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Friday, July 27, 2018

RIOC Update Says Preliminary Report On Roosevelt Island Drinking Fountain Water Quality Finds "No Risk For Continued Use" - But Water Remains Shut Off At All Parks For Additional Testing

As reported July 24:

 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Susan Rosenthal reported during the July 23 RIOC Board meeting that preliminary testing of Roosevelt Island water fountains revealed:
... some high levels, higher than EPA allows, of bacteria, not E-Coli, in some of them. One sample had elevated iron levels..
Roosevelt Island drinking water fountains have been shut off since July 6 after RIOC received a report from resident Frank Farance of possible contamination of the water supply to drinking fountains.

Image From Frank Farance

Today, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) provided an update on our Drinking Water Fountains. According to RIOC Public Information Officer Alonza Robertson:
Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation’s top priority is the safety and well-being of its residents and visitors. On July 6, after concerns were raised about water quality, we immediately shut down the water supply systems in all parks, playgrounds and drinking fountains, conducted water quality testing at 11 different locations, and consulted with state health officials. Preliminary results indicate that the water in drinking fountains poses no risk for continued use.

However, as an additional safeguard, health officials recommended that the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation conduct additional testing from a New York State certified laboratory. The water will remain off at all parks while additional testing is performed and reviewed, and upon completion of testing, we will share the results with the public.
Following the lead of Mr. Farance, the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) expressed their concerns to RIOC about the water fountains in this July 25 letter.
Re: Quality Concerns of RIOC Maintained Public Fountains

Dear Ms. Rosenthal,

As Co-Chairs of the RIRA Island Services Committee ("ISC") and as the President of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association ("RIRA"), we write to express our collective concern about your report on July 23rd at the RIOC special Board meeting that preliminary testing on Roosevelt Island drinking water fountains revealed “... some high levels, higher than EPA allows, of bacteria, not E-Coli, in some of them [including] elevated iron levels...”

Of particular disappointment is RIOC’s failure to keep in direct communication with residents, particularly those that use such water fountains, about the concern over the safety of consumption of water from the drinking water fountains as well as its failure to adequately post signs/notices with information related to the drinking fountains shut off and the reasons for such shut off.

It would be prudent that RIOC recall that the suspicion of contamination of the public drinking fountains arose from information that RIOC provided to Roosevelt Island residents during negotiations to secure an adequate source of potable water for the WFF cat sanctuary in Southpoint Park.

All Roosevelt Island residents, and especially parents of young children, expect that RIOC will maintain the highest standards ensuring a healthy, safe environment for all, especially our children.

RIOC must publicly provide and present a complete water analysis report. On behalf of all Roosevelt Island residents we demand to know the accuracy of RIOC's assertion and assurance that only some of the public drinking fountains are hooked up to the irrigation water source, which is not potable, as opposed to the main water lines that serve the Island buildings and which we presume is chlorinated and UV-treated New York City water. RIOC has provided no reassurance that even the public drinking fountains in Southpoint Park are safe.

We trust that both you and RIOC share the Roosevelt Island residents' concerns over the safety of public drinking water sources, and agree that water quality and safety is an extremely important and a top priority for residents. As RIRA Common Council elected members, we demand to be kept promptly informed of any and all further results on the water quality testing, the timeline for ameliorating this disturbing issue and on RIOC’s progress in finding solutions to the problem.

Jeffrey R. Escobar
President, Roosevelt Island Residents Association

Rossana Ceruzzi & Mickey Rindler Co-Chairs, RIRA Island Services Committee
The Community Board 8 Roosevelt Island Committee discussed the issue



during July 19 meeting.

Face Your Freedoms Documentary High School Student Short Film Screened At Roosevelt Island Outdoor Movie Festival Last Friday - Stories From Older NY'ers Impacted By FDR's Policies And Political Legacy That Continues To Current Day

FDR Four Freedoms Park Madeline Grimes reports:

Four Freedoms Park Conservancy’s annual Intergenerational Documentary Program, which launched in 2016, pairs high school interns from Studio in a School’s Bloomberg Arts & Culture Internship Program with a documentary filmmaker to capture and document stories from older New Yorkers who lived during the FDR era. Using an intergenerational approach that introduces young historians to FDR’s policies through interviews with the people directly affected by them, these stories will not only remind people of the tremendous impact Roosevelt had on this country, but connect a younger generation to a political legacy that continues to shape their lives today.

