Soho/Noho group seeks to verify artist residents

TRD New York /
Apr.April 17, 2012 04:30 PM

The real estate agent-led Soho/Noho Action Committee is on a hunt to delete language from a city zoning resolution that dates back to the 1970s, DNAinfo reported. In its effort to ditch the zoning law, which requires that both Soho and Noho converted lofts house at least one city-certified artist as a resident, the group wants to survey the area to see if an artist actually lives in every residence on file at the Department of Cultural Affairs.

The group told DNAinfo they’re aiming to raise $25,000 by next month so it can hire surveyors to conduct the verifications this summer. More than half of the targeted amount has reportedly been raised.

“We’ll find out [building] uses that are legal and illegal,” real estate lawyer Margaret Baisley told DNAinfo, “and how many artists actually live in the neighborhood.”

The DCA can certify “fine” artists, such as painters, poets and choreographers, according to DNAinfo, while “interpretive” artists, like actors, musicians and dancers cannot be certified. Such disparities, critics say, are arbitrary. [DNAinfo]

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