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An Encouraging Piece of Legislative News on NYC CG Intro 206

  • Subject: [cg] An Encouraging Piece of Legislative News on NYC CG Intro 206
  • From: "Honigman, Adam" <Adam.Honigman@Bowne.com>
  • Date: Thu, 6 Jun 2002 17:11:20 -0400


New Yorkers for Parks (a mainline Parks & Recreation Organization that
started off last year as Parks 2001 and which has, bless them,  recently
learned to love community gardens)forwarded me the attached "Victory"
notice. The two other groups listed in their message, the New York League of
Conservation Voters and the Municipal Arts Society have been long standing
and firm friends of community gardens in this city. 

It is encouraging news and reflective of the hard work that the citywide
community garden coalitions: BANG, Bedford-Stuyvesant Garden Coalition,
Bronx United Gardeners, Bronx Garden Coalition, Brownsville Garden
Coalition, East New York Gardeners Association, La Familia Verde, More
Gardens! Coalition, New York City Garden Coalition, Brooklyn Greenbridge,
Brooklyn Parks Advocates, Citizen's Committee for New York City, Earth
Celebrations, Green Guerillas, Green Thumb, Neighborhood Open Space
Coalition, New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, New York
Restoration Project/New York Garden Trust, Queens Coalitions for Parks,
Trust for Public Land and the Manhattan Parks & Open Green Space Coalition,
hundreds of community gardens and thousands of community gardeners have done
since the middle 1970's.

The constant support of the American Community Gardening Association has
been a sustaining part of our struggle since the beginning. 

The Clinton Community Garden has done its part by helping to bring in  3 of
the 27 councilpersons on the list by active participation in the political
life in our neighborhood and city. Our garden chair,  Annie Chadwick is
co-chair of the Manhattan Parks & Open Green Space Coalition. Most of our
3,000 keyholder are registered voters...


There are 51 NYC Councilmembers and while 27 councipersons IS a majority, it
is not OVERWHELMING. The city is in the toughest budget negotiations in over
30 years because of 9-11 and the death of the dot.coms. Remember that in the
larger scheme of things, the cg negotiations are a sideshow. However, we
might get the bill done this time if...

Work to be done: 

1) City Council Speaker Gifford Miller, a sponsor of the previous
incarnation of the Bill, Intro 742/743, has not yet signed on - he has
wanted this bill to "trickle up" from the floor...and it has. It is within
his power to let this bill get to the floor for a vote.  

City Council Speaker Gifford Miller has not yet signed on - his major
negotiating partner in the budget negotiations, Mayor Bloomberg 

is in oppostion to  Intro 206. Remember that police, health, education, and
all city services are on the table now. 

That we have 27 committed City Councilpersons out of 51, in the face of all
of this is pretty close to miraculous.

But we need City Council Speaker Miller to let the bill come to the floor of
the NYC Council for a vote!  

2)  Key to all of this is NYC Councilperson Margherita Lopez of Manhattan
who has so many endangered Manhattan Community Gardens in her district.
Councilperson Lopez is trapped between a rock and a hard place on this one
because of low-income housing issues. 

With Speaker Miller and Councilperson Lopez there are still 24 uncommitteds
on Intro 206 - and believe me, copies of this bill have been put into the
hands of all 51 NYC councilpersons and their aides.

This is the website of the NYC Council, with addresses, e-mails, etc. for
all the members, including the uncommitted http://www.council.nyc.ny.us/ 

3) Influential to this effort are the 5 Borough Presidents who are tied into
the process and whose opinions mean a great deal to the NYC Councilpersons.

a) Bronx Borough President Carrion


b) Brooklyn Borough President Marekowitz


c) Manhattan Borough President Fields


d) Queens Borough President Marshall


e) Staten Island Borough President Molinaro


Here is the website of Mayor Michael Bloomberg who has been more garden
positive than any mayor, hertofore. However he is not an Intro 206 fan. 

Here is his website: 


Things to do for NYC community gardeners:

Please contact your local city council person. If they have committed to the
bill, please send e-mails, phone calls and letters. The third is probably
the most important because mail takes up space and is counted. Repeat weekly
until the bill is passed. 

If your city council person has NOT committed to the bill, please send
e-mails, phone calls and letters. The third is probably the the most
important because mail takes up space and is counted . Repeat twice weekly
until the bill is passed.

Please do the same for your Borough President and the Mayor.

