Round Two: the Appeal
By Ted Levine
The legal battle to prevent construction of Trump
World Tower, billed as "the World's Tallest Residential Building,"
has heated up. An appeal of the Buildings Department refusal to
revoke its permit for the 90-story structure has been filed with
the City Board of Standards and Appeals by the Coalition for Responsible
Development on behalf of all of the community organizations in the
vicinity, including the Turtle Bay Association.
On April 21, the Department of Buildings (DOB) denied
the request by the Coalition that the permit be revoked. The denial
came in a one-paragraph statement responding to almost 100 pages
of legal argument filed by Donald A. Elliott, attorney for the Coalition
and former head of the New York City Planning Commission, and attorneys
for the Trump building.
In response to the decision, Donald Trump insulted
local residents by commenting to the press, "It's clear on
the face that the few opponents, and they are few, aren't even able
to read the simplest of English."
TBA President and Coalition Co-chair Bill Curtis is
determined to demonstrate that opponents to Trump's colossal tower
number far more than a few. On June 23, the day of the hearing before
the Board of Standards & Appeals, TBA organized a press conference
on the steps of City Hall and arranged busses to transport protesters.
Walter Cronkite served as the spokeperson at that conference, speaking
eloquently on behalf of the neighborhood. TBA board member Blair
Clark lined up some of Turtle Bay's most distinguished residents
and the Municipal Art Society to add weight to the Coalition's case.
Curtis noted, "It's not over just because you see a construction
crane; Trump is proceeding at his own risk."
To impress upon the Mayor the community's opposition to the out-of-scale
Trump World Tower and the need for zoning reform, TBA is making
sure the letter-writing campaign continues unabated. Signatures
have been collected at a sidewalk table positioned in front of the
Associated supermarket on Second Avenue, as well as at street fairs
and other community events.
TBA Zoning and Land-use Chairman Bruce Silberblatt suggests that
the following points be made in writing the Mayor: the permit issued
by the Buildings Department to Trump was legally flawed; his planned
90-story tower is totally out of scale with the area and would dwarf
the UN Secretariat; every East Side midtown community is against
it, as well as such environmentally conscious organizations as the
Municipal Art Society. In short, it's bad for New York and the design
should be modified to satisfy both the spirit and letter of the
City's zoning regulations.
NEWS FLASH: Opponents of Trump World Tower got help from an unexpected
source when the Federal Aviation Administration charged that the
Trump Organization had not filed a required form and said that the
building would need to have a "light blinking 40 times a minute."(reported
in The New York Times, June 17, 1999)
WRITE THE MAYOR
Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani
City Hall, New York, NY 10007
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Turtle Bay Association is a nonprofit (501c3) community
224 East 47th Street, New York City 10017
Fax (212) 751-4941