When the Bowery Residents' Committee sprung plans for a 12-story homeless shelter, out-patient clinic and training center on the unsuspecting residents of Chelsea, the reception was not what we'd call warm. After suggesting a reduced bed count at 127 West 25th Street (where the BRC signed a 33-year lease) a member of Community Board 4 said, "We're not going to be able to get rid of them, but maybe we can make it more palatable for the area if we can bring them in to discuss it." Community board cattiness at its finest! But here's today's twist in the saga: The neighbors might have some legitimate gripes, and maybe even a smoking gun.
The Post reports that the BRC omitted nursing stations, exam rooms and doctors' offices from the plans filed with the Buildings Department, all of which are not permitted under local zoning rules. However, in a funding application filed with a state agency, plans for a full range of medical services were included. A big problem? Perhaps. The DOB says it's reviewing the proposal, but the BRC's director promises the project will comply with all zoning and legal requirements. If that's the case, there's always Plan B: Ding-dong-ditching the shelter until the residents get fed up and leave.
· Shelter plan hid shady business [NYP]
· Shelter, Affordable Housing Tower Coming to West 25th Street [Curbed]