Eighteen-block West Clinton rezoning modified

West Clinton proposed zoning. Image: Courtesy of NYC Department of City Planning.

Proposal would permit as-of-right residential development along east side of Eleventh Avenue. On June 7, 2011, the City Council’s Land Use Committee approved the Department of City Planning and Manhattan Community Board 4’s proposed West Clinton Rezoning in Clinton, Manhattan. The eighteen-block rezoning area is generally bounded by West 55th Street to the north, West 43rd Street to the south, portions of the blocks between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues to the east, and Twelfth Avenue to the west.

The area is zoned for manufacturing and contains a mix of uses including warehouses, car dealerships and repair shops, commercial loft buildings, utility facilities, and a handful of tenement-style apartment buildings. Planning and CB 4 requested the rezoning and a zoning text amendment to provide residential development opportunities and encourage compatible manufacturing development.

The rezoning would permit as-of-right mid-block residential development between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues by replacing the M1-5 zoning with an R8 district. Portions of Eleventh Avenue’s east side would be rezoned from M1-5 to R8A with a C2-5 commercial overlay, permitting residential development with a maximum building height of 120 feet. One block bounded by West 44th and West 43rd Streets and Tenth and Eleventh Avenues would be rezoned from M1-5 to R9/ C2-5. The proposal would replace the mix of M1-5, M2-3, and M3-2 districts along ten blocks bounded by West 55th and West 43rd Streets and Eleventh and Twelfth Avenues with an M2-4 zoning district. This would permit new commercial and light manufacturing uses, but prohibit new hotel development.

The zoning text amendment would, among other things, apply the City’s Inclusionary Housing Program to the R8A and R9 districts, establish maximum height restrictions on the blocks rezoned R9 and M2-4, and prohibit enclosed sidewalk cafes within the Special District. The amendment would also create two new Special District subareas and extend the Special District’s “Preservation Area” west toward Eleventh Avenue.

At the City Planning Commission’s April 13 hearing, residents and elected officials generally supported the rezoning, but were concerned that the proposal would not extend the Preservation Area’s tenant protections, including anti-harassment measures and demolition restrictions, to the entire Special District. Joe Restuccia, co-chair of CB 4’s land use committee, explained that CB 4 had “agreed to disagree” with Planning’s decision not to extend tenant protections in order to move the rezoning forward, and he urged the Commission to pursue a follow-up corrective action that would include the requested measures. Submitted statements from local elected officials, including Congressman Jerrold Nadler and State Senator Thomas K. Duane, echoed these concerns and also urged the Commission to mandate that any affordable housing generated under the Inclusionary Housing Program be developed on site.

The Commission modified the proposal to require that affordable housing provided under the Inclusionary Housing Program be located within the Special District. The Commission acknowledged the community’s desire to expand tenant protection measures throughout the rezoning area, but claimed that it would be outside the scope of the current proposal.

At the Council’s Zoning & Franchises Subcommittee hearing, residents asked the Council to pursue a follow-up corrective action that would expand tenant protection measures across the entire Special District. Chair Mark Weprin noted that Speaker Christine C. Quinn, whose district includes West Clinton, was aware of the community’s concerns and involved in ongoing discussions about whether to request a follow-up action.

The Subcommittee and the Land Use Committee unanimously approved the rezoning. The full Council is expected to vote on the proposal on June 14.

Review Process
Lead Agency: CPC, Neg. Dec.
Comm. Bd.: MN 4, App’d, 35-0-2
Boro. Pres.: App’d
CPC: App’d,11-0-0
Council: Pending

Council: West Clinton Rezoning (C 110177 ZMM – rezoning); (N 110176 ZRM – text amend.) (June 7, 2011).

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