Things to do for non-NYC community gardeners: 


Please send an e-mail and a letter to NYC Speaker Miller and NYC Mayor
Bloomberg explaining that you love visiting and spending money in NYC, but
would REALLY like to visit a NYC that has passed NYC Council Intro  206 and
thus has preserved community gardens for you to visit while in NYC. IF YOU

Thank you, 

Adam Honigman

P.S Here is a cut and pasted copy of Intro 206 for your perusal:

Int. No. 206
By Council Members Serrano, Sanders, Addabbo, Rivera Jackson and Davis

A Local Law to amend the Administrative Code of the City of New York, in
relation to the establishment and maintenance of GreenThumb Community
Be it enacted by the Council as follows 
Section 1.  Legislative declaration.  The Council hereby finds and declares
that community gardeners make a significant contribution to the civic and
cultural life of cities all across America, are encouraged and supported by
government entities and create gathering places that bring communities
together across boundaries of age and ethnicity. 
The City of New York (hereinafter referred to as the "City") has less than
half the public parkland per capita of most American cities and most
community gardens tend to be in neighborhoods with the least amount of
public parkland. 
The City has one of the lowest open space standards for its citizens of any
metropolitan area in the country (only 2.5 acres per 1000 residents).
Thirty-three of New York City's 59 Community Planning Districts, or 56%, do
not meet even this meager open space standard, and 49% of the Districts have
less than 1.5 acres of open space per 1000 residents and are communities of
color where the non-white and Hispanic population exceeds 65%. 
The GreenThumb Community Gardens (hereinafter "GreenThumb Gardens") add
value to our City by providing services such as child-care, opportunities
for healthful physical activity, environmental education, cultural
activities and increasing adjacent real estate values.   In many of our
City's communities it costs a family of five people $15 in transportation
fees just to get to and from a green public space. 
The GreenThumb Gardens support community policing efforts by putting eyes on
the street, by enabling community improvement opportunities for people who
feel alienated from civic life and by working with young people. 
A survey of GreenThumb Gardeners by State Senator John Sampson's office in
1997 found that 57% of the respondents used the gardens for nature education
for young and older citizens, and 53% composted or recycled in the gardens.
The City's GreenThumb Gardens provide healthful food for people at the
bottom of the economic ladder while demonstrating to both young and old
where food comes from. 
The City has never created a comprehensive planning document that includes
GreenThumb Gardens as part of a neighborhood or citywide infrastructure yet
affordable housing and accessible green open spaces like GreenThumb Gardens
work together to improve the overall quality of life in a neighborhood.
These verdant spaces provide oases of peace and calm for all in a City that
is under-served in the areas of gardening, horticulture, recreational
opportunities and natural areas.       
Finally, the estimated $53 million per year in sweat equity and
contributions of their own funds to pay for GreenThumb Garden expenses made
by garden volunteers should not be overlooked. 
The City Council, therefore, seeks to set up a fair and equitable system for
allowing communities to create new GreenThumb Gardens and to formally apply
for the preservation of GreenThumb Gardens in their neighborhoods. 
2. Chapter one of Title 18 of the Administrative Code of the City of New
York is hereby amended by the addition of a new section 18-132 to read as
 18-132 GreenThumb Community Gardens. 
a. Definitions. For the purposes of this section, the following terms shall
have the following meanings: 
1. "GreenThumb Community Garden" or "GreenThumb Garden" is a plot or plots
of City-owned land, registered with GreenThumb and designed, built and
maintained by a Garden Group with technical assistance from GreenThumb, to
provide open space, community programming and/or food, and to beautify
2.	"Community Garden Group" or "Garden Group" is a volunteer group of
gardeners and/or other concerned citizens, which, pursuant to an agreement
with the City, establishes and maintains a GreenThumb Community Garden. 
3.	"GreenThumb Garden Trust" or "GreenThumb" shall be a non-profit
corporation or local development corporation that offers technical and
material assistance to Community Garden Groups that enter management
agreements with it, and holds title in perpetuity to those GreenThumb
Gardens that qualify for permanent garden status, expressly for the
protection of such spaces for public use. 
4.	"Management Agreement" shall be a two-year, renewable and revocable
agreement between GreenThumb and a Garden Group outlining the maintenance
and management responsibilities that the Garden Group must fulfill to
operate a GreenThumb Garden, and the material assistance GreenThumb will
provide to the Garden Group in return. 
5.	"Department of Parks and Recreation" or "Parks" shall be the New
York City Department of Parks and Recreation. 
b. Designation. Any GreenThumb Garden created pursuant to this local law,
shall be designated and labeled as a "GreenThumb Community Garden" in City
land use records, including but not limited to the Integrated Property
Information System (IPIS) and City tax maps, but not including the City
Zoning Resolution. 
c. Management Agreements. All GreenThumb Gardens shall be transferred to the
Department of Parks and Recreation, to be administered by the GreenThumb
Garden Trust. The GreenThumb Garden Trust shall enter a management agreement
with the Department of Parks and Recreation ("Parks") for the management of
all GreenThumb Gardens, and shall establish sub-management agreements
("Management Agreements") with each GreenThumb Garden. Where a GreenThumb
Garden shall have been registered prior to the effective date of this local
law, a Management Agreement shall be signed between GreenThumb and the
Garden Group within ninety (90) days of the effective date of this local
d. Permanent Garden Status. 
1. GreenThumb shall establish, with the approval of the City Planning
Commission, a procedure through which registered Garden Groups shall have
the opportunity to apply via the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP),
Section 197-c of the New York City Charter, for permanent garden status
through transfer of title of such property to the GreenThumb Garden Trust,
under the jurisdiction of the City Department of Parks and Recreation. Where
an application for conveyance of the property title to the GreenThumb Garden
Trust is approved pursuant to a resolution adopted by the City Council, the
City shall convey such title to the GreenThumb Garden Trust for the sum of
one dollar ($1.00). 
2. Should a GreenThumb Garden not be approved for permanent garden statusand
such property has not been requested for development by a City agency or
private developer, the Garden Group may continue to manage the land for
successive two-year terms and may reapply for permanent garden status after
a period of two (2) years from the date of such denial. 
3. Should a GreenThumb Garden be approved for permanent garden status the
property shall be transferred to the GreenThumb Garden Trust to be managed
by the Garden Group in accordance with such rules as shall be established by
the GreenThumb Garden Trust. The City Council resolution approving such
permanent garden status shall be a recordable instrument that shall be
recorded with the deed to such real property. The Department of Parks and
Recreation shall retain a right of reverter so that if at any time Parks and
the GreenThumb Garden Trust determine that the Garden Group is not managing
the GreenThumb Garden in accordance with the established management rules,
the property shall revert to Parks.
e. Development of GreenThumb Garden. If any City-owned property containing a
registered GreenThumb Garden is requested by any City agency or private
developer for development or for any use other than as a GreenThumb Garden,
such action must be approved through a full review in accordance with the
Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), Section 197-c of the New York
City Charter. The property so requested for development must be identified
as a GreenThumb Garden in all plans, documents, meetings and hearings
related to such development proposal.
f. Alternative GreenThumb Garden Site. If, after completion of ULURP, the
GreenThumb Garden property is approved for development or some use other
than as a GreenThumb Garden, the Department of City Planning shall work with
the Garden Group to identify a nearby alternative site of at least the same
size for a replacement GreenThumb Garden or shall seek to incorporate space
for a replacement GreenThumb Garden within the proposed development before
the original GreenThumb Garden property is altered in any way or title for
such property is conveyed. The provisions of this local law relating to
Management Agreements and the opportunity for permanent garden status shall
apply to such replacement GreenThumb Garden. 
g.	New GreenThumb Gardens. A minimum of five neighborhood residents may
apply to the City on such forms as GreenThumb shall proscribe, to manage a
City-owned vacant lot, or several such adjacent lots, as a new GreenThumb
Garden for a term of two years, subject to review of any existing
development plans for the property. Applicants must have a letter of support
from the local Community Board for the area in which the GreenThumb Garden
will be located.   Management Agreements for new GreenThumb Gardens may be
cancelled for non-compliance with the GreenThumb rules of operation. After
such initial two-year management term, the Garden Group shall have the
opportunity to propose the GreenThumb Garden for permanent garden status
under the same mechanism as provided for existing gardens in Section (d).
Should a Garden Group not wish to apply for permanent status, it may
continue to renew its Management Agreement for additional two-year terms.
The City may cancel any GreenThumb Garden Management Agreement upon ninety
(90) days' notice should there be a development or other proposal for such
GreenThumb Garden property where such disposition has been reviewed and
approved through ULURP. 
3. Severability. If any provision of this local law or application thereof
is adjudged by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such
judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof, and
the remainder of this local law, and the application thereof to other
persons or circumstances shall not be affected by such holding and shall
remain in full force and effect. 
4. This local law shall take effect immediately.


