North Tribeca contextual rezoning approved

Contextual rezoning establishes new height and bulk regulations in Special Tribeca Mixed Use District’s northern portion. On October 13, 2010, the City Council approved the Department of City Planning’s North Tribeca Rezoning proposal. The plan impacted a 25-block area generally bounded by Canal Street to the north, Walker and Hubert Streets to the south, Broadway to the east, and West Street to the west.

Planning’s proposal replaced the area’s M1-5 zoning with a C6- 2A contextual mixed-use district to better match the neighborhood’s increasingly residential and commercial character. Newly created subareas within the Special Tribeca Mixed Use District now provide tailored height and bulk regulations to ensure that future development conforms to existing scale. The City’s Inclusionary Housing Program will also now apply to the centrally located A6 subarea that includes the Holland Tunnel rotary.

Planning also proposed a zoning text amendment that limits retail establishments to 5,000 sq.ft. along narrow streets and 10,000 sq.ft. on wide streets. Ground floor spaces in separate buildings along the narrower streets cannot be combined for specific use groups, including schools and retail and service establishments. Hotels with more than 100 rooms will no longer be permitted without the City Planning Commission’s approval. A limited group of existing light manufacturing uses, such as jewelry making and woodworking, are still permitted. The special district’s unique loft regulations have also been eliminated, and citywide residential conversion regulations will now govern northern Tribeca.

At the City Planning Commission’s hearing, representatives for Manhattan Community Board 1 and Borough President Scott M. Stringer expressed support for the rezoning. The Commission unanimously approved the plan. 7 CityLand 136 (Oct. 15, 2010).

At the Council’s Zoning & Franchises Subcommittee hearing, local Council Member Margaret Chin expressed support, but also questioned whether Planning’s inclusionary housing goals were realistic in the designated area. Edith Hsu-Chen, director of Planning’s Manhattan Office, explained that the Holland Tunnel rotary area’s unique layout would allow it to withstand an increase in floor area. Council Member Diana Reyna took issue with the prohibition on new light manufacturing uses. Reyna doubted that the alleged protections for existing manufacturing uses would be effective against landlords who, in her opinion, would choose residential development over industrial uses.

The full Council unanimously approved the rezoning.

Review Process
Lead Agency: CPC, Neg. Dec.
Comm. Bd.: MN 1, App’d, 37-0-0
Boro. Pres.: App’d
CPC: App’d, 10-0-0
Council: App’d, 48-0-0

Council: North Tribeca Rezoning (Oct. 13, 2010).

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