Volume 76, Number 21 | October 11 - 17, 2006

Hearing on major rezoning plan

On Mon. Oct. 16 Community Board 3’s 197 Plan Task Force will hear a presentation from the Department of City Planning regarding the major rezoning plan being proposed for the East Village and part of the Lower East Side.

The plan includes more than 100 blocks in the area bounded by the north side of E. 13th St., the west side of Avenue D, the north side of Houston St., the west side of Pitt St., the north side of Delancey St., the east side of Essex St., the north side of Grand St., 100 feet in from the east side of the Bowery and 100 feet in from the west side of Third Ave.

The plan calls for creating what is known as contextual zoning, in which heights of new buildings will be kept around the height of the neighborhood’s existing buildings. The plan includes provisions for inclusionary zoning, an incentive to developers to voluntarily add affordable units to their buildings, in return for which they are allowed to build taller; areas being considered for inclusionary zoning include Houston and Delancey Sts. and possibly Avenue D. Under the inclusionary zoning program, the affordable units would be permanent, as opposed to being tied to the life of the mortgage, as is the case in the 421-a tax abatement program.

However, some community activists have expressed concerns about the impact that inclusionary zoning would have on the neighborhood, feeling it could spark increased development.

The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. and will be held at University Settlement at the Houston St. Center (aka Chinatown YMCA, in the new Avalon Chrystie Place building) at 273 Bowery at Houston St., Room 2.

On Mon. Nov. 6, a larger presentation for the community on the rezoning plan will be held in a larger venue to accommodate more people at The Cooper Union’s Engineering Building, Wollman Lounge, at 51 Astor Pl., starting at 6:30 p.m.

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