West 14th/15th Street Contextual Rezoning Moves Ahead
GVSHP strongly supports a proposed rezoning of much of the block bounded by West 14th and 15th Streets, and 9th and 10th Avenues, to impose height limits and other contextual zoning controls on new development. The current zoning has no height limits, and not only allows but encourages grossly out-of-scale new development. While part of the block, on the border between the Meatpacking District and West Chelsea, was landmarked as part of the Gansevoort Market Historic District GVSHP was able to get designated in 2003, the remainder of it is not, and thus is vulnerable to inappropriate new development.
The danger to this block was increased in 2013 with the passage of state legislation which allows the transfer of millions of square feet of "air rights" from the Hudson River Park to this block and others up and down the Hudson River waterfront. With the contextual rezoning which is now being considered by the City, new development could not exceed a certain height limit, and thus the transfer of large amounts of air rights here to increase the size of new development would not be allowed. When this rezoning was originally proposed by Community Board #4, it would have allowed much larger development on this block. However, after strong objections were raised by GVSHP and other community groups, the allowance for increased size of development on this block was removed.
The proposal was heard by the City Planning Commission this morning; read GVSHP's testimony HERE. The Commission is scheduled to vote upon the proposed rezoning on December 17th; if approved, it will go to the City Council for a final vote. We are very optimistic that it will pass.
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