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9 June 2015
Final Reminder: Community Board Public Hearings on Citywide Upzoning Plan Tomorrow night, Wed. June 10:
Please come to the preliminary presentations and public hearings tomorrow at Community Board #2 (Village, NoHo, SoHo, Little Italy) or Community Board #3 (East Village, Lower East Side) regarding the city’s ‘Zoning for Quality and Affordability’ plan. The plan would loosen existing and future neighborhood zoning protections and lift height limits for new residential construction throughout the five boroughs, including those limits we fought hard for in the Far West Village (here and here) and are seeking in the South Village and the University Place/Broadway corridors. The plan would also lift height limits for new construction along parts of West 13th and 14th Street, and encourage taller development in every other part of our neighborhood. While the plan has been scaled back slightly recently in response to concerns raised by GVSHP and others, it would still do tremendous damage to the scale and character of our neighborhoods, while doing little or nothing to improve the quality or affordability of housing produced.
The Mayor’s plan would loosen height limits for new residential construction which in most cases would be purely market rate (i.e. luxury condo) developments. The plan would even further loosen the height limits for those developments in certain areas (such as parts of the East Village) which set aside a small fraction of units for affordable housing. The height increases would be as great as 31%.
Community Boards are the first place where the proposal will be heard; formal public hearings and votes by the Boards, Borough Presidents, City Planning Commission, and City Council will take place in the fall.
GVSHP has circulated a letter opposing the current plan which more than fifty neighborhood, civic, housing, and preservation groups from across the five boroughs have signed on to – read it here. The letter will go to every Community Board, Borough President, and City Councilmember, as well as the City Planning Commission and the Mayor. If your organization would like to sign on to the letter, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can find out more about the rezoning proposal here, here, here, and here.
HOW TO HELP:
Illegal East Village Vertical Addition Finally Dismantled:
As reported on the blog EV Grieve, an illegal addition to 515 East 5th Street (Avenues A/B) in the East Village, which GVSHP and many others in the neighborhood have fought for years, has finally been dismantled. This addition was constructed in violation of the contextual rezoning which GVSHP and others fought very hard to secure for the East Village in 2008, and marred the uniform rooflines of a street of mid-19th century pre-law tenements. Residents of the building, who fought to have the extension dismantled, also complained that the construction was used to make life in the building unbearable for them, and to try to force them from their homes.
The addition was only removed after multiple hearings and decisions by the Board of Standards and Appeals, at which GVSHP consistently testified, which the owner of the building ignored for years.
While the outcome shows that perseverance pays off and that we can succeed in fights to preserve our neighborhood, it also shows how heavily weighted the system is to allow developers to skirt the rules and get away with it for years.
Our congratulations go to the residents of the building, City Councilmember Rosie Mendez, Community Board #3, and everyone else who fight this battle for many, many years.
Latest Issue of GVSHP’s Newsletter The Anthemion Available:
The summer 2015 issue of GVSHP’s newsletter is now available on-line here. Find out about the latest news, events, preservation battles and victories in the Village, East Village, and NoHo, and how you can help. Share it with friends and neighbors whom you want to get more involved in protecting their neighborhood.
You can also help spread the word by having GVSHP’s newsletter placed in your building or business. Interested? Just e-mail email@example.com, and we can arrange to have the newsletter dropped off or even stuffed in your building if allowed.