In July and August 2017, the Conservancy worked with three high school students -- Chelsea from Thomas A. Edison High School, and Emily and Kevin from Academy for Careers in Television & Film -- to create the following documentary short, "Face Your Freedoms," a film exploring the four freedoms through their eyes. 
 Watch the film. It's very well done.



Last Friday, Face Your Freedoms

 Image From FDR Park

was shown at the Roosevelt Island Outdoor Film Festival in Southpoint Park.

Image From FDR Park

Roosevelt Island Disabled Association Summer Flea Market Saturday July 28 At Good Shepherd Plaza - Incredible Bargains & Sign Up For Costco Membership

Roosevelt Island Disabled Association President Wendy Hersh reports:

Costco will have a table at the IDA Flea market this weekend at Good Shepherd Church Plaza. They will be signing up memberships and giving gift cards with the memberships. Beats standing online at Costco!

Ms Hersh adds:
R.I.D.A Annual Summer Flea Market July 28th

9:00am-4:00pm at Good Shepherd Church Plaza

Incredible Bargains!!!!!

For More Information Contact

Email whersh@nyc.rr.com

or Pilar at the RI Senior Center (Carter Burden Network)

SPONSORED POST - Roosevelt Island Urgent Care Medical Facility, Just Walk In At 520 Main Street 7 Days A Week For Your Medical Needs - Your Health, Your Schedule

According to Roosevelt Island Urgent Care (RIUC):
Our Roosevelt Island facility is  located at 520 Main Street. Our Summer hours are Monday to Friday 9AM - 4PM, Saturday and Sunday 10AM- 3 PM. Phone # 646-977-7974.

The medical needs of this 2 mile long historic island on the East River is a perfect landscape for our services.

RIUC is the first health care facility on the Island. Currently local residents must travel to either Manhattan or Astoria, for treatment—a trip that requires the use of a tram, subway, bus or car. Our facility in essence created a full-service medical center for a growing population of 15,000. RIUC is here to serve your needs.

These needs will increase in the near future with the addition of new multi-family developments and the new Cornell NYC Tech campus, which is under construction and due to open this year. The University is relying on our center to tend to the medical needs of the students and faculty. Roosevelt Island Urgent Care is also well positioned to provide services to the many construction workers who are on the Island during the next few years.

Other amenities include:
  • Hot and cold complimentary beverage center
  • Charging station
  • Flat screen TV in waiting room as well as every exam room
  • Childrens play area
  • And much more!
Take a tour of the Roosevelt Island Urgent Care facilities



and learn about the services offered at Roosevelt Island Urgent Care.


More info about Roosevelt Island Urgent Care at their web site and Twitter Page.

Roosevelt Island Transportation This Weekend - Good News, F Train Service To And From Manhattan This Weekend, R Train Service Too - Both Tram Cabins Operating And NYC Ferry Has More RI Service

According to the MTA, there will be Roosevelt Island F Train service



to and from Manhattan this weekend.

There will be Roosevelt Island R train service to and from Manhattan this weekend as well:

R trains run in both directions between 57 St-7 Av Q and 21 St-Queensbridge F, making stops at Lexington Av/63 St and Roosevelt Island, resuming normal service at 36 St, Queens.
  Also:
STATION ENHANCEMENTS | Until December 2018 57 St F Station is closed
Both Roosevelt Island Tram Cabins are in operation.

There is Roosevelt Island ferry service on the Astoria Route. Here's the new summer schedule for Roosevelt Island ferry service.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Roosevelt Island Gristedes Supermarket Customer Asks What's Going On With Changes At Store - Changing Suppliers Focusing On Well Priced Items, Quality Groceries, Fresh, Natural, Organic Perishables & Customer Centric Says Exec

A long time Roosevelt Island Gristedes supermarket customer


shares this email sent last week:
Our Gristedes -- What's Going On?

First, our beloved Luis is transferred to a store in Manhattan. Our very good second-in-command, Tim is, thankfully, still here.The new manager, Angel, seems aloof at best.

The long-time staff is doing the best they can I guess.

While the store is clean, there is much to be concerned about. Today, there was a young man doing a serious repair of one of the refrigerator cases in the back of the store.

