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Last night at the CB1 BPC meeting, it was announced by Anthony Notaro that the monthly meetings will no longer take place within Battery Park City. They will convene starting next month at the Chambers Street office by City Hall.
The only explanation given by Mr. Notaro was that “All of the other meetings take place there.”. Of course, all of the other CB1 subcommittees (Tribeca, Seaport, FiDi, etc.) are also much nearer to the 49 Chambers Street office.
New York Open Meeting law requires that public meetings be held in appropriate venues that are reasonably convenient for the public to attend. Rooms that are too small, for example, would be illegal locations. In §103.(d) of the law, it states, “Public bodies shall make or cause to be made all reasonable efforts to ensure that meetings are held in an appropriate facility which can adequately accommodate members of the public who wish to attend such meetings.”.
The 49 Chambers Street office is too small of a venue to host any discussion that attracts more than a dozen or so members of the public. Whenever a large crowd gathers at 49 Chambers, the public is pushed into the hallway, to the convenient benefit of the CB1 who would otherwise be overwhelmed and have to deal with the public.
For the recent North Cove Marina public discussions, hundreds of people attended the meetings at the public library on North End Avenue. The same crowds would have been unable to voice their opinions in 49 Chambers Street. Even if the office were bigger, 49 Chambers Street is a very far walk and there is no easy taxi route to it, making it an inappropriate venue to host public meetings discussing Battery Park City.
The person who made the decision to move the BPC meetings was Catherine McVay Hughes, the Chairwoman of the CB1. We called her to ask why she made the decision and she promptly hung up the phone (see video).
BatteryPark.TV has notified the appropriate federal, state, and city oversight bodies of this decision to move the meetings. They are aware of the issue.