[EVG file photo of The Nathaniel]
The de Blasio administration's rezoning proposals Zoning for Quality and Affordability (ZQA) and Mandatory Inclusionary Housing have been making the rounds at the Community Board level.
The proposals have, to date, reportedly concerned some neighborhood politicians, housing activists and preservation groups.
Now the plans go before City Council tomorrow (Wednesday!) for final review.
Here's more on how these proposals could impact the East Village in the opinion of The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP):
Under the Mayor’s ZQA plan, in virtually the entire East Village, new market-rate developments would be allowed to grow five feet higher. While this seem like a modest amount, it’s a noticeable difference — in much of the East Village, existing buildings often average forty to fifty-five feet in height. A five foot difference is therefore significant.
The bigger change will come on East Village avenues and the blocks between 3rd and 4th Avenues. There new development will be able to grow by 25 feet or 31% over existing allowable height limits if they include 20% affordable housing – lifting height limits in these areas from 80 to 105 feet or 120 to 145 feet.
Some may say the height limit increase is worth it for the affordable housing produced. But all evidence points to the height limit increases not resulting in a single additional unit of affordable housing being built, and potentially only resulting in developments which would have been built anyway growing up to 25 feet or 31% taller.
Right now, East Village avenues and the blocks between 3rd and 4th Avenues have what is called “inclusionary zoning.” This means including 20% affordable housing in new developments is incentivized (but not required) by allowing developers to add additional market-rate square feet to help pay for the affordable housing they include. The new developments must currently abide by the existing height limits; currently about 50% of new developments in the East Village chose to include the affordable housing.
GVSHP investigated new developments in the East Village's affordable housing zones and found that at least five were approved by the city without requiring affordable housing, as DNAinfo reported.
The GVSHP identified these developments as: 84 Third Ave./138 E. 12th St. (The Nathaniel); 152-154 Second Ave.; 118 E. First St.; 438 E. 12th St.; and 67 Avenue C. (You can find a PDF of their letter revealing their findings to the city here.)
Andrew Berman, executive director of the GVSHP, told DNAinfo: "We are losing out on the affordable housing we should be getting. In return are buildings that are larger than they are supposed to be."
A Department of Buildings spokesperson told DNAinfo that they "will review each of the projects listed to ensure compliance with inclusionary housing requirements."