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Chinatown Zoning Proposals Presented to CB3 Tonight

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Members of the Chinatown Working Group will present revised zoning proposals to Community Board 3’s land use committee tonight. The coalition – representing 50 neighborhood organizations – intends to submit a comprehensive community development plan to the city in the next several months.  This summer they’ve been seeking input from all three downtown community boards (1, 2 and 3).

There’s always an interesting dynamic when the Chinatown Working Group (CWG) appears before CB3. The organization was an outgrowth of the community board’s controversial rezoning of the neighborhood in 2008, which excluded Chinatown and the Two Bridges area.

Some members of the CWG are pushing to rezone not only the historic core of Chinatown, but a huge area encompassing nearly all of the Lower East Side (up to 15th Street).  One major area of contention: whether to allow bigger buildings along Canal Street. A few months ago, several real estate developers added their voices to the debate, advocating for “upzoning” Canal.

There are also some members calling on the CWG to weigh in on the redevelopment of the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA).  Their involvement in this particular issue has not been warmly received by CB3, which has a task force dedicated to resolving the decades-old controversy.

This evening’s meeting takes place at 63pm at University Settlement, 184 Eldridge Street.

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