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Projects & Proposals > Manhattan > East Harlem Printer Friendly Version
East Harlem Rezoning Proposal - Approved!
Objectives | Existing Zoning | Proposed Zoning | Public Review

New residential development on East 119th Street, east of 1st Avenue.
New residential development on East 119th Street, east of 1st Avenue.

Manhattan CD 11

context map of manhattan cd 11
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The Department of City Planning has proposed zoning amendments that would affect 57 blocks in East Harlem. It is the first comprehensive revision of East Harlem zoning since the last major revision of the Zoning Resolution in 1961.

The area to be rezoned is generally between East 99th and East 122nd streets, east of Lexington Avenue in Manhattan’s Community District 11. Most of the area is now zoned R7-2, a moderate-density residential district, and is characterized by six- to eight-story residential buildings along the avenues and four- to six-story rowhouses on the midblocks.

The Department’s proposed zoning strategy balances growth and preservation in East Harlem. By amending the zoning map, the proposal would:

  • Foster new opportunities for residential development. East Harlem is a growing community with needs for new housing. To help satisfy that need, larger buildings would be permitted at appropriate locations.

  • Ensure that future development is consistent with neighborhood character. Current zoning encourages tall towers set back from the street, a building form inconsistent with the prevailing character of East Harlem. Schools, health care establishments, and other community facilities can also be considerably larger than residential buildings. The contextual zoning districts proposed would produce new buildings more in keeping with the character of East Harlem.

  • Preserve the scale of midblocks. Residential midblocks in East Harlem are typified by rowhouses with consistent heights and street walls that line up along the sidewalks. To preserve these midblocks, the proposal calls for contextual zoning districts that would decrease the maximum permitted size of buildings.

  • Encourage ground floor retail and service uses. New small businesses and stores are opening throughout East Harlem to support a growing community. The proposal would extend or modify commercial zoning to provide new locations and greater flexibility for ground floor retail uses.

Objectives | Existing Zoning | Proposed Zoning | Public Review

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Brief explanations of terms in green italics can be viewed by clicking on the term. Words and phrases followed by an asterisk (*) are defined terms in the Zoning Resolution, primarily in Section 12-10. Consult the Zoning Resolution for the official and legally binding definitions of these words and phrases.
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