A new VP, we are told, is now in charge of supplying the store & there are new suppliers who frequently cannot get their merchandise here in a timely manner. It's almost impossible to buy a variety of brands & products & "pantry staples" here without weeks of asking & waiting.

Most Shop-Rite brands have now disappeared or are down to a precious few. They were mostly, but not always cheaper, than the new brands that seem to be replacing them.

I am worried that for those of us who do not shop on line, use Fresh Direct or Peapod, and are on fixed incomes & budgets, that we are screwed.
I asked Gristedes owner John Catsimatidis to respond to the Roosevelt Island customer's concerns. Gristedes Executive Renee Flores replied:
First and foremost, please know that the Catsimatidis family and I share a vision whereas our customers and the communities in which we serve are our number one priority.

Yes, we are in the process of changing suppliers and unfortunately as part of that process, some items will be discontinued, but many comparable, outstanding well priced items will be added in their place. As we say goodbye to the Shoprite private label we will say hello to the Greenway and Best Yet private labels. We believe that these two private labels will add to and enhance the organic and specialty offerings our Roosevelt Island Customers have been asking for.

We do ask for a little patience over the next few weeks while the transition takes shape.

Our goal is to emerge from this transition as a shopping destination for all Roosevelt Island residents with a focus on exceptional quality groceries, fresh, natural and organic perishables and the customer centric experience our Roosevelt Island Customers deserve and expect.
Here's my interview with Mr. Catsimatidis



at the March 2013 re-opening following renovation of the store.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

What Is That Little House Thing Passing Roosevelt Island In The East River Yesterday - It Was The Secret History Of American River People Shantyboat Visiting NYC

The Roosevelt Island Twitterverse asked yesterday:

Not quite Ricky.

The answer is that the "little house thing" floating in the East River yesterday is called a Shantyboat. It is part of A Secret History of American River People project and has made it's way to NYC:
A Secret History of American River People is a dialogic and participatory project that gathers and presents the oral histories of people who live and work on major American river from the deck of a recreated 1940s-era shantyboat over a series of epic river voyages. The project explores the issues facing current river communities, the long history of people who have lived on and adjacent to the river, and basic river ecology.

We are entering our fifth year of the project. The shantyboat has traveled over 1250 river miles and 20,000 miles by land. We’ve conducted over 100 oral history interviews spanning 100 hours of video, exhibited nationwide, and talked to thousands of people about the river....


Here's the Shantyboat passing Roosevelt Island on it's way to the North Brooklyn Boat Club.
More info on A Secret History Of American River people at their web site and during Thursday July 26 Exhibition.
Awesome project!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Preliminary Study Finds Roosevelt Island Water Fountains Have Elevated Bacteria & Iron Levels Higher Than EPA Allows Says RIOC President At Board Of Directors Meeting Yesterday - Remediation Plan Hoped For Within 2 Weeks

As reported July 6:

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) announced Friday that it will shut down drinking water fountains on the Island while it investigates potential water source line issues.

RIOC thanks Island resident Frank Farance for sharing his concerns about the fountains with RIOC.

Independent consultants have been enlisted to assist RIOC with its review....

 Image From Frank Farance
And:
... WATER FOUNTAINS

Healthy Building International Inc. has been retained by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) to conduct water sampling and analysis at several drinking water fountain locations in parks and playgrounds across Roosevelt Island, RIOC President and CEO Susan Rosenthal said Tuesday.

The tests are designed to provide a comprehensive analysis of the water and to confirm its acceptability for consumption. The samples will be compared with the relevant federal Department of Environmental Protection (EPA) contaminant levels of microbials, metals and inorganic substances....
 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Susan Rosenthal reported during the July 23 RIOC Board meeting that preliminary testing of Roosevelt Island water fountains revealed:
... some high levels, higher than EPA allows, of bacteria, not E-Coli, in some of them. One sample had elevated iron levels..


RIOC is waiting for the results of more tests and hopes to have a preliminary remediation plan within the next 2 weeks.

Stay tuned for more.

