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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
email: giuliani@www.ci.nyc.ny.us

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The Turtle Bay Association is a nonprofit (501c3) community organization.

224 East 47th Street, New York City 10017
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