Borough President Scott Stringer Urges Bowery Rezoning

Posted on: November 22nd, 2011 at 6:09 am by

Through the tireless efforts of the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors, the issue of preserving the eastern side of the Bowery through rezoning is again at the forefront.  We received word last night from activist David Mulkins that Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer supports the protection of this iconic thoroughfare.  Recognition from the National Register of Historic Places is not enough.  Rezoning and landmarking would together be the best-case scenario, and what many are hoping for under their Christmas trees (Chanukah bushes) this year…

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Stringer’s appeal to the Department of City Planning is transcribed below:

November 14, 2011

Dear Chair [Amanda] Burden:

I am writing to express my support for studying a potential rezoning of the east side of the Bowery.  The eastern edge of the Bowery has a unique built form, which unlike its western counterpart, is not in a special zoning district or historic district.  As a result, several building that are out of context in terms of size and built form have been constructed.

As you are aware, the Bowery was not included in the East Village/Lower East Side rezoning. Since that time, Community Board 3 has dedicated two Community Planning Fellows to studying the conditions on the Bowery and the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors (BAN) has also conducted its own study of the area.  The resulting studies include recommendations for zoning solutions, but also recognize that zoning cannot be the only protection.  As such, community groups are exploring protections, outside of a zoning framework, which will protect specific buildings through historic districts on the City, State, and Federal levels. These studies represent a continued interest in finding new ways to protect and maintain the Bowery’s historic built form.

Local elected officials, Community Board 3 and many community groups have all expressed a desire to pursue a rezoning of the Bowery, in addition to acknowledging the need for other protections.  Given the rapid changes to the built form on the Bowery, I believe it is time for the City to work with the relevant stakeholders to assess the appropriateness of zoning solutions on the east side of the Bowery.

I therefore request that the Department of City Planning consider a zoning study for the area that will encourage appropriate built forms while preserving the Bowery’s historic character. If you have any questions, please contact Brian Cook, my Director of Land Use, Planning and Development at (212) 669-2224. As always, I look forward to working with you further on this matter.

Thanks for your consideration.

Scott M. Stringer
Manhattan Borough President

BP Scott Stringer Urges Bowery Rezoning

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