Public comments for: Procedure for Modification of Deed Restrictions

Comments

Comment:
See supporting document
Agency: DCAS
Comment:
To whom it may concern, The proposed changes to rules of the Mayor’s Office and the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) all add transparency to the process of lifting deed restrictions and I commend this as an improvement to the current process. But the new rules do not go far enough. While I support this much-needed reform of DCAS procedures, I also have a fundamental concern pertaining to public input, or the lack thereof that has characterized DCAS to date. As currently proposed, the new rules governing oversight of DCAS state that "… the Committee must consider: i. How modifying or removing the deed restriction would affect the property’s surrounding community; ii. Any input received from the community board of the community district in which the property is located, the council member representing the council district in which the property is located, or the borough president representing the borough in which the property is located Yet despite these laudable aims, there is no mechanism specified that would provide information to the relevant parties, specifically Community Boards and Council Members, or give them time to consider and respond to proposed changes to deed restrictions or other property rights. Under current recent practice of DCAS, there have been numerous instances of zero effective public notice of pending actions, which has lead to inexcusable "mistakes" and the loss of many millions of dollars in public money, thanks for example to rigged bids where only one party is informed of the goods on offer. Receiving stolen property is illegal in most circumstances, but not when DCAS is the intermediary, it would seem. In short, as has long been the case, if Community Boards, elected officials and members of the public are not informed of DCAS proceedings and other public property dispositions in advance, with sufficient daylight and time to prepare, then the " input received" under clause ii. will likely be negligible or nonexistent. This needs to change. Yet at present these proposed new rules do next to nothing to change the status quo. For these proposed rule changes to have any real positive impact on the process, then the inclusion of Community Board and public input must be of paramount concern in any attempts at reform. Ideally, to ensure sufficient community awareness and genuine input, the new committee specified under 16-02 a) ought to include a representative of the local Community Board and / or City Council member. Without genuine efforts to include the public in this process, which directly impacts the disposition of public property, there will be no real change to the status quo. After so many outrageous transgressions of the public trust, most recently at Rivington House, the citizens of New York City deserve a much more thorough overhaul of how NYC officials take care of our public property. Sincerely, Jamie Jensen
Agency: DCAS
Comment:
Please see the attached testimony from 55 Liberty Street Owners Corp. re ULURP and 28 Liberty Street
Agency: DCAS