The three community boards that oversee the area directly affected by the Midtown East Rezoning have sent a letter to Governor Cuomo asking him to intervene and stop the proposal because of Hurricane Sandy. The area in question was barely impacted by the storm, unlike lower Manhattan and coastal areas, but the Tri-Board Task Force on East Midtown argues that the hurricane introduced new uncertainties, according to a letter reported by the Observer.
"These events have called into question all that we thought we knew about our city's future needs," reads the letter, "and demonstrated that we must look with fresh eyes at how, where, and what we propose to build." The letter doesn't actually ask for rezoning to be thrown out, but instead calls for "a long, responsible, and critical look" at the proposal.
An excerpt from the letter:
"We must rethink not only how to protect ourselves and fortify our infrastructure but also at where businesses will seek to locate and what these changes will mean in the decades to come. We need to think about our power and communications grid in new ways. We must look beyond just floor plates and columns – challenges that the City has said are driving this re-zoning - to issues like the necessity of transportation access, economic resiliency, environmental sustainability, diversity of uses, and the changing needs of future businesses and residents."The Observer notes, "It makes sense that planning resources might be put to better use working on emergency preparedness issues, rather than rezonings, but it also seems disingenuous to suggest that Midtown is somehow vulnerable to the next superstorm." We're inclined to agree, but we can't forget that the One57 crane debacle occurred in Midtown. What do you think? Is the damage from Hurricane Sandy reason to rethink such a large rezoning?
· With Sandy as an Excuse, Community Boards Beg Governor Cuomo to Stop Midtown East Rezoning [NYO]
· Midtown East Rezoning [Curbed]