West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Volume 77, Number 3 | June 20 - 26, 2007

Rezoning plan under the scope

Lower East Side and East Village residents and elected representatives are polishing up their comments for Monday’s scoping meeting on the rezoning proposal that encompasses a 100-block area overlapping the two neighborhoods.

At the meeting, which is a precursor to issuing a final draft environmental impact statement, the Department of City Planning will lay out its proposal. During the public comment period, speakers will be allowed three minutes, though they can supplement their statement with written comments up to 10 days after the meeting day.

The rezoning would cap building heights for most of the area, but somewhat taller buildings would be allowed on wide streets, like E. Houston St., and could be even taller if affordable housing is included. The community facilities bonus, which allows taller towers for universities and hospitals, would be eliminated for the area.

David McWater, chairperson of Community Board 3, will present the 11-point plan approved by the board in December, which adds provisions on affordable housing, preventing tenant harassment and preventing demolition of sound buildings.

“Hopefully, somewhere down the road it will really influence the process,” McWater said of the board’s input, but acknowledged, “It’s a long ways from having an immediate impact.”

The meeting will take place on Mon., June 25, at Spector Hall, 22 Reade St., from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

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