CPC approves 51-block Westside plan

Inclusionary housing bonus proposed for Broadway above West 97th. Alarmed by the construction of two apartment buildings exceeding 30 stories on Broadway between West 99th and West 100th Streets, Upper West Side residents asked the City to consider rezoning the area and setting stricter height limits. This started a two-year collaborative planning effort by City Planning, HPD, Landmarks, the Manhattan Borough President’s office and local residents. The efforts focused on a 51-block rezoning plan for West 97th and West 110th Streets between Riverside Drive and Amsterdam Avenue, and West 104th and West 110th Streets between Amsterdam and Central Park West.

Under the current zoning, which dates back to 1961, only two zoning districts cover the 51-block area (R8 and R7-2). The area west of Amsterdam Avenue allows high-density residential development with no height limit even along streets characterized by small three- and four-story townhouses.

The new plan calls for a majority of the area to be downzoned to an R8B district, limiting building heights to 75 feet and residential development to four times the size of the development lot. The proposal focuses high-density development on Broadway, Amsterdam above West 104th Street, and West 106th Street.

For Broadway, City Planning proposed an R9A district, permitting residential development with a 6.05 FAR and a 145-foot height limit. Amsterdam and West 106th Street would have an R8A zoning, setting a maximum building height at 120 feet and allowing residential buildings at a 6.02 FAR. Along Broadway, developers could increase the size of residential development from a 6.05 to an 8.05 FAR with the provision of affordable housing either on- or off-site.

When the plan reached the Planning Commission, the president of the Jewish Home and Hospital of New York, which operates an elder care facility on West 106th Street, told the Commission that it would be forced to leave the Upper West Side since the rezoning would hinder its development plans for lots along West 105th and West 106th Streets. JHH planned to sell some lots for private residential development to finance the enlargement of its own facility. JHH asked the Commission to remove its lots from the rezoning plan. Residents strongly opposed JHH’s suggestion, pointing out that the rezoning would still facilitate large community facility buildings on JHH’s lots.

The Commission approved the plan without any modification for JHH. The Commission analyzed the impact of the rezoning on JHH, finding that the plan would rezone its lots to two districts that would still allow substantial development, including community facility uses with a 120-foot maximum height and a 6.05 FAR.

The City Council’s Subcommittee on Zoning & Franchises will hold its public hearing on September 17, 2007.

ULURP Process
Lead Agency: CPC,Neg.Dec.
Comm.Bd.: MN 7, App’d, 37-0-0
Boro. Pres.: App’d
CPC: App’d, 11-0-0
Council: Pending

CPC: Upper West Side Rezoning (C 070427 ZMM – map amendment), (N 070428 ZRY – text amendment, inclusionary housing) (Aug. 8, 2007). CITYADMIN

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