Council speaker proposes overhaul of land use process

first_imgMessage* Full Name* City Council speaker Corey Johnson (Getty; iStock)For decades, politicians and advocates have tried and failed to take a more comprehensive approach to land use decisions in the city. But now the City Council speaker himself has mapped out a plan.Corey Johnson released a report Wednesday calling for a 10-year, citywide planning framework that sets long-term goals for housing, transportation, public space and other community needs.It also adds opportunities for the public to weigh in on what happens in their neighborhoods. The speaker is expected to introduce related legislation Thursday.The plan gives City Council members broader authority to set the long-term future of their districts, but ostensibly takes away their de facto ability to kill applications submitted through the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure.Read moreMenchaca opposes Industry City rezoningIndustry City said it agreed to Council member’s demandsHere’s how Industry City’s controversial rezoning unraveled Email Address* Under the proposal, a newly named Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability — currently the Office of Sustainability — would draft a long-term plan that includes land-use scenarios for each district.Borough presidents, community boards and members of the public could express opinions on the scenarios, but the City Council would ultimately decide the plan for each district.Ulurp, the city’s seven-month land use review process, would also no longer require all rezonings to get City Council approval. But there is a loophole that would let the chamber retain its control over the process.Applications would have to include a “statement of alignment” demonstrating how the proposal fits into the district’s approved land-use scenario. The City Planning Commission would then determine if the application is in step with that scenario.The loophole is that in cases where the City Council disagrees with City Planning’s decision, members could still take up the proposal — and reject it.The overall idea, according to the report, is to incentivize developers to submit applications that align with the scenario to avoid additional approval steps. But it is not clear why City Council members would forgo their chance to vote on it. Land use is a critical source of members’ power.When asked during a press conference on Wednesday if Council members would give up their final vote on Ulurp applications, Johnson said it was difficult to say.“Members have different viewpoints,” he said, adding that the conversations leading up to the Ulurp process would likely lead to fewer applications being heard by the council. “There would have been a proactive process that I would think Council members would be engaged with,” he said.City Council members have been asking for more power over the process, not less. They often complain that their options are limited when developers pitch projects, especially when there is an as-of-right alternative that the member deems unacceptable.Developers would also potentially be able to avoid certain environmental reviews if their plan complies with a broader environmental impact statement completed as part of the city’s long-term plan. An environmental impact statement, currently required for many projects, adds months and huge costs to projects, and limits developers’ ability to change plans.The proposal also seeks to reform the city’s “piecemeal approach to planning,” saying that it has “largely neglected brown and Black neighborhoods, immigrants, people with disabilities, and low-income New Yorkers.”Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing initiative, specifically rezonings under the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program, has been repeatedly criticized for targeting low-income neighborhoods while not asking wealthy enclaves to shoulder more of the city’s affordable housing burden.The report calls for the formation of a steering committee which would create a series of citywide goals that would be required under the City Charter to “reduce and eliminate disparities in access to opportunity and the distribution of resources and development across race, geography, and socioeconomic status.”The steering committee and sustainability office would also create district-level targets to “correct segregationist policies.”The proposal, however, doesn’t outline specific zoning legislation or policies to rectify the maladies it identifies in the city’s current system. Much of the heavy lifting is left to the early stages of the framework, which include studies on the city’s most urgent needs.The report recognizes that since at least 1930, multiple attempts have been made to address city planning in a more holistic way — with little success. The report says the Bloomberg administration’s PlaNYC 2030, which also set out to create a more comprehensive long-term planning process, fell short because it lacked “specificity with respect to land use, zoning, and capital planning.”Passage of Johnson’s plan is far from guaranteed. It would, at the least, require the approval of city legislation and likely changes to the City Charter. Johnson is expected to discuss the report and proposed legislation during a press conference Wednesday afternoon.At the same time as the conference, several groups are planning to protest outside City Hall, calling for a pause to all remote Ulurp meetings. According to the Village Sun, the groups are opposed to the administration’s proposed rezoning of Soho and Noho.Contact Kathryn Brenzelcenter_img Share via Shortlink Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Tagscorey johnsonPoliticsulurplast_img read more

