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Home : Preservation : Far West Village : C6-1 Rezoning : Latest News : 11/20/09

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Answers to important questions about the Far West Village rezoning decision

GVSHP has received many questions regarding this week’s important news that the city finally agreed to rezone the C6-1 district in the Far West Village. The following are some answers and clarifications that might be useful to you, and which you can share with others if helpful.

1. What areas will the zoning change affect? The current C6-1 zone, which will be changed to a C1-6A zone, covers parts of six blocks in the Far West Village bounded by Washington, Greenwich, West 10th, and West 12th Streets. CLICK HERE for map.

2. What exactly will the zoning change do? The current C6-1 zoning has no height limits and gives a bonus (allows greater size) for developments if they are commercial (such as hotels) or ‘community facilities’ (such as dorms). The new C1-6A zoning would impose height limits on new development of no more than 40-65 feet at the streetwall, with a total height limit of 80 feet only after setbacks. The bonus for commerical and community facility development (as compared to residential) would be eliminated, and the maximum overall bulk or size of new buildings (as opposed to the height) would be cut by nearly 40%. As the zone is entirely within the Greenwich Village Historic District, all designs for new development would still be subject to public hearings and approval by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. CLICK HERE and HERE for more info.

3. How soon will this take effect? There is a long process which must still take place, culminating in a vote by the City Planning Commission and the City Council, before the new zoning takes effect; this is likely to take between six months and a year. Once the City Council votes to approve it, the new zoning has the effect of law. However, any new development which already has foundations in the ground, or which can prove that it has made substantial expenditures, is allowed to be completed under the terms of the old, more permissive C6-1 zoning.

4. What does this mean for the planned hotel and residential townhouse complex at the corner of Perry and Washington Streets? If these developments get their foundations in the ground, or can show that they have already made “substantial expenditures” towards the new development, they can be completed under the terms of the C6-1 zoning. If they cannot, the hotel use would no longer be allowed under the new zoning, although the height of the buildings, which were substantially reduced after several revisions, would roughly conform to the height limits of the new zoning (they might have to shrink in size slightly, which could reduce the height or otherwise reduce the bulk of the buildings). CLICK HERE for images of the approved designs for the hotel and townhouse development.

5. If the hotel/townhouse project at 145 Perry Street is built under the old zoning, then would the new zoning have any effect any way? Yes, absolutely. GVSHP found that there are about a dozen potential development sites in the C6-1 zone — meaning sites which are built smaller than the zoning allows, and which might be allowed to be demolished or substantially built up by the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) because the current buildings on the site (or lack of buildings) could be found to not make a significant contribution to the Greenwich Village Historic District (this is what the LPC found with the current 145 Perry Street building, which is why a new development is being allowed there). GVSHP provided this information to elected officials, the community board, and the city early in the process to prove how necessary and important a rezoning for this area was. These are sites where development could take place in the future, and hopefully such development will be regulated by the new, better zoning, and not the old, outdated zoning. CLICK HERE for map and images.

6. Could this rezoning have moved ahead sooner? Yes. GVSHP and community groups reached out to the community board, elected officials, and the city a year and a half ago to ask for this area to be rezoned. While the city must do some analysis upon the impact of a requested rezoning and the approval process has to take months, it took a year before the city agreed to even begin the analysis. For more background CLICK HERE.

7. What can I do to support the rezoning now and move it along as quickly as possible? There will be many public hearings over the next several months about the rezoning, and GVSHP will let you know how you can testify or submit comments in support. If we have any reason to believe that the city is dragging its feet or backing off on its promise, we will also let you know what you can do to help.

We hope this is helpful; if you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.

We want to again thank everyone who participated in this effort over the last year and a half, helping to demonstrate to city officials, the community board, and local elected officials how urgently this rezoning is needed.  We want to especially thank our many fellow community groups who worked so hard on this effort from the beginning.

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Home : Preservation : Far West Village : C6-1 Rezoning : Latest News : 11/20/09

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