City releases draft East Village/Lower East Side rezoning plan
Plan has many good features, but exclusion of 3rd & 4th Avenues is troubling. On July 10th, the City presented its draft rezoning plan for the East Village and Lower East Side to the public (for details on the draft plan, click here and here). The plan comes out of months of discussions with the City by Community Board #3, Councilmember Mendez, GVSHP, the East Village Community Coalition, and other community groups and members of the public. The draft plan follows many of our recommendations to lower allowable building heights, maintain the predominant consistent built form of the neighborhood, and end the preferential treatment currently afforded to dorm, hotel, and other commercial and community facility development, allowing them to build larger than all other types of development. It also includes an “inclusionary zoning” provision which gives a bonus to developers for the creation of new affordable housing or preservation of existing affordable housing.
However, in spite of intense lobbying by GVSHP (click here), CB 3, Councilmember Mendez, State Senator Tom Duane, the St. Ann’s Committee, and literally hundreds of area residents, the City continues to refuse to include the 3rd Avenue corridor and the blocks to the west in the rezoning plan. This is a particularly egregious oversight because the zoning for this area encourages especially large and out-of-character development, as exemplified by NYU’s planned 26-story mega-dorm for the area. Additionally, there are several “soft sites” that are likely to see development in the near future, and NYU has identified this area as one where it expects to focus continued growth in the future.
GVSHP has written to the City expressing its disappointment with the lack of inclusion of this area in the rezoning, and urged the City to amend its draft plan to include these blocks. The plan will be re-presented to the public in September at the Community Board #3 197A Task Force meeting, where these and other critical outstanding issues regarding the proposed rezoning will be discussed (check the CB 3 schedule here).
How To Help:
Write to City Planning Chair Amanda Burden now and urge her to include the 3rd Avenue corridor and the blocks to the west in the proposed East Village/Lower East Side Rezoning. Click here for sample letters you can use.