New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to rezone parts of SoHo and NoHO took a step forward on Oct. 20 when the city’s Planning Commission voted unanimously in favor of the proposal. It had been rejected earlier by the community board in July and opposed by Manhattan Borough president Gale Brewer, The Gothamist reports.
The rezoning would allow buildings as tall as 27-stories in certain areas along Broadway and Canal.
“The plan significantly advances New York City’s equity and inclusivity goals, helps to address our severe and ongoing housing crisis and serves to speed New York City’s economic recovery,” said city Planning Commission chair Anita Laremont.
City officials say the rezoning could pave the way for the construction of as many as 3,500 new apartments, including up to 900 subsidized apartments for low and middle income New Yorkers, through the city’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing requirement, the published report says.
The SoHo/NoHo rezoning has been opposed by a diversity of opponents. Planning Commissioner Anna Hayes Levin, who ultimately voted in favor of the plan, made it clear there are some valid concerns. She hopes city council will make improvements during its review.
“I worry that we are in fact undermining the integrity of the historic district,” she said. “I do think this is a once in a generation opportunity to update the zoning regime that time has passed by and I don’t believe that at this point in our process the significant imperfections that I see should hold things up.”
The city council has 50 days to review the rezoning, and after possibly making changes to the plan, to vote on it.