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Greenwich Village penthouse once asking $50M sells for $14M

first_imgMichael and Elin Nierenberg and their newly purchased penthouse at 66 East 11th Street. (Getty, Douglas Elliman) A Greenwich Village penthouse has just sold for roughly half its original asking price — the second time that has happened.Michael Nierenberg, the head of mortgage REIT New Residential Investment, and his wife Elin bought the penthouse at 66 East 11th Street for $14 million, the New York Post reported. It was listed in 2017 for $33.75 million, then went through a series of price cuts before the Nierenbergs scooped it up for a song — relatively speaking, anyway.In 2013 the penthouse had hit the market with an eye-popping price tag of $50 million. It took three years for it to sell, closing at $26 million in 2016.ADVERTISEMENTThe triplex penthouse is located within the Delos building, known for touting so-called wellness amenities like Vitamin C-infused showers and circadian rhythm lighting. Deepak Chopra, who has a connection to Delos, and Leonardo DiCaprio both called the building home.The apartment itself has four bedrooms, five bathrooms, a private elevator entrance and a 2,300-square-foot roof deck complete with glass-enclosed solarium.The Nierenbergs recently let go of another pricey Village property: Their townhouse at 20 East 10th Street, which was once owned by Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, sold in November for $15.85 million. That was 13 percent below its final asking price of $18.25 million.Nierenberg, late of Bear Stearns, Fortress and Merrill Lynch, in 2013 formed New Residential, a nonbank lender which provides mortgages to buyers who cannot get or don’t want conventional loans because of bad credit or other issues.New Residential stock, like the price tag of the home Nierenberg just bought, has come down quite a bit. It’s worth just over half of what it was when the pandemic hit.[NYP] — Amy PlittContact Amy Plitt Full Name* Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Message*center_img Email Address* Share via Shortlinklast_img read more

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Muscle structure and differentiation in pelagic and demersal stages of the Antarctic teleost Notothenia neglecta

first_imgThe distribution and fine structure of muscle-fibre types has been determined for the pelagic fingerling and demersal adult stages of the antarctic teleost Notothenia neglecta Nybelin, collected from Signy Island, Antarctica, between January and February 1984. In both stages, the pectoral fin adductor muscle (m.ad.p) is largely composed of slow fibres which contain abundant mitochondria (34 to 36%). During development, the ratio of capillaries to fibres increases less than does fibre diameter, so that capillary density is significantly lower in the m.ad.p of adults (498 mm-2) than fingerlings (1 727 mm-2). The secondary metamorphosis from a pelagic to a demersal mode of life is associated with the disappearance of subcutaneous lipid sacs and major changes in the distribution and structure of muscle fibres in the myotomes. The trunk cross-section of adult fish is almost entirely composed of poorly vascularised fast-muscle fibres (100 capillaries mm-2), which contain densely packed myofibrils (86.3%), and have few mitochondria (1.4%). Slow-muscle fibres in adults are restricted to a thin wedge adjacent to the lateral line canal. In contrast, slow fibres occur around the entire circumference of the trunk in fingerlings representing 24% of the total cross-sectional area at the post-anal level. Volume densities (%) of mitochondria, intracellular lipid and myofibrils in this tissue are respectively 37.0, 7.9, 38.6 for fingerlings and 13.1, 0, 70.3 for adults. Slow-muscle fibres in adult fish are of unusually large diameter (50 to 120 μm) and have relatively low capillary densities (266 mm-2). These morphological changes reflect a general decrease in activity and a shift from a sub-carangiform to a labriform mode of swimming following transition from the fingerling to adult stage of the life cycle. The results are briefly discussed in relation to the physiology and ecology of antarctic fish.last_img read more

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An evolutionary framework for the polar regions

first_imgAbstract: Our knowledge of the nature, generation and maintenance of largescale biodiversity patterns is still far from complete. This is particularly so in the Southern Hemisphere and in the marine realm, where recent taxonomic investigations of Mollusca and other invertebrate groups has cast doubt upon the existence of a simple cline in species richness between the tropics and the pole. Comparatively high regional diversity values for the shelled gastropods and other epifaunal taxa implies a considerable evolutionary legacy; this is supported, at least in part, by available evidence from the fossil record. Certain families within the living gastropod fauna maintain their prominence when traced back 40 m.y., and perhaps even longer; in addition, several Southern Ocean gastropod and bivalve genera can now be traced back to at least the late Eocene. Use of a variety of refugia may have enabled many taxa to survive repeated glacial advances. As we begin to revise our concept of the nature of latitudinal diversity gradients, so we also need to examine regional variations in evolutionary rates. Clearly this is a complex issue. but recourse to a pilot study based on the molluscan fossil record suggests that there may be no significant difference between the rates of radiation of tropical and cold-temperatdpolar taxa. The most diverse clades, which are all tropical, are simply the oldest. What data are available from the fossil record indicate that there is no appreciable latitudinal variation in rates of extinction either. Time, but not necessarily environmental stability, would appear to be crucial to the development of pockets of high taxonomic diversity. Recent improvement in our understanding of the biology of many polar marine invertebrates suggests that life in cold water is not an insuperable evolutionary problem. Of qual importance to any intrinsic properties of organisms which may have governed the differentiation of large-scale biodiversity patterns is the role of extrinsic processes. Foremost among these has almost certainly been repeated range shifts in response to Cenozoic climatic cycles.last_img read more

