Community Board 3 Seeks to Open Dialogue With City on Chinatown Rezoning

chinatown cwg map

In the past several weeks, Community Board 3 decided it would ask the Department of City Planning for a meeting to discuss a potential rezoning in Chinatown and adjacent areas.

In February, the agency rejected an expansive rezoning proposed by the Chinatown Working Group, a coalition that has spent the last seven years on a neighborhood master plan. Carl Weisbrod, Director of City Planning said the proposed “Special Chinatown and Lower East Side Zoning District” was “not feasible” but that his agency would be willing to work with the community on “targeted areas of opportunity.”

In a letter to Weisbrod, dated May 29, Community Board 3 Chair Gigi Li underscored the strong desire among community activists to protect the historic character of Chinatown’s oldest blocks and to preserve and create affordable housing. Li added:

We recognize that the comprehensive plan in totality is vast in both scope and reach. We also share your desire to discuss how we can work together to identify targeted areas where we can advance shared goals and priorities. In particular, we have identified three specific Subdistricts; Subdistricts A, B and D… It is our belief these target areas provide the most prudent starting point to engage in discussions with the Department of City Planning. Importantly, they also have the greatest potential for maximizing preservation and development of affordable housing while ensuring we sustain and support the unique character that defines our community.

Subdistrict A covers the historic core of Chinatown as well as the East Broadway corridor.  Subdistrict B encompasses a large area in the Two Bridges neighborhood dominated by New York City Housing Authority developments, spanning all the way up to 14th Street. Subdistrict D covers almost all of the East Side waterfront.

More to come…


CB 3 Letter to DCP Chair by The Lo-Down