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July 26, 2004

CONTACT: Rachaele Raynoff, Press Secretary -- (212) 720-3471


July 26, 2004 – The Department of City Planning (DCP) has officially launched the public review of its proposal to limit building heights along Ninth and Tenth Avenues in the Clinton section of Manhattan’s west side, DCP Director Amanda M. Burden announced today. The proposal responds to community concerns that existing zoning controls permit development along Ninth and Tenth Avenues to be considerably taller than many existing buildings along the avenues, and could result in "sore thumb" buildings that are out of character with their neighbors. The proposed text amendment would establish new height controls to ensure that new development is consistent with the scale and character of the surrounding neighborhood. The Preservation Area of the Special Clinton District area is bounded by on the north by 56th Street and 43rd Street to the south, roughly between Eighth and Tenth Avenues.

"As important as it is to promote growth for the future of the city, we must also recognize the need to preserve the lower-scaled quality that makes a neighborhood like Clinton in Manhattan so special," said Ms. Burden, noting that the proposed text amendment responds to the community's concerns about inappropriate development.

To maintain Clinton’s special character, the Department is proposing that the overall height of new development and enlargements along the avenues be limited to 85 feet (approx 8 stories) with a streetwall between 5 or 6 stories. The proposed bulk controls would continue to accommodate allowable floor area as well as the higher floor-to-ceiling height for ground floor retail uses, but would ensure that new development is compatible with the existing character of Clinton. Current zoning has required a height limit for new development on the side streets in the Preservation Area of the Clinton District, but zoning controls along the avenues have been much more flexible, permitting buildings on large lots that are considerably taller than surrounding buildings.

The preservation of the character of Ninth Avenue to the South of 43rd Street is an integral part of the proposed 360-acre Hudson Yards comprehensive plan. The proposal, which is intended to promote commercial and residential growth, nonetheless retains the existing zoning along Ninth Avenue within the Hudson Yards.

Community Board 4 now has 60 days to review the Clinton Heights proposal, after which it will go to the Borough President, the City Planning Commission and the City Council as part of the City’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP). The proposed rezoning is one of a number completed, undergoing public review or in the works that have been initiated by the Bloomberg administration to preserve the character of residential neighborhoods throughout the city.

Please visit the DCP website for information on other projects and proposals and the ULURP process.

City Planning
The Department of City Planning is responsible for the City's physical and socioeconomic planning, including land use and environmental review; preparation of plans and policies; and provision of technical assistance and planning information to government agencies, public officials, and community boards.

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