-----Original Message-----
From: Stephanie Elson [mailto:selson@ny4p.org]
Sent: Thursday, June 06, 2002 3:24 PM
To: Stephanie Elson

> New Yorkers for Parks, New York League of Conservation Voters and the
> Municipal Arts Society are pleased to announce that a majority of the City
> Council have pledged their support for the GreenThumb Community Garden
> Legislation #0206.  This Legislation creates a participatory process in
> evaluating vacant lots and determining whether they become housing or
> gardens.  
> New Yorkers for Parks, New York League of Conservation Voters and
> Municipal Arts Society advocacy efforts at yesterday's stated council
> meeting increased Council support from 21 to 27 members.  
> We are hopeful that the official vote will take place soon.
Call the Council: (212) 788-7100
-- Encourage a hearing to be scheduled soon as possible 
-- Urge members who have not yet signed on to do so

> Jose Serrano (BX)
> James Sanders (QN)
> Joe Addabbo Jr. (QN)
> Joel Rivera (BX)
> Robert Jackson (MN)
> James Davis (BK)
> Yvette Clarke (BK)
> Leroy Comrie (QN)
> Erik Dilan (BK)
> Alan Gerson (MN)
> Eric Gioia (QN)
> G. Oliver Koppell (BX)
> Miguel Martinez (MN)
> Bill Perkins (MN)
> Christine Quinn (MN)
> Philip Reed (MN)
> David Weprin (QN)
> James Gennaro (QN)
> Maria Baez (BX)
> Ruben Diaz (BX)
> Helen Foster (BX)
> Charles Barron (BK)
> Albert Vann (BK)
> Angel Rodriguez (BK)
> Larry Seabrooke (BX)
> Gale Brewer (MN) 

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