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Bill seeking to curtail Lower East Side skyscrapers passes City Council

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The bill seeks to get local residents involved sooner in the planning process

Two Bridges waterfront skyscrapers Handel Architects

A City Council member representing the Lower East Side has moved one step closer to curtailing the planned skyscrapers in her neighborhood. The City Council unanimously approved a text amendment filed by Margaret Chin, Intro 1685, that would allow local residents and elected officials to get involved earlier than they do now, when new projects are proposed in their neighborhood.

If this text amendment is signed into law by Mayor Bill de Blasio, it will mean that the skyscrapers planned by JDS, CIM & L+M, and the Starrett Group, would all have to go through a Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), where their current plans will likely get rejected.

The bill essentially seeks to reduce the preapplication period for developers. During this time developers meet privately with city planning officials to hash out their projects, but Chin’s bill would look to get the public involved right from the start.

The bill has been opposed by both the Department of City Planning and the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), but Chin insisted at Tuesday’s City Council meeting that her colleagues should not bow down to the pressures of the real estate industry.

“We must give our communities a proper chance,” She said at the meeting. “If the real estate board is threatened, then good, it is not our job to represent real estate developers. This will help protect our communities.”