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LES residents wounded by land use review rejection fight back

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Following last week’s ULURP rejection, the community is gearing up to address concerns at the next committee meeting

The controversy surrounding tall towers rising on the Lower East Side continues: Last week, the Department of City Planning rejected the community’s request for a land use review for the towers; now, LES residents are attempting to determine what steps they will take next. In a observation from The Lo Down, we get a sense of what exactly that might entail.

A Department of City Planning rep will have to face a land use committee in September to explain how the department will conduct its environmental review study. During this process, the public will likely get a chance to voice concerns over the proposed 77-story skyscraper by JDS at 247 Cherry Street, along with two 50-story towers by L + M Development Partners and the CIM Group at 260 South Street, and a 60-story building by Starrett Corp. at 271-283 South Street.

An environmental impact study will also take place, which will give the community opportunities to address concerns like transportation, schools, and the like. According to the Department of City Planning, this will help determine "specific mitigation measures to be used, together with written agreement to their implementation from applicable agencies."

JDS Group will send a rep to the meeting, slated for September 26, to brief the Community Board on its proposal. Though JDS’s skyscraper is tied up in litigation, The Lo Down claims that the project is still moving forward with City Planning, citing a source who says the issue stemmed from two applications for the same parcel, not the breach-of-contract lawsuit. The community board will seek clarity regarding the planned 77-story tower during the meeting.

UPDATE: An earlier version of this post did not address the potential implications of an Environmental Impact Study on the development; the piece has been updated to reflect that information. Curbed regrets the error.