Far West Village Rezoning to Advance
Last night the NYC Department of City Planning (DCP) finally presented their plan, first requested by GVSHP and other community groups nearly two years ago, to change an outdated, six-block C6-1 zone which promotes out-of-scale commercial development in the Far West Village to a C1-6A zone, to better protect the scale and character of the neighborhood. DCP also announced they would ‘certify,’ or begin the official approval process for the plan, in late April or early May. The entire legally-required approval process takes about 6 to 7 months, after which point the new zoning governs any new development not already begun.
Timing is of the essence; two projects are seeking to advance under the current zoning which would have to change substantially under the new zoning. A hotel and townhouse project at 145 Perry Street, already approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), would have to substantially reduce or eliminate the hotel component under the new zoning. At 685 Washington Street (at Charles Street), a developer had sought approvals for an ungainly, out-of-scale 9-story mixed use building in 2008. The LPC told the developer to substantially change the design, and the site lay fallow, used as a parking lot, for months. This Tuesday, however, the developer returned with a revised version of the design, seeking LPC approval again. The LPC asked for further changes; once LPC approval is granted, the developer could move ahead with construction under the current outdated zoning. Because the plan exploits a bonus for inclusion of commercial and community facility space in the current zoning, under the new zoning the project would have to be revised further.
Regardless of the outcome of these two projects (which GVSHP and neighbors will be monitoring closely), there are at least a dozen other sites in this six block area which could become development sites in the future, upon which the new zoning would substantially restrict development. GVSHP will keep you posted about progress on the rezoning and these projects.
For more information CLICK HERE and HERE.