At Wednesday night’s Community Board #2 Land Use Committee Public hearing, GVSHP presented to a standing room-only crowd its proposal to rezone the R7-2 zoning district in the South Village. GVSHP made the argument that the South Village’s outdated R7-2 zone, enacted in 1961, encourages out-of-scale and out-of-character development, especially dormitories and other university facilities. GVSHP highlighted recent inappropriate, scale-shattering high-rise developments by NYU and private developers, as well as showing what could be built under the existing zoning on various sites in the neighborhood -- towers of up to 250 or 300 feet in height!
GVSHP proposes a "contextual" rezoning which would put height limits in place where none currently exist, and eliminate the nearly 90% bulk bonus developers currently receive for including a “community facility,” such as a dorm or other university facility, in their developments. Though GVSHP has succeeded in getting much of the South Village landmarked, much still is not, and even for landmarked areas, having appropriate zoning provides a further guarantee against inappropriate development.
View our PowerPoint presentation here, a summary of our proposal here, and images from the meeting here.
When the Committee chair asked the public for their feedback on the proposal through a show of hands, the packed room was all “ayes,” without a single attendee expressing opposition to the proposal. We’re especially thankful to community groups such as the Bleecker Area Merchants and Residents Association, the Charlton and VanDam Street Block Associations, South Village Neighbors, and the Committee to Preserve Our Neighborhood, who were on hand to express support.
The Community Board’s Land Use Committee then voted unanimously to support GVSHP’s rezoning proposal moving ahead, urging elected officials and the Department of City Planning to get behind the plan. Their resolution will go to the full Community Board next Tuesday, where we hope it will receive similar strong support. From there, we hope that local elected officials will support the proposal and join GVSHP in petitioning the Department of City Planning to take it up and move it through the public review and approval process.
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