FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 19, 2008
STATEMENTS BY MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND CITY PLANNING COMMISSIONER BURDEN ON THE CITY COUNCIL’S ADOPTION OF THE EAST VILLAGE AND LOWER EAST SIDE REZONING PLAN
Statement by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg:
"After a three-year, community-oriented planning process, today's adoption by the City Council of our comprehensive rezoning plan for the East Village and Lower East Side honors the history and heritage of these two celebrated Lower Manhattan communities. The new zoning of 111 blocks within the two areas will preserve the unique character of the neighborhoods by establishing height limits for the first time that will prevent new out-of-scale towers from undermining the existing building stock and established streetscapes. At the same time, the plan will create opportunities for new and affordable housing where appropriate on wider streets. It is expected to spur the production of 1,670 additional housing units over the next ten years, including 560 units permanently affordable to low- and middle-income families. The City will also work to preserve an additional 830 apartments for income-targeted families, and to seek housing funds from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation for preservation of existing housing in the Chinatown area and construction of new senior housing. The adoption of our plan for the East Village and Lower East Side is the latest in a series of important rezonings approved by the Council in the past year - including major plans for Jamaica, Harlem, Hunters Point South and Willets Point, among others - that will help New York City grow intelligently and prepare us for the future."
Statement by City Planning Commissioner Amanda M. Burden:
"Our rezoning plans for the East Village and Lower East Side will protect and preserve two of the City's most significant and diverse neighborhoods, which have played such an important role in the social, cultural and political life of the city. The rezoning plan adopted today will not only protect the area's unique building stock, but will fulfill the community's desire for and the Bloomberg Administration's commitment to affordable housing. This achievement is the result of a three-year collaboration with Community Board 3, Council Members Mendez and Gerson, local community groups and a broad spectrum of passionate advocates and local stakeholders. Their work has enabled us to preserve the integrity of these neighborhoods and pave the way for a stronger future. Active engagement with the community also fostered renewed interest in formulating a vision for the future of Chinatown. To support this effort, we will continue to work collaboratively with the Chinatown Working Group as it seeks to forge a consensus on complex issues, and propose a framework to address them."
Stu Loeser / Andrew Brent (212) 788-2958
Rachaele Raynoff / Jennifer Torres (City Planning)