Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Community Board 8 Land Use Committee Meeting Tonight, May Vote On Roosevelt Island Cornell NYC Tech Project - Cornell Puts In Writing What It Will Do For Roosevelt Island Community And NYC

Cornell NYC Tech Proposed Campus (page 23 CB 8 Presentation)

The Community Board 8 Land Use Committee will be holding a Public Hearing tonight on the Roosevelt Island Cornell NYC Tech project. The committee may vote on the Cornell land use application tonight or wait until the full Community Board meeting on December 19 to vote.

The Roosevelt Island Community Coalition (RICC) is asking for another large turnout (previous meeting on October 22 and November 26 drew large numbers of residents) of Roosevelt Island residents for tonight's Community Board 8 Land Use Committee Public Hearing. According to RICC:
TONIGHT, December 12th, is our first -- and last--chance to speak to the full component of Community Board 8 before they begin approval process for the Cornell project.

These are the 50 people who will decide approvals and restrictions for the Cornell Project, and most of them barely know who we are or why we are so passionately concerned.

Please show up!

Community Board 8 Meeting

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012, 6:30 PM

Manhattan Park Theater Club

8 River Road (across from Gristedes)
According to the CB 8 Land Use Committee:
Meeting Date:
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - 6:30pm
Meeting Location:
Manhattan Park Theatre Club
8 River Road, Roosevelt Island
New York, NY

Public Hearing: Cornell NYC Tech, 1 Main Street, Roosevelt Island - Cornell University and the New York City Economic Development Corporation are seeking a number of discretionary approvals to support and allow for the development of the Cornell NYC Tech applied science and engineering campus on Roosevelt island. The land affected by the proposed action is approximately 19-acre parcel located south of the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge and is bounded on the north and south by an existing roadway encircling the existing Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility’s Goldwater Memorial Hospital on the east and west by the New York City pier head and bulkhead lines. An approximately 123.4 acre portion of the project site would serve as the Cornell NYC Tech Campus and the remainder would be preserved for waterfront access and waterfront enhancing uses. In order to allow for the redevelopment of the project site, Cornell and NYCEDC are requesting: (1) Zoning Map amendment to change the project site zoning from R7-2 to C4-5 and to establish the Special Southern Roosevelt Island District over the project site (2) Zoning Text amendment to create a new Chapter 3, Article XIII to the New York City Zoning Resolution governing the Special Southern Roosevelt Island District, including special bulk, use, parking and public access controls for the Special District (3) Disposition of City-owned property from the City of New York (via the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS)) to the New York City Land Development Corporation (NYCLDC) which will dispose the property to the New York City Economic Development Corporation or any successor thereto for a subsequent proposed long-term lease or sale to Cornell (4) Amendment to the City Map to make a one-way loop road surrounding the proposed Cornell Campus (the Loop Road) and the connections between the Loop Road and the main street on Roosevelt Island part of the City’s formal street system
Cornell NYC Tech Vice President Cathy Dove sent this letter dated December 9 to CB 8 Chair Nick Viest (full copy of letter is here):
On behalf of Cornell University, thank you for your consideration of our land use application. We greatly appreciate the time and energy that not only you and your members, but also the staff of Community Board 8, have dedicated to this project.

As you are undoubtedly aware, Cornell has been maintaining an ongoing and open dialogue with the Roosevelt Island Community Coalition (RICC) and the Roosevelt Island community at-­‐large. Our dialog with the Roosevelt Island community predates Cornell's award in the competition in December of 2011 and will continue going forward.

 It is our understanding that over the past year, RICC has worked closely with a number of Roosevelt Island-­‐based leaders, businesses, community groups and other organizations. Based on their findings, the RICC developed a list of recommendations that they believe will enable Cornell NYC Tech to integrate into the fabric of life on Roosevelt Island and enhance the quality of life of its residents. The dedicated individuals of the RICC are to be commended for their hard work, all done on a volunteer basis.

