Cornell Realty Shadow Study Defective.

Experts State Cornell Realty Shadow Study Defective

and On June 20, 2018, MTOPP and FLAC conducted a Shadow Study - Sun-Glare Forum. Pratt Institute School of Architecture’s Christina Porter Memorial Lighting Lab, and Scalar Architecture and Terreform Center for Advance Urban Research, presented their findings on the Shadow Study of Cornell Realty proposed developments.

Cornell Realty Shadow Study Performance on their EAS


All applications for rezonings must have an Environmental Analysis Statement “EAS” to determine if a project would have any negative Environmental Impacts

Cornell Reality did a shadow study analysis in which it was determined that no negative environmental impact would be created by their project.

three imagesIn their EAS they described the building as “Attachment A, Project Description.  The Proposed Actions would facilitate the construction of two predominantly residential buildings with maximum building heights of approximately 175 feet, respectively.” On page G-1 of Cornell Reality Environmental Assessment Statement CEQR # 17DCP067K.   Thus the analyses was done with 175 ft., and not 230 ft., which would include the bulkhead and *Fresh Program.

*The Fresh Program allows a developer to go up an additional 15 ft if they create a Supermarket with Fresh Produce.  This application gets applied and approved after a building permit is presented and it does not need community approval.  


CEQR Manual Worst Case Scenario for Shadow Study


The CEQR manual is the official document in which all developer must comply with when considering environmental damage which may occur as a result of development. In the 2014 CEQR Technical Manual, Chapter 8 section 314.2 Title:Determining the “worse case” scenario for shadows."

worst"The three-dimensional model of the proposed project must depict a “worst case” scenario for shadows from the building resulting from the proposed project…..If the proposed project includes *special permits or similar actions that relate to the building envelope, the “worst case” should include such allowances or restrictions on the building form. The building envelope depicting the worst case scenario must include the maximum allowed floor area, **all rooftop mechanical equipment, parapets and any other parts of the building

*The Fresh Program is a special permit that Cornell must apply for to be able to get an additional 15 ft.
**Bulkheads are part of the rooftop mechanical equipment.  Cornell Reality is allowed to build them up to 40 ft, as of right. 


Cornell Realty Faulty Shadow Study Declares No Negative Impact.

Because Cornell Realty did not do the worst case scenario their application is faulty and thus they declared that their building would not cast shadows that would negatively impact the garden.
As a result, Cornell Reality did not do an Environmental Impact Statement “EIS”. The EIS is important because it would state any negative effects the shadows will have,  as well as any ways to "mitigate" them.

Additionally, a “Scoping Hearing” would have to happen, before the Department of City Planning "Certifies" i.e. approves the project.  Thus the community would be allowed to come and question the developer about the shadows, bring counter information and demand that this site be mitigated to ensure that shadows are not cast on the garden.
All of the requests and demands of the community would be recorded and the developer would at that point have to adjust their plans to “mitigate” the negative impact. 

According to the   CEQR manual Chapter 8 section 500 Mitigation.
One form of action that the developer can take is “the reduction of the overall height of the project.

*Mitigate means a developer will have to take a "hard look" at the negative impacts and then come up with ways to reduce the negative impacts, i.e. reducing the height of the buildings etc...


Our Experts State: "Cornell Realty Did Not Use Worst Case Scenario"

According to Cornell Realty instead of using the 40ft allowable allowance for Bulkheads they included in their study a *15ft allowable allowance. Thus, they claim that their Shadow Study was done at 190 ft.


At Cornell Realty presentation on June 12, 2018 at Community Board 9 Land Use committee, Kevin Kraft from the Department of City Planning stated that Cornell Realty did their Shadow Study based upon 190 ft. This is important for it shows that even the Department of City Planning knows that the Bulkhead must be considered.

Did Cornell use 190 ft for their Shadow Study?

shadow study imageScalar Architecture analyzed Cornell Realty’s height measurements, to find out if indeed they had done their study at 190 ft.  

In the picture on the left, in gray are the Cornell Realty's shadows cast at 175 ft.; while in red, Scalar/Terreform's shadows cast at 190 ft.   This shows clearly that Cornell Realty did not perform their study at the 190ft, but at the 175 ft, which means they did not include the Bulkhead at all!!!


So not only did Cornell Realty not do the worst case scenario and include all possible allowable allowances, but they also did not include the bulkhead that even the Department of City Planning knows must be included.

*Please note:  CEQR states specifically that all allowable variations must be considered not just the proposed plans of the developer. Thus, the developer is allowed 40ft, which is the measurement that should have been included!


What Can You Do?

Sign Our Petition Demanding that Cornell Realty Go Back and Do Lawful Enviromental Review

Click Here


Come to the Cornell Realty Hearing

Date: Tuesday, June 26, 2018 at 6 pm

Location: MS 61 - 400 Empire Blvd, Corner of New York Ave and Empire Blvd

Directions: Take 2 or 5 to Sterlings St. walk one block down.