Film Shoot Helicopter Flying Dangerously Close To Roosevelt Island Tram Over East River Says Shocked Residents - Watch Out For The Cables Screams One Witness

Last Friday, Roosevelt Island resident Katherine Yeske Taylor sent me this photo


taken by visitor Pablo Martin and reports:
Have you heard anything about the seemingly very near miss between a helicopter & the tram this week??
Another Roosevelt Island tipster took video of the helicopter and adds:
... video I shot starting at 8:34PM on Thursday, July 19th of a helicopter that was hovering very close to the tram and the Queensboro Bridge.

The start of the video shows the helicopter starting to move away from the bridge. Unfortunately,  I... didn’t get a chance to shoot video of the helicopter that a few minutes earlier was flying much closer to passing tram cabins and the tram cables.



I was shocked that a helicopter got so close to the tram cabins and the cables, and have no idea if the helicopter was filming movie/TV footage, or if it was a military helicopter, or something else.
Click full screen icon on bottom right of video for better view.

According to a third Roosevelt Island resident who saw the low flying helicopter next to the Tram:
... it lasted almost an hour and was clearly co-ordinated with the Tram as they had an empty Tram moving back and forth in the middle of the ER several times. I was surprised they still had the southern Tram with passengers working. The Chopper had a big bulb photo thing up front which we could see moving to follow the empty Tram

The photo shows what I was screaming about for half an hour :..THE CABLES! ... Does that Chopper know those cables are there ....but his first several close-in passes there was no Tram in sight ... I understandably thought/feared he might not know the Tram even existed .... only after 20 - 30 minutes did it become clear the empty (Thank God) Tram came out and it was part of a planned event/show.
Another video of the helicopter seen very close to the Tram.

In response to my inquiry, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) replied that the helicopter was part of film shoot for The Sun Is Also A Star that had a permit for use of the Roosevelt Island Tram
Meteorite Productions LLC

July 18th

3pm to 7pm- Manhattan Tram Plaza/stairs/North Platform

7pm to 8pm- Nonexclusive use of North Cabin

8pm to 9pm- Exclusive use of North Cabin

July 19th

8pm to 8:30pm- Exclusive use of North Cabin
but nothing in the permit authorized a helicopter flying so close to the Tram.

RIOC is seeking guidance from the Federal Aviation Administration on the matter.

On a related note, during the June 28 Roosevelt Island Town Hall Meeting with elected officials (video of full meeting here), Roosevelt Island's Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney talked about legislation to ban tourist helicopters



over Roosevelt Island.

UPDATE 3:55 PM - RIOC Public Information Officer Alonza Robertson reports:
During the filming of “The Sun is Also a Star”, a helicopter was used for a scene at the Tram while the Tram cabin was in motion.

According to information provided by Leitner-Pomo, throughout the filming of this scene, communication was established between the Tram control room, the movie aerial coordinator and the helicopter pilot.

In order to take the Tram shot, the helicopter was hovering in the area at a safe distance with full understanding of the instructions from the Tram control room. The scene was recorded safely and completed without incident.

Sponsored Post - NYC Office Of Emergency Management Wants You To Know Your Hurricane Zone, Be Ready And Be Prepared - Roosevelt Island Is Zone 2 & 3

The New York City Office of Emergency Management (NYC OEM) wants you to be prepared and Know Your Hurricane Evacuation Zone.



According to the NYC OEM:

To mark the beginning of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, the New York City Emergency Management Department ...  launched a new phase of the Know Your Zone hurricane awareness campaign to encourage New Yorkers to find out whether they live in one of the city’s six hurricane evacuation zones. Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30. The 2018 Know Your Zone campaign includes new video public service announcements (PSAs) demonstrating that New Yorkers have the power to prepare for hurricanes by knowing the hazards they may face, having a plan, and staying informed.

“Start preparing for hurricane season now so you’ll be ready long before a hurricane threatens New York City,” said New York City Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito. “Find out whether you live in a hurricane evacuation zone, and make an emergency plan with your family by visiting NYC.gov/knowyourzone or calling 311."

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued its 2018 Atlantic hurricane season outlook with forecasters predicting a near or above-normal season. NOAA’s forecasters predict a 70 percent likelihood of 10 to 16 named storms of which 5 to 9 could become hurricanes (winds of 74+ mph), including 1 to 4 major hurricanes (category 3, 4, or 5; winds of 111+ mph).

