CITY COUNCIL VOTES TO CHANGE,
APPROVE CITYWIDE REZONING PLANS
Today the City Council’s Land Use Committee voted to scale back and approve a version of the Mayor’s proposed citywide rezoning plans. The revised plan is expected to be approved by the full Council.
Due to the sustained and unrelenting advocacy of thousands of New Yorkers, and the work of the City Council, some of the most damaging elements of the plan have been eliminated or reduced. In sum, in the existing contextual zoning districts we fought so hard for in the Far West Village the height limits are UNCHANGED. For those we fought for in the East Village, in most cases the height limits are UNCHANGED, and are entirely unchanged for market-rate developments.
The proposal to allow across-the-board height increases of up to 15 feet for new market rate developments in contextual zones: After outcry from the public last year, this was reduced to 5-10 feet. In the final version, this was eliminated entirely for the ‘Manhattan Core’ (below 96th Street on the East Side, 100th Street on the West).
The proposal to eliminate some “sliver law” protections prohibiting certain types of very tall narrow buildings on narrow streets: This was eliminated from the plan.
The proposal to allow more rear yard incursions (i.e. cases where new developments could expand all the way to the rear of a property on the first floor, eliminating an otherwise required ‘rear yard’): This was almost entirely eliminated from the plan.
The proposal to lift the height limits for new 80% market-rate/20% affordable developments in certain areas from 80 feet (currently) to 105 feet has now been reduced to 95 feet.
The proposal to lift the height limits for new ‘quality housing’ developments in non-contextual zones (these are height limits which developers receive incentives to follow, but are not required to follow) has been reduced or eliminated.
However, in our East Village contextual zoning districts that contain affordable housing incentives, the height limits for new developments that include 20% affordable or senior affordable housing will increase (though less than originally proposed in some cases):
Avenues A and C, 1st Avenue, and 2nd Avenue north of 3rd Street – the height limit increases from 80 feet to 95 feet (Mayor’s original proposal: 105 feet)
Avenue D, Houston Street, 2nd Avenue below 3rd Street, and 3rd/4th Avenue corridors (including midblocks) – the height limit increases from 120 to 145 feet
Moving forward, when we fight for new contextual zoning districts in our neighborhood, the height limits for some of these districts that we are seeking will be higher than previously, such as our University Place/Broadway Corridor proposal.
I want to thank our members and allies for their incredibly strong support in this fight. We flooded the Mayor and City Council with thousands of emails about the zoning change proposals, and in some cases, our testimony (here and here) actually formed the majority of the City Council’s public record on these proposals. Without your help and participation, we would not have been able to eliminate or reduce many of the most damaging and unnecessary elements of these plans. I would also like to thank Councilmembers Johnson and Mendez for their assistance and advocacy.
We have a lot more to do, and I look forward to continuing to work with you to protect our city and our neighborhoods.
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