Sunday, April 3, 2016

Summary of the Mar. 23, 2016 General Tenants Meeting


NYC Urban Park Ranger spoke on the wildlife around us. Ranger Rob Mastrianni told us
to enjoy wildlife – like raccoons and hawks, at a distance.  Mama raccoons, normally nocturnal, have been known to forage entire boxes of pizza from park tables during the day to feed their young. The birds of prey we see help keep our ecosystem humming, as they eat rats, mice and pigeons.  He showed us plastic models of hawk, eagle, and owl skulls – and how big their eyes are compared to ours.   Scared of raccoons or badgers you meet in the park? Jingle your keys. Hawks and other birds of prey are more scared of us – but keep your tiny dog off the balcony if you’ve seen a hawk there.
The NYC Parks Department has wonderful programsbird watching in the snow, camp-outs for kids, and more, all year round.

Each June, after a series of hearings, the Rent Guidelines Board determines rent increase percentages for all rent stabilized tenants in NYC. The RGB’s first meeting this year is Thursday, April 7, 2016 at 10 AM – and a coalition of groups is rallying before the meeting in lower Manhattan at 1 Centre Street, 9 AM.    

Among other things, we need an evening hearing closer to where we live.  

The RGB determined last year that cumulative rent increases for the past 30 years or so far exceeded inflation and actual landlord costs for the same period of time. So the RGB ordered a “rent freeze” (no increase) for those renewing for 1 year.  But if the increases were too big, why did those renewing for 2 years (as is our choice) have to pay an increase?  Roll back the rents!

Should YOUR apartment be rent stabilized? If you are paying full market price for your apartment, check whether you might be able to get your apartment back into rent regulation
and your rent reduced.   Contact a member of the Executive Committee for details.


We’re having our annual Pot Luck on Saturday, May 21, 2016,  from 6-9 PM and will be honoring the building’s maintenance staff.  We eat, we talk, we sing, we eat some more, we play music, we eat . . . you get the picture.  If your household brings food or drink (no alcohol please) for 10 people or you help out, it’s free. Otherwise, a small cost per household. What can you bring or do?  Fill out the flyer and return it to your floor captain or to the box that will soon be in the mailroom.


  • Laundry:  We're thrilled to get new machines - although they're costing us more per load.   Unfortunately, the new laundry machines require credit or debit cards to add a minimum of $15 to the laundry cards.  That means poorer tenants without credit/debit cards must buy a pre-paid card just to load their laundry cards. That’s not fair, and we’re trying to get it fixed. In addition, some of the machines are too high for short people to reach. They really had to keep the high cement pedestals? At least Stellar should provide a stool! Recently, a tenant’s bag of clothes was taken from the laundry room.  We don’t know whether it was an outsider (pretty much anyone can walk in by naming an apartment), or a tenant.  If you took the black bag in error, please give it to the guard.
  • Smoke: The landlord is trying to go after the tenant(s) smoking up the west side stairwells with marijuana – with the smell going into our apartments.  The smokers are putting their tenancy here at risk.


Zoning :  The NYC Council passed the Mayor’s housing proposals, “Zoning for Quality and Affordability” (ZQA is primarily for more affordable senior housing), and “Mandatory Inclusionary Housing” (MIH requires building affordable units for any development – although not necessarily in the same building – where the zoning permits larger buildings).  The Upper West Side community boards were concerned about taller buildings coming in under ZQA, but that has now been ruled out for our neighborhood.   It will be up to the local City Council person to determine the levels of affordability (MIH) in areas whose zoning is changed to permit bigger buildings.  Our City Council representative, Mark Levine, wrote, “The MIH plan includes apartments targeted at New Yorkers earning as little as $24,000/year (singles) or $31,000/year (family of 3). Even deeper levels of affordability will be achieved in most upzoned neighborhoods through City subsidy. The plan also includes housing directed towards working class and moderate income families.”  

Church-to-condo on CPW?
That project is still up in the air, with North Development Group’s Joseph Brunner suing the people he bought the church from when approval for the condo conversion didn’t go through.

Got questions or comments? Contact us!

The Executive Committee

Sue Susman, sue dot susman  at  gmail dot com
Na'ava Ades, naavaa [at] gmail dot com
Joan Browne, joanbrownefaison aT gmail  d o t  com
Denis Hayward, denis (dot) hayward  {AT} gmail dot com
Rich Jordan, richj214  [a T] aol {dot} com
Steve Koulish, eskoolman  (at)  yahoo  [d  o  t]  com
Ray von Dohren, vondohren  {a  t}  comcast [dot] net