The crane spotted by Curbed tipsters at the Gansevoort Hotel's MeatBoard last week wasn't there to dismantle it after all, but rather to attempt to re-angle the 'Board to meet the city code. Andrew Berman and the GVSHP still contend the thing's illegal, but that's not stopping the Gansevoort from charging ahead with the installation of the second MeatBoard, below the VW ad. Another tipster sends along the above photo from this morning, noting, "Saw two guys with ropes, working on the gansevoort billboard this morning." Guesses as to the next advertiser?
April 23, 2007
Patricia Lancaster, Commissioner
New York City Department of Buildings
Christopher Santulli, Manhattan B orough Commissioner
New York City Department of Buildings
Re: Hotel Gansevoort Billboards, 352 West L13th Street, 18 9th Avenue
Dear Commissioner Lancaster and Boroush Commissioner Santulli,
I write to bring to your immediate attention to an issue regarding the billboards at the above-referenced location. Over the weekend, workers swung the lower of these two billboards slightly in the direction of the hotel in an apparent attempt to make it conform to the requirement that the sign face Hudson Street at a 90 degree or greater angle. As you know, GVSHP had examined the sign and found it clearly did not conform to this requirement, and the Department of Buildings, upon closer examination, found the same to be true. It is most unfortunate that the hotel, in an attempt to avoid having the signage face their own windows, installed the billboards at less than the legally-required angle.
However, upon examination this morning, it appears that the lower billboard still faces Hudson Street at less than a 90 degree angle, albeit at a slightly greater angle than before. I therefore strongly urge you not to allow the signage to be posted at this location due to its continuing violation of this zoning requirements. I also ask that the Department require the owner to provide documentation of the exact location and angle of the sign which shows it to be at 90 degrees or greater, and that the Department independently confirm the angle of the sign and provide us with a copy of such documentation. It is clear that the owners are not to be trusted in this case, and it would be most unfortunate if their violation of the zoning were rewarded by their being allowed to post their billboards and begin to reap the considerable income which would come from it.
However, I also request that the Department respond in writing to our continuing contention that the sign also violates zoning regulations by virtue of facing both the R8-B and C6-2NC1-6 boundary lines at less than the required 90 degree angle. I have now written to the Department on three occasions regarding these issues, and have not yet received a written response. As you know, the billboard faces these district boundary lines almost face on, and to conform with this requirement it would have to be turned almost directly opposite Hudson Street and directly into the wall of the hotel, or the illumination would have to be eliminated. It is critical that this issue be addressed, especially as it would substantially change the nature of the lower sign and its continued viability at this location. I will remind you that zoning text Section 42-562 clearly states that in Ml districts such as the one in which this sign is located "within 500 feet of the boundary of a #Residence District# or #Commercial District#, except C7 or C8 Districts, any illuminated portion of any #sign# shall face at an angle of more than 90 degrees away from such boundary line." It is incontrovertible that the C6-2NC1-6 boundary line is within 500 feet of the sign, and this boundary line is clearly of a commercial district as stated in the zoning text. Therefore it seems undeniable that this provision is applicable in this case and requires that the signs be turned at a 90 degree angle to the boundary, or roughly parallel to Ninth Avenue but facing west. I look forward to hearing back from you about this matter.
Cc: City Council Speaker Quinn
Manhattan Borough President Stringer
State Senator Tom Duane
Assemblymember Deborah Glick
Community Board #2, Manhattan
Municipal Art Society