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Stuy Town Greenmarket Only Open to Residents, But Website Doesn't Say So

STUYVESANT TOWN — The Stuyvesant Town Greenmarket is not open to the public — but you wouldn't know that from looking at its website.

GrowNYC recently heralded the greenmarket's April 7 reopening but failed to mention that, because of city zoning regulations, only Stuy Town residents can shop there.

“Regular cooking demonstrations and family friendly events make the Stuyvesant Town Greenmarket the place to be on Sunday mornings,” GrowNYC boasts on its website.

Last year, amid concerns that Stuyvesant Town was getting overwhelmed by commercial operations including food trucks, an ice rink and the greenmarket, City Councilman Dan Garodnick reached out to the city to ask what was allowed under the area's zoning rules.

The Department of City Planning deemed the greenmarket legal, but only if it is strictly reserved for Stuyvesant Town residents and their guests, Garodnick said. Zoning regulations do not allow public commercial activity on private residential property.

"A [public] greenmarket was not OK," Garodnick said.

The City Planning ruling came in the middle of last year's greenmarket season, and in response, Stuyvesant Town's owners agreed to post signs warning that outsiders could not shop at the market, located at the south end of Stuyvesant Town Oval.

“We agreed that CW Capital [owner of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village] would make it clear both on its own promotional materials and immediately at the market,” Garodnick said.

But as the new greenmarket season is about to begin, GrowNYC's description of the Stuyvesant Town Greenmarket includes a list of delicacies available for sale, a calendar of events and a manager profile, all without mentioning that only residents can shop there, the Stuyvesant Town Report blog first reported.

Michael Hurwitz, director of the greenmarket program for GrowNYC, said he saw no reason to mention that the market is restricted to Stuy Town residents.

"We didn’t really see the need to do so, since it's really in the smack dab of the complex," Hurwitz said. "The majority of the customers are from the complex."

This year, Stuy Town management plans to once again post signs that will make it clear that the market is for residents only, said Cara Griffin, a spokeswoman for Compass Rock, a real estate company that manages Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village.

“Stuyvesant Town is aware that the language on the Grow NYC website is not accurate, and they are going to reach out and have the language updated,” Griffin said.

Garodnick said he doubted that there would be many non-residents visiting the market, but he added that he would urge stricter measures if the signs didn't work.

“I expect that if management saw an influx of non-residents, we would encourage them to do spot checking of key cards,” he said.

The Stuyvesant Town Greenmarket will run on Sundays from April 7 through Dec. 22.