Neighbors Still Fighting Rose Group Over Church Space

By Anna Sekula October 30, 2007, 10:28 AM EDT

Yesterday afternoon we learned that the Rose Group-managed 583 Park Avenue—operating as an event space for the likes of Oscar de la Renta and New Yorkers for Children—is still having disputes with its neighbors. While the Upper East Side church has been available for events for a few months, the Department of Buildings sent out a letter yesterday stating that the commissioner of buildings may revoke approvals and permits previously granted based on complaints made by neighboring buildings.

This doesn't mean that planned events will be canceled or that the permits have officially been revoked. What it does mean is that there are certain issues that need to be addressed, and the Rose Group has every opportunity to do so while operating under temporary place-of-assembly permits for events that have already been booked.

According to a press release from the Preservation Coalition—a group of neighboring co-op buildings contesting the permits—the current use of the church does not comply with the city's zoning regulations for accessory use and, additionally, has caused some disruption (noise, traffic, and trash) from its use as a catering hall. “This is a battle that has been going on for about a year now,” said George Davis, a Park Avenue resident and a leader of the Preservation Coalition, in the release.

For Louis Rose of the Rose Group, this isn't an unexpected development. “We have every intention of continuing on in a legal fashion [with the application for permits and approvals], and this doesn't change anything,” he told us. He also added that he has always been willing to sit down with any local opposition, hear their complaints, and reach a compromise.

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