Two of the city’s traditionally less affluent neighborhoods are poised to gain recognition for their historic character. The Department of City Planning said today it is launching the public review process for rezonings of West Harlem and Bedford-Stuyvesant North meant primarily to preserve the areas’ existing character.
In West Harlem, the rezoning would affect 90 blocks, including the Hamilton Heights and Sugar Hill districts. It would set maximum height limits six to eight stories along St. Nicholas and Amsterdam avenues, and 10 to 12 stories on Broadway and Edgecombe avenues.
In contrast to those new limits, the rezoning would encourage new development along West 145th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam avenues, where affordable housing could replace commercial structures. Finally, the initiative would rezone a four-block area bounded by West 126th and West 130th streets and Amsterdam and Columbus avenues, to strengthen a low-density manufacturing district that could spark new job creation.
In Bedford-Stuyvesant North, the rezoning proposal aims to limit building height to five stories on east-west streets and seven stories on north-south avenues, including Nostrand, Tomplins, Marcy, Stuyvesant, to perserve the low-density blocks. At the same time, the rezoning would encourage new development, especially affordable housing projects, for taller buildings along stretches of Broadway, Bedford, Marcy and Myrtle avenues that are serviced by J, M and Z subway stations. Finally, the measure would rezone 17 blocks of Broadway to encourage non-residential uses, and more storefronts.
In West Harlem and Bedford-Stuyvesant North, Community Boards 9 and 6, respectively, have 60 days to review the proposals before they move to officials in City Planning and then the City Council. — Adam Fusfeld