East Village south of Union Square rezoned

Contextual rezoning established streetwall and building height limits for an eight-block area below Union Square. On October 27, 2010, the City Council approved the Department of City Planning’s rezoning of portions of eight blocks in Manhattan’s East Village. The contextual plan rezoned an area bounded by the south side of East 13th Street, the north side of East 9th Street, Third Avenue, and the east side of Fourth Avenue from C6-1 to C6-2A. The blocks are adjacent to the area rezoned in 2008 by the East Village/Lower East Side Rezoning plan. 5 CityLand 165 (Dec. 2008).

The neighborhood is characterized by low- and mid-rise residential and mixed-use buildings with a uniform street wall. A handful of taller and bulkier buildings can be found along Third and Fourth Avenues. The area’s C6-1 zoning, unchanged since 1961, was inconsistent with the built character of the neighborhood and permitted tall and slender tower development, including setback dormitory buildings like those constructed in the neighborhood by New York University and the New School.

community’s concerns about the recent out-of-context development, Planning proposed applying the C6-2A district to the area. The new zoning district establishes a 120-foot maximum building height, and requires a 60- to 85-foot streetwall height. In order to encourage the creation of affordable housing, the City’s Inclusionary Housing Program will now apply to the area. 7 CityLand 74 (June 15, 2010).

At the City Planning Commission’s August 25 public hearing, Manhattan Community Board 3’s Susan Stetzer testified that dorms and hotels, particularly along Third Avenue, were “piercing our skyline” and changing the nature of the community. Local Council Member Rosie Mendez, Borough President Scott M. Stringer, State Senator Thomas K. Duane, and Assembly Member Deborah Glick, all sent representatives to express their support for the plan. The Commission unanimously approved the rezoning

At the Council’s Zoning & Franchises Subcommittee hearing, Council Member Mendez reiterated her support and thanked Planning for following through on the community’s request to rezone the area. The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation’s Elizabeth Finkelstein testified the plan would prevent the development of out-of-scale dormitories and hotels.

Review Process
Lead Agency: CPC, Neg. Dec.
Comm. Bd.: MN 3, App’d, 35-0-2
Boro. Pres.: App’d
CPC: App’d, 11-0-0
Council: App’d, 47-0-0

Council: Third Avenue Corridor Rezoning (Oct. 27, 2010).

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