September 10, 2003
Raynoff, Press Secretary -- (212) 720-3471
CITY PLANNING COMMISSION APPROVES MAJOR HARLEM
REZONING PLAN TO BALANCE GROWTH AND PRESERVATION
September 10, 2003, New York, NY – Department
of City Planning Director Amanda M. Burden announced
today that the City Planning Commission has voted unanimously
to approve the Frederick Douglass Boulevard Rezoning
Proposal, the first comprehensive revision of south-central
Harlem zoning since 1961. The plan aims to recapture
the best elements of the style of historic Harlem while
paving the way for increased opportunities for new housing
in a 44 block area bounded by West 110th Street and
West 124th Street, Morningside Avenue and Adam Clayton
Powell Jr. Boulevard. Coming on the heels of City Planning’s
recently adopted East Harlem rezoning, this is another
of the Bloomberg administration’s efforts to balance
growth and neighborhood preservation.
"As more and more people aspire to live in Harlem,
this rezoning not only preserves the best characteristics
of Harlem’s strong residential neighborhoods,
but it also contributes to the mayor’s ongoing
efforts to increase the housing supply on major avenues,"
said Ms. Burden. The new zoning would facilitate construction
of 50 percent more housing units along Frederick Douglass
Boulevard than currently permitted, accommodating the
increased density in apartment buildings which would
be limited in height to 12 stories. The current zoning
permits towers that would be out of scale with the prevailing
character along the Boulevard.
"We are enabling new development to take place
in the style that distinguished Harlem during its Renaissance"
said Ms. Burden. She also noted that the plan provides
new opportunities for ground floor retail development
on West 116 Street "so that existing and new residents
can shop in their own neighborhood".
To preserve the quintessential Harlem row house block
fronts and elegant residential avenues, the proposal
calls for contextual zoning districts that mandate new
buildings of comparable scale and height.
The rezoning proposal will make vacant land on Frederick
Douglass Boulevard and neighboring blocks more attractive
for development, according to planners. The Boulevard,
which is served by the Eighth Avenue subway, can accommodate
additional density. Notably, population in the rezoning
area has jumped approximately 16 percent in the last
decade. The proposed rezoning would help accommodate
Harlem’s growing population, expand future residential
development opportunities and facilitate construction
of more affordable housing units through public and
private initiatives. In this regard, the Department
has been coordinating this rezoning with the NYC Department
of Housing Preservation and Development to ensure that
affordable housing opportunities are maximized on both
city-owned and privately owned sites.
The project has received unanimous approval and unqualified
support from Community Boards 9 and 10, the Manhattan
Borough President and Manhattan Borough Board. This
plan builds on a study conducted by Manhattan Borough
President C. Virginia Fields.
As provided for by the City Charter, the rezoning
plan now goes to the City Council for vote on final
approval. For information on the public review process,
please see the Land
Use Review Process.
The department's web site also details existing and
proposed zoning designations for areas within the Frederick
Douglass Boulevard plan.
About 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.
to the Press Release Archive