Continuing the Fight to Save SoHo & NoHo – Next Public Meeting March 20
Village Preservation continues to work with our allies with whom we have formed the Save SoHo-NoHo Coalition to protect these neighborhoods in the face of real estate and institutional interests advocating for disturbing changes to the neighborhood’s zoning. Currently the Mayor’s City Planning Department, Borough President Gale Brewer, and City Councilmember Margaret Chin are leading a process to “examine” the neighborhood’s zoning, which seems geared towards making changes. See coverage in The Villager, Bowery Boogie, and Patch.
Hundreds turned out again for the last public meeting held on the potential rezoning, at which many residents expressed skepticism about the process, the lack of inclusion of the ‘Advisory Board’ established to steer the process (from which Village Preservation was excluded, but the Real Estate Board of NY and NYU were given seats) and the lack of accurate or complete information being provided about the neighborhoods by the conveners. City Planning’s presentation appeared to blame landmark designation for retail vacancies in the neighborhood, even though landmarked areas often show lower rates of retail vacancies than comparable non-landmarked areas.
Village Preservation and our fellow members of the Save SoHo-NoHo Coalition continue to call for:
- Preserving the existing rights and protections for residents, esp. artists/those in JLWQA (Joint Living-Work Quarters for Artists)
- Maintaining the existing allowable FAR (density of development as measured by floor area)
- Upholding existing limits on the maximum allowable size of retail
- Keeping public review for developments or uses not currently allowed
- Limiting types of university uses to those allowable under existing zoning
- Keeping the creative character of SoHo and NoHo
The next public meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 20 at 6pm at the Municipal Building (One Centre Street) North Wing Mezzanine. We strongly urge all who care about protecting NoHo and SoHo to attend and express your desire to preserve these neighborhoods.
Here’s how you can also help: