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Downtown Residents File Appeal to Block Sanitation Garage

By Julie Shapiro | October 4, 2010 6:46pm
The site of the proposed three-district sanitation garage.
The site of the proposed three-district sanitation garage.
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By Julie Shapiro

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

HUDSON SQUARE — TriBeCa and SoHo residents, including the likes of actors John Slattery and James Gandolfini, are mounting one last stand against a $500 million sanitation garage slated to rise on Spring Street.

Downtown residents and business owners filed an appeal Monday arguing that the city has no right to dump three districts' worth of garbage trucks into one garage at Spring and West Streets.

"We shouldn't be burdened with garbage picked up all the way on 59th St.," said Carole De Saram, president of the Tribeca Community Association, one of the groups that filed the lawsuit. "It's an unfair burden to our community."

Local residents and property owners — along with actors Gandolfini, Slattery, Jennifer Connelly, Kirsten Dunst and more — have been fighting the 120-foot-tall garage and salt shed for years, worried that it will bring unnecessary traffic and pollution to their neighborhood.

John Slattery is mad about a Sanitation Department facility in his TriBeCa neighborhood.
John Slattery is mad about a Sanitation Department facility in his TriBeCa neighborhood.
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Bryan Bedder/Getty Image

In 2009, the Tribeca Community Association and other downtown groups sued the city in an effort to stop the project. But the State Supreme Court dismissed the suit earlier this year, saying the residents and business owners did not have grounds to sue.

The appeal filed Monday seeks to overturn the Supreme Court's decision.

"It was ridiculous for the court to rule that we had no standing to bring this challenge," Phil Mouquinho, owner of PJ Charlton restaurant on Greenwich Street near the proposed garage, said in a statement. "I've lived and worked here all my life."

A spokeswoman for the city Law Department said in an e-mail that the city believes the Supreme Court's decision "will be upheld, paving the way for the construction of this much-needed facility."

The city put the garage project out to bid earlier this year but has not selected a contractor, so construction has not begun, a spokeswoman for the Sanitation Department said. The spokeswoman did not give a timeline for the work.

Opponents of the garage put together an alternate proposal last year called Hudson Rise, which would house trucks from just two districts, cost less money, and include a park and a bridge over West Street. The city was not interested in building Hudson Rise, but De Saram and others have not given up hope.

"It would be a beautiful amenity to the community," De Saram said. "This isn't over."