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Volume 20, Number 29 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | Nov. 30 - Dec. 6, 2007

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Friends dump on garbage plan

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, the group’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 these Hudson Square and North Tribeca neighborhoods 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 and North Tribeca 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 Steering Committee will continue to look at pursuing legal action to stop Sanitation from becoming the neighborhood’s newest tenant.

“The Community Sanitation Steering Committee will engage their expert legal, lobbying and air-quality consultants to fight this plan,” the statement concluded. “Everyone in Hudson Square and North Tribeca has spoken with one voice.”

— Patrick Hedlund

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