Chinatown Working Group Could Get Chilly Reception at CB3 Tonight

It should be an interesting evening at Community Board 3’s land use committee meeting tonight.  Representatives of the Chinatown Working Group (CWG) will detail their proposals for moving forward on a potential rezoning of the neighborhood.  Among their ideas: reassessing the sweeping rezoning of the Lower East Side undertaken by CB3 in 2008 and pushing for more affordable housing on the Seward Park redevelopment site (see above).

The Chinatown Working Group is made up of dozens of community groups who have spent the past three years trying to reach a consensus on a comprehensive set of planning goals for Chinatown.  In recent weeks, the organization coalesced around a number of principles, some of which are not likely to be warmly received by certain members of CB3.  The CWG needs the support of Community boards 1, 2 and 3 before moving forward with a 197A plan (a rezoning proposal to be subitted to the city).

Two principles, in particular, could be sticking points during this evening’s conversation. Quoting directly from the CWG document:

#4 – Acknowledging the guidelines adopted in January 2011 by CB#3 for the redevelopment of the Seward Park Urban Renewal Site, we add that the principle of 100% affordable housing should be developed on government-owned property. We therefore advocate for greater affordable housing than the currently recommended 50% that the CB#3 guidelines call for.

#8 – We agree that the CWG 197(c) should consider the area north of Delancey to Houston Street, revisiting the portion of the 2008 rezoning that upzoned Chrystie Street, Houston Street and Delancey Street, given recent data showing secondary displacement in this area, and since many local organizations including members of the EV/LES 197(c) Task Force and affordable housing organizations have expressed concerns over the 2008 rezoning of the EV/LES, and because DCP has reconsidered recent rezonings

 Click here if you would like to read the whole zoning document. CB3’s land use committee meets tonight at 6:30 p.m., at Project Renewal, 333 Bowery.