and will ensure that music levels are not excessive.
Regarding the fees and expenses, we must inform you that the ice rink is intended to be a wonderful new amenity for the residents of PCVST. As you probably know, finding ice time is very difficult in the entire Metropolitan area, and we are convinced that the families of PCVST will appreciate this private facility for residents and their guests. The revenues of this three month operation will not equal the expenses, but making a profit was never the objective. We will provide some limited free ice time for residents, but during other hours when it is open the intention is to have people who enjoy the facility contribute modestly to the cost of its operation.
Finally, I am hopeful that your concern with respect to the elimination of “free open space” stems from the misconception that the facility is permanent. It will only be in place during the winter months when the playground is otherwise covered in snow and ice and all but unused. The hope is that this will help bring this space to life and provide all residents a venue in which to enjoy the outdoors during the winter season. As the weather warms, the rink will be removed and the playground will be as it has always been.
Adam R. Rose
Dan’s response to Rose’s Response Letter
Mr. Andrew MacArthur
CW Capital Asset Management LLC
1540 Broadway, 23rd Floor
New York, NY 10036
Mr. Adam Rose
Rose Associates, Inc.
200 Madison Ave.
New York, NY 10016-3998
November 7, 2011
I was disappointed by your response to my recent letter about the ice rink being constructed in Stuyvesant Town’s Playground 10. Having read your explanation and now seeing the enormous structures being constructed, I am increasingly concerned about the impact this rink will have on surrounding residents.
You have not provided any detail about how you intend to protect residents from disturbances from the rink, beyond a commitment to ensure that noise levels are not “excessive” and to end music at 8:00 p.m. Such a late end to the music, not to mention the 9:00 p.m. closing time, strike me as inconsiderate to those who live near the rink and who may have small children, work early hours, or simply seek peace and quiet in the evening in a neighborhood well known for it.
You also noted that you rarely get complaints from residents in even closer proximity to other playgrounds. This cannot possibly be a serious comparison, as basketball courts and playgrounds do not blare music over public address systems, they close at dusk, and they do not come with equipment that must run 24 hours a day. As for the equipment, you also offered no response to my question of how you intend to mitigate mechanical noise.
I have asked the Department of Buildings and Department of Environmental Protection to take steps to ensure the rink’s compliance with all relevant city noise and structural codes.
As for the fees, this is the first time anyone has ever charged a resident for the use of one of the playgrounds, in the history of this community. Doing so is of questionable legality, it sets the wrong precedent for the neighborhood’s open spaces, and I encourage you not to be responsible for opening the door to such commercialization. You have said repeatedly that this rink will operate at a loss – so take the loss, and provide this service as a free amenity for residents. Assuming the rink can operate legally with a charge – a subject that we continue to investigate – I ask that you inform me of the exact dates that the rink will be open, as well as when residents can expect the playground to be usable again following the takedown of the rink.
I understand that you are looking for ways to make the property attractive to new tenants, but my constituents are frustrated because they feel that these efforts increasingly come at the expense of their own quality of life.
Thank you for your continued attention to these concerns.
Daniel R. Garodnick