To help raise awareness of hurricane season, Know Your Zone advertisements will be displayed on bus shelters and Link NYC kiosks and will run in newspapers throughout the five boroughs beginning in June. Through the Know Your Zone campaign, NYC Emergency Management aims to reach the roughly three million New Yorkers living within the city’s hurricane evacuation zones. Areas of the city subject to storm surge flooding are divided into six evacuation zones (1 through 6) based on risk of storm surge flooding. The City may order residents to evacuate depending on a hurricane’s track and projected storm surge.

New Yorkers should take key steps to prepare for the start of hurricane season
  • Know your zone – Find out whether you live in one of the city’s six hurricane evacuation zones. Use the Hurricane Evacuation Zone Finder at NYC.gov/knowyourzone or call 311 (212-639-9675 for Video Relay Service, or TTY: 212-504-4115) to find out if your address is located in an evacuation zone. If you live in an evacuation zone, have a plan for where you will go if an evacuation order is issued for your area.
  • Know what to do – Make a plan so you know what to do, how to find each other, and how to communicate if a hurricane strikes. Use the Ready New York: My Emergency Plan at NYC.gov/myemergencyplan, or use the Ready NYC mobile application, available for smartphones and tablets.
  • Stay informed – Sign up for Notify NYC to receive free emergency notifications and updates via email, phone, SMS/text, or Twitter. Messages are also available in American Sign Language (ASL). Get the free mobile application, visit NYC.gov/notifynyc, call 311, or follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.
Roosevelt Island is located in Hurricane Zones 2

Image From NYC OEM

and 3.

Image From NYC OEM

Most of Roosevelt Island,

Image From NYC OEM

including all of the residential buildings and Cornell Tech campus, are located in Zone 3.

Coler Hospital,

Image From NYC OEM

Lighthouse and FDR Four Freedoms Park are located in Zone 2.

Be Ready

and Prepared.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Roosevelt Island Westview Building Ground Lease Extension On RIOC Board Meeting Agenda Tonight - Here Are The Details On Mitchell Lama Exit And Resident Affordability Plan

On July 18, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Real Estate Development Advisory Committee met in Executive Sessioin (closed to the public) to discuss the Westview building


ground lease negotiations. As reported that evening:
Following the Executive Session, I spotted RIOC President Susan Rosenthal on Main Street. I asked what happened at the meeting. Ms Rosenthal replied:

Board meeting has been scheduled for Monday...
Translation, a Westview agreement has been reached and will be voted on at Board meeting on Monday.

More details on the Agreement coming soon.

Here are the details.

 It looks like the Westview Affordability Plan, Privatization and Ground Lease Extension will be approved at this evening's RIOC Board meeting. Among the items on RIOC Board Agenda for meeting tonight is:
III. New Business
1. Authorizations Related to Amendment to Westview Ground Lease (Board Action Required)
Below is RIOC CFO Kimberly Quinones July 20 Memo in support of the Westview Ground Lease Amendment to the RIOC Board of Directors:
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

At its July 23, 2018 meeting, the Board of Directors of RIOC will be asked to consider approval of an amendment (the “Amendment”) to the 1973 ground lease (“Ground Lease”) with NorthTown Phase III Houses, Inc., the owner of Westview (the “Owner”). Approval of the Amendment would enable the Owner to pursue an affordable home ownership conversion plan for Westview (“Affordability Plan”). The Affordability Plan provides for current tenants to be able to purchase their apartments at below market value with non-purchasers receiving guaranteed rent protections. In approving the Affordability Plan, RIOC will need to extend the Ground Lease with increases for Tax Equivalency and Ground Rent payments as provided in the Amendment. Prior to approving the Amendment, the Board will be asked to approve certain environmental findings. Proposed Board resolutions adopting the environmental findings and approving the Amendment are attached.

PROPOSED AMENDMENT

The Proposed Amendment would modify and extend the existing Ground Lease between RIOC and the Owner governing a Mitchell-Lama building with 361 residential rental units (“Westview”). Although the Ground Lease is not scheduled to terminate until 2028, certain changes in circumstances merit the proposed Amendment. The Owner seeks to exit the Mitchell Lama program, as is its right under the State’s Private Housing Finance Law, and pursue a cooperative and condominium conversion (the “Conversion”). The Owner also seeks to refinance the mortgage on Westview. In order to accomplish these goals, the Owner needs to extend the term of the lease. RIOC seeks to preserve affordable housing, consistent with its mission and statutory purpose.

