Upcoming Development Proposal Shows Importance of Landmark and Zoning Protections
As you may have heard, development plans have recently been announced for several important sites in our neighborhood. Fortunately, thanks to landmark and zoning protections, each plan will have to undergo a rigorous public review in which YOU can participate, and cannot be approved unless it is found “appropriate” for its historic surroundings.
Here is an update on one in the Far West Village:
Perry Street Garage, 738 Greenwich Street: This familiar West Village parking garage is being sold for development. Fortunately, the site is located within the Greenwich Village Historic District, designated in 1969. This means any proposed changes to the building – whether demolition, additions, new construction, or even changes to the façade – must undergo a thorough public review process, including public hearings at the Community Board and the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), before the Commission decides whether the proposed changes are “appropriate” for their historic context.
Fortunately, there are zoning protections as well. Landmarking does not regulate use, and until recently, the zoning for this site would have strongly encouraged a hotel use, and a much larger building than the current one. But in 2010, GVSHP, working in coalition with neighbors, got the zoning changed for this site and the surrounding district to reduce the size and scale of allowable development, put height caps in place where none existed before, and eliminate the zoning bonus for hotel development. Thus if the garage use is replaced and the site re- developed, it will likely be for residential rather than hotel use, and we can be sure the scale will be in keeping with the surroundings. With strong input from the community, we can also help ensure that any proposed visual changes to the structure approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission are modest and appropriate.
No landmarks applications have been filed for any of these projects yet. When they do, they will appear on our Landmarks Application webpage, and information about this and all other landmarks applications will appear in our regular e-mail notices. If you would like to receive updates about applications for any of these sites, click here and enter the address along with other required information. You’ll receive notifications of when the hearing has been set and how you can weigh in on the application before decisions are made.