SoHo Broadway Community: Zoning Proposal Being Reviewed by City Council
On October 20th, the City Planning Commission unanimously approved the SoHo NoHo Neighborhood Plan application with minor changes. The proposal is now under review by City Council, who has 50 days to consider the application and approve, reject, or make changes to it. It is expected that the ULURP process will be completed on or before the end of this year.
A public hearing was held Tuesday, November 9, at the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises Meeting. SoHo Broadway Initiative Executive Director Mark Dicus presented testimony, highlighting areas of Board agreement including the following points:
- JLWQA units should be allowed to be converted to residential without requiring a certified artist to occupy the unit. The conversion process should be efficient and inexpensive, with flexibility around code compliance, and have a no-work approval process where appropriate to protect current residents who have occupied these buildings for decades.
- The proposed conversion fee is overly burdensome on owners of JLWQA units and the proposed arts fund is insufficient, unsustainable, and lacks sufficient focus on SoHo and NoHo. The provisions for creating an arts fund should be removed with a separate process for arts and culture planning undertaken when there is community and political support for doing so.
- The Initiative is committed to working with the City to address quality-of-life issues in our unique mixed-use district and calls on the City to make enforceable commitments to address garbage, retail lighting and signage, sidewalk and vehicular congestion, commercial deliveries, and public space improvements.
- The City is urged to provide adequate resources to protect against displacement of existing residents, especially those who live in affordable and rent-regulated housing.
The testimony can be read in full here.
Resources: SoHo-NoHo Neighborhood Plan website, Zoning Application Portal page