City Planning Commission To Vote On South of Union Square Hotel Special Permit Plan Next Wed.; City Council Hearings To Follow

Next Wednesday the City Planning Commission will also be voting upon the proposal to require special permits for new hotels in Greenwich Village and the East Village south of Union Square.  As this is the City Planning Commission’s own proposal, we expect them to approve it, in spite of the fact that every speaker at the January public hearing criticized the proposal and it was unanimously rejected by all three affected Community Boards and the Borough President, all of whom joined Village Preservation in urging the City to replace this with a proposal for real landmark and zoning protections for the area. 

The proposal is moving ahead for three apparent reasons:  1) It is payback by Mayor de Blasio to a powerful union which was the sole endorser of his failed presidential campaign which seeks this measure; 2) it is supported by large hotel developers who are major campaign donors to the Mayor, and 3) it is the final piece of the deal between Councilmember Carlina Rivera and Mayor de Blasio as part of her approval in 2018 of the upzoning for the Tech Hub on 14th Street which is increasing development pressure on this area. This, along with 7 cherry-picked landmark designations (3.5% of those Village Preservation and others had urged be considered for landmark designation in the area, and exclusively buildings which faced no danger and were unlikely to face any danger any time in the foreseeable future) are the supposed “neighborhood protections” being granted in return for Councilmember Rivera’s support for the Mayor’s Tech Hub. But neither offers virtually any protections for an area facing rampant demolitions and out-of-scale and out-of-character new development, and we must demand the REAL protections Councilmember Rivera promised would be a condition of her support for the tech hub.

From the City Planning Commission, the plan will go to the City Council, where Councilmember Rivera will decide its fate.  

TO HELP:Write City Officials Telling Them the Hotel Special Permit Plan Offers None of the Protections Greenwich Village and the East Village Need and Demand – CLICK HERE
February 25, 2020