The RICC has made several recommendations, and in keeping with its mission as the land grant university of New York State, Cornell has agreed to adopt a number of the recommendations put forth by the RICC.

 Cornell believes that these adopted recommendations are in alignment with the purpose and mission of the campus, will make a positive impact on the community, and will enable Cornell to be a good neighbor to all Roosevelt Island residents.

The specific RICC recommendations that Cornell has agreed to adopt include:
 • Provide space for community groups to meet and provide access for Roosevelt Island organizations to auditorium space, when available;
• Be fully compliant with ADA requirements such as incorporating accessibility features on campus such as a "looping" system for hearing impaired and disabled access (universal design);
• Investigate the feasibility of providing reduced rates for hotel space for Island residents, when accommodations are available;
 • Work closely with PS/IS 217 to implement Roosevelt Island pilot programs focused on tech education for middle school students. Work with other age groups too;
• Work with our Cooperative Extension Office, and designate a campus person to work on outreach programs with community;
 • Work with the community to program outdoor space for children;
 • Provide computers and help with computer training for members of the Senior Center;
• Create mentoring programs for the Island's population of post-­‐high school young adults;
• Create a "shadowing" program for Island middle school students to accompany scientists and observe academic/laboratory process;
 • Create an environment in which Cornell NYC Tech technology students can research ways that technology can enhance lives of older adults and the disabled;
• Provide consideration to Island organizations and services prior to working with outside organizations when feasible;
• Preserve the Goldwater WPA murals, and consider preserving and displaying other Island historic artifacts, where appropriate and feasible;
 • Provide Islanders opportunities to announce Island news and cultural events to Cornell faculty, students, and staff through electronic community bulletin boards, postings, and newsletters;
• Post Cornell NYC Tech employment and sub-­‐contracting opportunities and cultural opportunities via email, WIRE, blog, and local bulletin boards;
• Provide primarily non-­‐monetary support for community's cultural and religious events;
• Provide computer training for the disabled group, and investigate the donation of Dragon software; and
• Sponsor a "tech hackathon" to advance technology education for the disabled.

We believe these commitments are positive steps toward integration of the Cornell NYC Tech campus into the Roosevelt Island community, especially since they were agreed upon in a short period of time, less than one month since Cornell received RICC's recommendations.

 In addition to the many recommendations from RICC that have been adopted by Cornell, there are many additional benefits not mentioned in RICC's request that Cornell will bring to not only Roosevelt Island residents, but also to the entire region. These benefits include:

• The development of a world-­‐class institution that will enhance the visibility of Roosevelt Island and will spur job creation in the tens of thousands;
 • The introduction of a vibrant campus community that will help to support retail opportunities along the Main Street corridor;
• The creation of thousands of job opportunities, including campus operations, where a goal of 15 percent of available staff positions will be targeted to those living below the poverty line and job training will be provided;
 • The creation of two and a half acres of publicly accessible open space:
 • The development of an educational program that will impact 10,000 students and 200 teachers with a special focus on PS/IS 217 on Roosevelt Island;
 • The creation of a $150 million investment fund that will encourage and spur start-­‐up companies in New York City; and
 • The means to diversify New York's economy by contributing graduate students who will not only begin companies but will support and lead existing industries in New York City.

While Community Board 8's formal role in the ULURP process ends shortly, this process is just the beginning of what we believe will be a very positive and ongoing relationship with the Roosevelt Island community. We are so pleased to be joining this great community, and look forward to being model neighbors as we create a campus that is a source of pride for Roosevelt Island and the entire city of New York.

Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.
Here's what happened during December 10 meeting of the CB 8 Cornell Technion Roosevelt Island Task Force.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

and Part 4

Update 11 PM - The Land Use Committee heard a presentation by Cornell representatives, statements and questions from Roosevelt Island residents and then asked questions of Cornell representatives. No vote was taken tonight but a motion was passed to vote on Cornell's application at the December 19 CB 8 Full Board Meeting.

Will post video of the meeting soon.

UPDATE 12/14 - Video of December 12 CB 8 Land Use Public Hearing.