PSCC Resolution on New York Methodist Hospital Expansion


Whereas the Park Slope Civic Council recognizes:

That New York Methodist Hospital (hereinafter the “Hospital”) has been part of the Park Slope community for well over 100 years and continues to serve a vital function by providing comprehensive health care services to Park Slope residents and the wider Brooklyn community;

That the health care delivery system has undergone great changes in recent years through new and evolving standards of care that enable patients who once required lengthy hospitalization to be treated on an out-patient basis;

That the Hospital seeks to create a facility contiguous to its existing complex that would be devoted to out-patient treatment and associated uses; and

That the Hospital states that it is necessary to expand to remain economically viable, competitive with other hospitals in the New York area, and able to sustain its mission as a vital part of Brooklyn’s health care delivery system that has witnessed the closure or threatened closure of many hospitals.

But Whereas, the Park Slope Civic Council also acknowledges that the Park Slope community:

Has legitimate concerns about the environmental and visual impacts of an addition to the Hospital’s physical plant of its proposed magnitude and its attendant adverse effects on quality of life issues, such as traffic congestion, pedestrian safety, noise, and the historic scale and fabric of the neighborhood, among others; and

Has brought these concerns to the attention of hospital officials, its development team, the Community Board, and the New York City Board of Standards and Appeals; and the Community Board has voted to support the project subject to certain stipulations;

And Whereas the Park Slope Civic Council:

Has convened several trustees with relevant architectural and project management expertise with the Hospital and its development team to explore in detail how the Hospital can further address the community’s concerns, including the possibility of building on top of the existing parking garage;

Has received a much more thorough and credible explanation with regard to the constraints imposed by building on the parking garage that would either: 1) preclude the physical connection between the floors on top of the garage and the proposed U-shaped facility such that it would not achieve the desired reduction in bulk adjacent to sensitive residential areas and would require separate entrances and drop- offs on 5th Street, which is strongly opposed by the community; or 2) would require shutting down the garage for an extensive period of time, which would impose severe and unacceptable traffic impacts upon the community during this period, while not achieving an effective solution for the hospital’s program needs; and

Has been informed by the development team that by swapping uses among the critical second, third and fourth floors on the west wing of the outpatient facility that it can thereby reduce the bulk of this wing and bring it into substantial compliance with existing zoning requirements,

Now therefore, be it resolved that:

First, the Park Slope Civic Council is generally understanding of the Hospital’s desire to build an outpatient facility on the property that it already owns;

Second, the Park Slope Civic Council calls upon the Hospital to extend further effort to reduce the height and bulk on the 8th Avenue side of the project by among others, considering moving certain functions to space being vacated in the existing hospital buildings;

Third, the Park Slope Civic Council asks the Hospital to commit the necessary resources to design a facility that will address the project’s exterior appearance through the use of materials and architectural features that will minimize the apparent scale of the project and significantly enhance its visual appeal; and

Fourth, the Hospital develop a thorough plan, as it has promised, with the extensive participation of representatives of the community, including the immediate affected neighbors, to mitigate environmental impacts during the project’s construction period, and to extend the scope of this plan to consider ways to reduce the impact of on-street queuing by ambulances on 7th Street.