The City Planning Commission's long-lasting effort to push through a major rezoning of the East Village and Lower East Side?a process that kicked off in 2005?has come to this: today the City Council approved the 111-block rezone, which runs from Grand Street up to 13th Street, and Avenue D to just shy of the Bowery. While it probably came a little too late for some Lower East Siders' liking, the controversial rezoning (Chinatown/Bowery residents think it'll just push big development to them) limits building height to 80 feet on side streets and 120 feet on main arteries, so it'll be a while before you see another Hotel on Rivington or BLUE or Thompson LES or [insert favorite neighborhood-dwarfing tower here]. Mayor Bloomberg released a statement, and it goes a little something like this:
The new zoning of 111 blocks within the two areas will preserve the unique character of the neighborhoods by establishing height limits for the first time that will prevent new out-of-scale towers from undermining the existing building stock and established streetscapes. At the same time, the plan will create opportunities for new and affordable housing where appropriate on wider streets. It is expected to spur the production of 1,670 additional housing units over the next ten years, including 560 units permanently affordable to low- and middle-income families.Huzzah. Williamsburg/Greenpoint, Jamaica, Harlem, Hunters Point South, Willets Point, etc.?you do not fuck with Mayor Bloomberg when it comes to rezoning.
· EV/LES Getting in the Downzone, Finally [Curbed]
· Chinatown Shows Up Late to Downzoning Party [Curbed]