Pressing Mayoral and City Council Candidates on Upzoning and SoHo/NoHo

Village Preservation is reaching out to every mayoral candidate about their position on the Mayor’s SoHo/NoHo plan and upzoning neighborhoods, requesting position statements, responses to a questionnaire, and participation in candidates forums. We are doing the same with candidates for our three City Council seats: Districts 1, 2, and 3 (all include or abut the proposed rezoning area). Our first forum with candidates for Council District 3 will be on May 10 at 6 pm (CLICK HERE for information and to register). We have been meeting and communicating with mayoral candidates (all have received copies of Village Preservation’s report and analysis, and here is what we can tell you about their positions on the SoHo/NoHo plan and upzoning):

Scott Stringer has expressed support for the Mayor’s plan for upzoning SoHo and NoHo.

Eric Adams has expressed support for the Mayor’s plan for upzoning SoHo and NoHo.

Shaun Donovanexpressed support for zoning changes in Soho that de Blasio has recently backed that would upzone” the area.

Kathryn Garcia has expressed support for upzoning SoHo and NoHo; at a recent meeting with Village Preservation and other preservation groups in which she was questioned about the plan and the fact that it would incentivize the destruction of affordable housing and historic buildings, and the Community Alternative Plan that would allow for deeper and broader affordability without incentivizing destroying affordable housing or historic buildings, she reiterated her support for the Mayor’s plan and not for the Community Alternative Plan.

Maya Wileydid not give an affirmative whether or not she supported lifting the manufacturing and artist studio zoning on [SoHo and Noho] which the de Blasio administration believes could create more affordable housing in Lower Manhattan.”

Dianne Morales has said that “the zoning process itself is broken, and we need to fundamentally recreate how we do this…. I’m supportive of stopping all the massive rezonings until we fix the broken [Uniform Land Use Review Procedure] process. Right now, in terms of upzoning SoHo, I think we need to pause that as well. Because we really need to sort of re-examine the entire process by how this has happened.” Morales also called for an overhaul of the mandatory inclusionary housing program, saying, “We need to move away from this speculative market that commodifies housing, that provides incentives and subsidies to developers and prioritize community development” via “eminent domain and community land trusts” — a critique of the program similar to our own.

We have not yet received responses from the McGuire or Yang campaigns, nor have we been able to find a public statement from either candidate on the issue.

This is by no means an exhaustive accounting of the statements by these candidates on these issues. We will continue to pursue direct responses from the candidates to our outreach, and welcome being directed to any other public comments candidates have made on this issue, which we will share. 

April 19, 2021