Council Approves Rezoning With Partial South Village Landmarking Commitment
The City Council voted in committee today to approve the proposed Hudson Square rezoning with a commitment from the Landmarks Preservation Commission to hear and vote before the end of this year upon the part of the proposed South Village Historic District north of Houston Street. The vote had the support of Speaker Christine Quinn, who represents the area, and thus is expected to pass the full Council later this month. Once approved by the full City Council, the rezoning takes immediate effect.
Dozens of community groups led by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, the local Community Board, and local elected officials including Assemblymember Deborah Glick had all urged Speaker Quinn and the City Council to vote no on the rezoning unless the City also agrees to move ahead with landmark designation of the neighboring proposed South Village Historic District.
This is extremely important progress in our fight to preserve our neighborhood. The commitment to hear and vote upon more than half of the remaining proposed South Village Historic District before the end of the year will help protect this endangered neighborhood from the increased development pressure it faces from this and other rezonings. However, we are very concerned about the lack of commitment on landmarking the southern half of this neighborhood and we will continue to fight to preserve this vitally important area.
GVSHP extends its deepest gratitude to everyone who wrote, called, testified, or attended a hearing in support of this effort -- this historic progress would not have been possible without you!
We would also like to thank Assemblymember Deborah Glick and Community Board #2 for their steadfast position that the rezoning should NOT be approved unless the South Village Historic District is also landmarked.
There are other issues we are concerned about as well. The City is not committing to vote upon landmark designation until the end of the year, which affords developers a great deal of time to demolish, build, or simply secure building permits which supersede landmark designation. Additionally, while the City is committing to hear and vote upon the area north of Houston Street, the outcome of the vote is not guaranteed, and through the hearing process the City may decide not to include all proposed areas in the landmark designation. So we still have a lot of work to do.
Additionally, the Council did also approve the rezoning without reducing the allowable height and bulk of new development in the rezoning area GVSHP and other groups called for, keeping the proposed Midtown-like levels for new development in Hudson Square.
A map and images of buildings within the proposed South Village Historic District north of Houston Street, which the City has agreed to consider for landmark designation, can be found HERE. A map and images of buildings within the proposed South Village Historic District south of Houston Street, which the City has not yet agreed to consider for landmark designation, and is therefore still very much endangered, can be found HERE.
We have made historic progress today, none of which would have been possible without your help. Given the incredibly strong resistance to preservation we face, there is much to celebrate here. Thank you again for all your support!