New York Methodist Hospital (NYM) and Preserve Park Slope (PPS) today announced the settlement of the litigation commenced by PPS, challenging the approval of the Hospital’s Center for Community Health (CCH) by New York City’s Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA). NYM, PPS, and the City’s Corporation Counsel entered into a settlement agreement which has been approved and ordered by Justice Alexander Hunter of the New York State Supreme Court. As a result of this settlement, the CCH, an outpatient care center, will be built on Hospital-owned property between Fifth Street, Eighth Avenue and Sixth Street, directly across from the Hospital’s existing inpatient buildings in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
In the settlement agreement, NYM agreed to certain significant changes in the size and configuration of the CCH building, as well as to implement an operational traffic management plan developed by a mutually retained traffic expert. The goal of the plan will be to reduce the use of residential streets by vehicular traffic related to NYM’s facilities, to limit the impact of the building’s loading dock on neighbors and nearby schools, and to address on-street parking. The complete agreement can be viewed at www.nym.org/build or http://www.preserveparkslope.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Settlement-Agt-so-ordered.pdf. Some of the key elements of the settlement include:
- The Hospital will eliminate the seventh floor of the new building, consisting of approximately 28,000 square feet of space, thereby reducing the height of the CCH building by approximately 14 feet.
- A pedestrian entrance planned for the corner of Eighth Avenue and Sixth Street will be relocated to Sixth Street, off Eighth Avenue.
- A landscaped area will be added along the portion of the CCH building that fronts on Eighth Avenue.
- NYM will pay for a traffic engineer (jointly selected by NYM and PPS) to develop a comprehensive operational traffic management plan.
- Representatives of PPS will be included on the Community Design Advisory Committee that is providing input on the building’s facade design, the Community Construction Advisory Committee to be formed when demolition begins, and the Traffic Task Force established by New York City Council Member Brad Lander.
- A publicly available area of the Hospital’s website, www.nym.org will be established and regularly updated to provide current information regarding the status of the construction of the new building.
- Representatives of PPS and a high-level NYM official will meet at least twice each year during the period of demolition and construction to trouble-shoot any problems that may arise.
- PPS has agreed to discontinue the litigation opposing the zoning variances for the CCH building and not to oppose any approvals or permits required to construct or operate the Center for Community Health.
Andrea Stewart, a member of the Preserve Park Slope Executive Committee, said: “We are pleased that we have reached this agreement, which will help to address the community’s concerns regarding the height of the new building, the impact of increased traffic especially on pedestrian safety, and the effect of the new building on the neighborhood character. We will continue to work with New York Methodist Hospital to ensure that community input is incorporated into the site’s development.”
Lyn Hill, Vice President for Communication and External Affairs at New York Methodist Hospital said, “We are delighted that we have been able to resolve the litigation over the zoning variances in an amicable manner. The settlement will allow us to move forward to construct the new outpatient healthcare facility which is very much needed by the entire Brooklyn community.”