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A new stratigraphy for the Latady Basin, Antarctic Peninsula: Part 1, Ellsworth Land Volcanic Group

first_imgThe Jurassic Mount Poster Formation of eastern Ellsworth Land, southern Antarctic Peninsula, comprises silicic ignimbrites related to intracontinental rifting of Gondwana. The identification of less voluminous basaltic and sedimentary facies marginal to the silicic deposits has led to a reclassification of the volcanic units into the Ellsworth Land Volcanic Group. This is formally subdivided into two formations: the Mount Poster Formation (silicic ignimbrites), and the Sweeney Formation (basaltic and sedimentary facies). The Mount Poster Formation rhyolites are an intracaldera sequence greater than 1 km in thickness. The basaltic and sedimentary facies of the Sweeney Formation are consistent with deposition in a terrestrial setting into, or close to, water. The geochemistry of the Mount Poster Formation is consistent with derivation of the intracaldera rhyolites from a long-lived, upper crustal magma chamber. The basalts of the Sweeney Formation are intermediate between asthenosphere- and lithosphere-derived magmas, with little or no subduction-modified component. The basalt could represent a rare erupted part of the basaltic underplate that acted as the heat source for local generation of the rhyolites. U–Pb ion microprobe zircon geochronology of samples from the Mount Poster Formation yield an average eruption age of 183.4±1.4 Ma. Analysis of detrital zircons from a Sweeney Formation sandstone suggest a maximum age of deposition of 183±4 Ma and the two formations are considered coeval. In addition, these ages are coincident with eruption of the Karoo-Ferrar Igneous Province in southern Africa and East Antarctica. Our interpretation of the Ellsworth Land Volcanic Group is consistent with the model that the Jurassic volcanism of Patagonia and the Antarctic Peninsula took place in response to intracontinental extension driven by arrival of a plume in that area.last_img read more

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Thermal niche separation in two sympatric tropical intertidal Laternula (Bivalvia: Anomalodesmata)

first_imgFactors determining thermal niche separation of two sympatric infaunal bivalves (Laternula truncata and L. boschasina) occurring in a Singapore mangrove were examined by comparing experienced microhabitat temperature with the thermal dependency of mortality and burrowing (both success and speed). The shallow burrowing L. boschasina, which experiences a wider range of environmental temperatures than the deeper burrowing L. truncata, can burrow over a wider temperature range (18.8–37.9 °C) than L. truncata (20.7–36.3 °C), a thermal window which corresponds closely to the maximum and minimum sediment temperatures predicted from the extreme air temperatures recorded in Singapore (22.1 to 35.7 °C for L. truncata and 18.8 to 38.5 °C for L. boschasina). The upper lethal limit of L. boschasina (36.4 to 38.4 °C) was also higher than that of L. truncata (33.5–35.5 °C), but the lower lethal limit of L. truncata (5.7–5.7 °C) was considerably lower than L. boschasina (18.1–20.4 °C) and microhabitat temperature. This apparent niche separation of lower limits was also mirrored in the speed of burrowing: L. boschasina maintained a constant burrowing speed across its temperature range, whilst L. truncata burrowed more slowly at low temperatures. The much greater predation pressure on the shallow burrowing L. boschasina may provide the selective pressure for the maintenance of activity at the expense of reduced survival at low temperatures.last_img read more

