Why is East Harlem stuck with Trash?

Garbage Trucks

East Harlem Neighbors,

The general consensus that emerged last night at our HNBA meeting is that the proposed relocation of the Department of Sanitation (DoS) garage from East 99th Street to our neighborhood is likely going to happen. We know, and agree, that the dilapidated 99th Street garage can’t be sustained, and that the incredible value of the land (so close to the expanding Upper East Side…) makes it very tempting for the city to vacate it and either sell or develop this current site. Thus, getting the DoS out of the East 99th Street location makes sense to many groups within city government.

But did you know that East Harlem currently houses Community Board 10’s Department of Sanitation (DoS) garage??? Yes trucks not used in our community yet housed, cleaned, and fueled in our community……

Unfortunately, the DoS planners have discounted moving the garage to Randall’s/Ward’s Island, claiming that it would add extra travel time for their trucks and shockingly claiming that there is no space out there to situate a facility.

Given these factors, much of the discussion centered on the idea that East Harlem should be demanding parity with the state-of-the-art ($250,000,000) TriBeCa DoS garage, if the 99th Street garage will be moved into our community.

In order to best understand the approval process underway to move the DoS garage, this ULURP site shows who in city government gets a chance to change or stop the DoS garage from moving into our neighborhood. Essentially, however, once our Community Board 11 has voted on this proposal THIS TUESDAY (6:30 pm at the National Black Theater, and yes, you are welcome to come and comment!) the proposal goes to our Borough President, then to the City Planning Commission, and then to the City Council and the Mayor.

Note that if Gale Brewer, our Manhattan Borough President, recommends against this proposal, the City Planning Commission holds a much higher bar for the DoS:

“If the Borough President has recommended against an application for site selection, disposition of city owned property or acquisition and has recommended an alternative site pursuant to the fair share provisions of the Charter (section 204), then nine affirmative votes are required. CPC then files copies of its decision with the City Council. In most cases, disapproval of an application by CPC is final and terminates ULURP.”

In other words, two key pressure points in the ULURP process are the Borough President and the City Planning Commission. Given this, we, the HNBA have created two Change.org petitions that we urge you to consider, sign, or sign both, and very importantly share and share again!

If you want to stop the garbage garage and have it relocated to Randall’s/Ward’s Island, this is your petition:

https://www.change.org/p/move-the-m11-sanitation-garage-to-randall-s-island-not-next-to-a-cancer-hospital

If you want to demand that any new East Harlem garage be ‘state of the art’, this is your petition:

https://www.change.org/p/give-east-harlem-a-state-of-the-art-sanitation-garage

Please, send these petitions to your friends, neighbors, colleagues, relatives, anyone you can think of, and please Tweet it, put it on Facebook, and anywhere/everywhere.

We have to tell the city that East Harlem deserves better!

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