RIOC has worked with the Owner and the Empire State Development Corp. of N.Y. (ESD) the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (HCR) to develop a plan that balances the parties’ goals. In exchange for an extension of the Ground Lease at a below market ground rent, the Owner has agreed to maintain Westview as an affordable housing complex for a period of 30 years pursuant to the Affordability Plan. In exchange for affordability protections, the expiration date of the Ground Lease will be extended from January 31, 2028 through December 22, 2068, and the ground rent payable to RIOC will be less than a full market ground rent unencumbered by the Affordability Plan for a lease term through 2068. In addition, the Amendment will allow RIOC to remain in occupancy of its current office space for a period of up to five (5) years, with no rent being payable by RIOC for the first three years. Finally, the Amendment will permit the Owner to refinance its existing mortgage at advantageous rates so it can make necessary capital improvements to Westview.

AFFORDABILITY PLAN HIGHLIGHTS

The Affordability Plan provides that for the next 30 years at least 55% of the 361 residential units, (199 units) will either be affordable restricted price cooperative apartments or affordable rental units. Affordable cooperative apartments will give existing tenants the opportunity to purchase at a substantial discount while restricting resale prices and instituting income limitations upon subsequent purchasers. Tenants who do not purchase apartments will be provided with rent increases tied to the “Rent Guidelines Board” increased by 6.16% plus a 0% to 5% add-on depending on the tenant’s income. Tenants who do not purchase their units will be provided subsidized rent for as long as they remain up to the next 30 years.

Please note that the cooperative Conversion will require the approval of the NYS Attorney General’s Office. In the event of non-approval, the building will convert to an “Affordable Rental” whereby at least 55% of the residential units will be provided subsidized rents as described above for the next 30 years.

As detailed in the attached Affordability Plan, the Sponsor is required to make an up-front capital contribution to the building’s Capital Reserve Fund.

GROUND RENT HIGHLIGHTS

Under the Amendment, the effective starting annual ground rent would be $325,000 (an increase as Westview does not currently pay ground rent), and would increase by 10% every 5 years during the 30 year affordable period, and thereafter at 4% per year. The ground rent amount is supported by an appraisal of the leasehold encumbered by the Affordability Plan. The ground rent was structured in order to keep cooperative maintenance charges to a minimum. Ground rent will be comprised of three components: Base Ground Rent (paid by the Lessee); Transfer Resale Fees (paid by the shareholders upon re-sale); and Capital Event Fee (referred to as Sponsor Transfer fees in the Amendment) (paid by the sponsor on initial sales). The NPV of the projected estimated revenues comes to approximately 30% of appraisal. The appraisal was performed by Jerome Haims, a highly respected appraiser with many years’ experience with public/private New York real estate. In addition, a Valuation Letter was also obtained from Newmark Knight Frank.

TAX EQUIVALENT PAYMENTS (TEP) HIGHLIGHTS

The Amendment provides for a ten (10) year phase-in of Tax Equivalent payments to market rates for units being sold or rented at market, provided that for the first thirty years, the Tax Equivalent Payments for market rate apartments will be based on 80% of the market based tax equivalent payment. Thereafter, the Equivalent Payments for market apartments will increase to 100% of market based TEP. On July, 2018, the Empire State Development Corp. of N.Y. (ESD) approved the TEP provisions in the Affordability Plan and gave its consent to the ground lease extension.

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW

Counsel has advised that the Proposed Amendment is a Type II action under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (“SEQRA”), and therefore does not require environmental review. However, as a conservative measure and for the avoidance of doubt, RIOC staff has worked with outside environmental counsel to prepare the attached Short Environmental Assessment Form and addendums (“SEAF”) to assess any potential environmental impacts that may result from the Proposed Amendment. Based on the SEAF, I recommend that RIOC conclude that the Amendment and implementation of the Affordability Plan will not have a significant adverse impact on the environment. Copies of the SEAF and a proposed negative declaration for Board approval are attached.

RECOMMENDATION
I believe that, in keeping with RIOC’s corporate mission of promoting Affordable Housing on the Island if economically feasible, the proposed ground lease extension accomplishes this and I recommend its approval....
Also, NY State Department of Homes & Community Renewal (DHCR) memo to RIOC in support of the Westview Affordability Plan.