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Physical and behavioural influences on larval fish retention: contrasting patterns in two Antarctic fishes

first_imgWaters around South Georgia are amongst the most productive in the Southern Ocean, and support internationally important fisheries. However, there is significant inter-annual variability in fish stocks, and some species have failed to recover from historical overfishing. Dispersal and retention of the planktonic eggs and larvae of marine fish can play a key role in the maintenance of adult stocks. We use a numerical modelling approach to examine the influence of oceanographic and life-history variability on the dispersal and retention of 2 Antarctic fishes: Champsocephalus gunnari (mackerel icefish) and Notothenia rossii (marbled rockcod). Mean retention of N. rossii larvae was predicted to be 5.3%, considerably lower than that of C. gunnari (31.3%), a difference related to the longer planktonic period of the former. Such apparent loss of larvae from local recruitment grounds may contribute to the failure of the N. rossii population to recover from its collapse in the 1970s. However, retention of both species showed high inter-annual variability. Dispersal and retention of C. gunnari were strongly influenced by location of the spawning site, with the greatest contribution to overall retention from spawning sites on the southwest South Georgia shelf. In addition, a consistent feature in C. gunnari was a lack of larval exchange between the proximate South Georgia and Shag Rocks shelves, regions separated by only 240 km. Our findings provide insights into the demographic dynamics and connectivity of C. gunnari and N. rossii populations at South Georgia in relation to prospects for recovery and ongoing responses to environmental variability and change in the region.last_img read more

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Wintertime water mass modification near an Antarctic ice front

first_imgUnder ice measurements by seals carrying a miniaturized conductivity–temperature–depth (CTD) instrument fill an important gap in existing observations. Here the authors present data from an instrumented Weddell seal that spent eight consecutive months (February–September) foraging in close proximity to the Filchner Ice Shelf, thus providing detailed information about the evolution of mixed layer hydrography during the austral autumn and winter. The resultant time series of hydrography shows strong seasonal water mass modification, dominated by an upper-ocean (0–300 m) salinity increase of 0.31, corresponding to 3.1 m sea ice growth, and the development of a 500-m thick winter mixed layer. Observations furthermore highlight a gradual salinity increase in a slow (3–5 cm s−1) southward flow on the continental shelf, toward the site, and suggest that the inferred ice production is better considered as a regional average rather than being purely local. No clear seasonality is observed in the properties of the underlying Ice Shelf Water.last_img read more

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School characteristics of mesopelagic fish at South Georgia

first_imgIn this paper, we describe the variation in myctophid schools characteristics at South Georgia using multi-frequency acoustic data collected annually between November 2007 and January 2012. We studied the relationship between the proximity of land and the distribution and schooling characteristics of myctophid fish. We also examined patterns in schooling behaviour in relation to oceanographic data. Fish schools were identified using a dual-frequency dB identification method (Sv120−38 kHz), where negative Sv120−38 kHz is indicative of gas-bearing organisms, such as swimbladdered fish. Available net data were used to provide information on the meosopelagic fish community in the region. School morphometrics (e.g. length, thickness, area) data were extracted and pooled according to their distance from the shore (0–30 km, 30–60 km, 60–90 km, 90–120 km). A total of 578 schools were detected in the survey region and there was high variation in school backscattering strength (NASC), length, height, perimeter, depth and horizontal distribution between surveys, including distinct inter-annual variation in these parameters when surveys were conducted in the same season (2009–2012). Schools were distributed predominantly on-shelf (0–500 m isobaths) during some summer surveys (2007 and 2012) and predominantly off-shelf on others (>500 m isobaths; 2009, 2010 and 2011). There was also evidence of bathymetric separation in the horizontal distribution of schools. Schools observed in the late-season in 2008 had the greatest NASC, largest height and the deepest depth distribution. Most schools occurred at depths between ∼60–300 m, but they did not occupy the same water masses during each survey. Schools became progressively thinner, shallower and acoustically weaker with increasing distance to land, whilst school length and perimeter increased correspondingly. The change in fish schooling behaviour between environments could be a response to a combination of local predatory threats over short spatial/temporal scales and differences in oceanographic conditions, such as current velocity. The trend could also be evidence of spatial habitat partitioning of myctophids, with different schooling species, or different life-stages, orientating along a bathymetric gradient at South Georgia.last_img read more

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Belgica antarctica (Diptera: Chironomidae): A natural model organism for extreme environments

first_imgBelgica antarctica (Diptera: Chironomidae), a brachypterous midge endemic to the maritime Antarctic, was first described in 1900. Over more than a century of study, a vast amount of information has been compiled on the species (3 750 000 Google search results as of January 10, 2021), encompassing its ecology and biology, life cycle and reproduction, polytene chromosomes, physiology, biochemistry and, increasingly, omics. In 2014, B. antarctica’s genome was sequenced, further boosting research. Certain developmental stages can be cultured successfully in the laboratory. Taken together, this wealth of information allows the species to be viewed as a natural model organism for studies of adaptation and function in extreme environments.last_img read more

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