City Agrees to improvements to E. Village Rezoning
In March, the City released a revised version of its original proposed rezoning for the East Village/Lower East Side. GVSHP had urged that the sidestreets in the East Village be further downzoned than in the original plan, to protect their scale and character, and to discourage tear-downs and rooftop additions. Working with other community groups, GVSHP had particularly identified several blocks south of Tompkins Square Park where clusters of very low-density early tenements required special protection, and further downzoning than in the City’s original draft plan.
The revised rezoning plan released by the city in March made changes to specifically address these concerns, tightening restrictions and lowering allowable heights and densities on sidestreets that would dramatically increase protections for these areas (click here for updated rezoning plan). However, the revised plan did not respond to several other concerns which had been expressed about height and density along Houston Street and Avenue D, and about the creation and preservation of affordable housing (click here for more information).
How To Help:
Community Board #3’s rezoning task force will meet again on Monday, April 16 at 6:30 P.M. at University Settlement, 184 Eldridge Street, at Rivington Street, to review and discuss the current draft rezoning plan. The meeting is open to the public; you can attend to find out more or provide your input.
New Developments in Effort to Rezone 3rd and 4th Avenues: Because the City has refused to include the 3rd and 4th Avenue corridors in their draft East Village Rezoning Plan, GVSHP has been working with Community Board #3, and the offices of Borough President Stringer and Council Member Mendez, to formulate a community-initiated rezoning plan for the area. Such a plan takes more time than rezonings initiated by the City, and ultimately still requires city approval, but can be a way of getting changes to protect a neighborhood when the City is not willing to do so on their own. Right now, the zoning for these blocks encourages huge dorms and hotels, like the ones NYU has built and is currently building. GVSHP has been advocating for new zoning to prevent the transfer of air rights, impose height limits (none currently exist there now), and eliminate the incentive for dorm and hotel construction and reinforce the largely residential character of the area. Thus some very preliminary recommendations are under discussion for zoning changes to pursue for these blocks — click here for recommendations. These appear to be the most restrictive zoning designations possible that would also meet the city’s criteria for rezonings.
Community Board #3’s rezoning task force will meet again on Monday, April 16th at 6:30 P.M. at University Settlement, 184 Eldridge Street, at Rivington Street, and will discuss these preliminary recommendations for pursuing a possible rezoning of the 3rd and 4th Avenue blocks. The meeting is open to the public; you can attend to find out more or provide your input.