Public Meeting on SoHo-NoHo Study Recommendations on January 8

Last month, the Department of City Planning, Borough President Gale Brewer, and City Councilmember Margaret Chin released their “recommendations and findings” regarding possible changes to zoning and other regulations affecting the NoHo and SoHo neighborhoods.

As we reported then, the report had no real surprises in it, as it largely echoed what had been publicly presented in June.  Most of the recommendations are broad and vague, and avoid many of the most controversial possibilities real estate interests were lobbying for, including vastly increasing the allowable size of retail spaces in the neighborhood.

However, there was one area left purposely vague about which Village Preservation had raised concerns and asked for clarifications in June, which the study sponsors have not provided.  Buried within the report on p.68 it says:  
 Although limited, opportunities for new affordable housing include potential development on a number of underused lots both within and outside of the historic districts (e.g. parking lots, lots occupied by one-story buildings), as well as non-residential buildings conducive to residential conversion. Potential implementation strategies include:  Explore opportunities for increased density (emphasis added), where appropriate, to expand opportunities for the creation of housing, including affordable housing…
Adding affordable housing in SoHo and NoHo would be welcomed by virtually everyone, and existing rules already allow larger development on parking lots and small, non-historic buildings either inside or outside of the neighborhood’s historic districts.  In fact, multiple buildings of ten or more stories have already been built under current rules on such sites throughout the neighborhood – buildings which are as tall if not taller than by far the majority of their neighbors.
Send A Letter to City Officials Saying That Affordable Housing is Welcome in NoHo and SoHo But Upzoning is Not – Click Here

December 12, 2019