Midtown East community boards ask Cuomo to intervene to delay rezoning

November 30, 2012 09:30AM

While many agree that Midtown East should be rezoned, there is considerable disagreement over the timeframe. Now, the Tri-Board Task Force on East Midtown, which is comprised of members of Community Boards 5, 6 and 8, is calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to delay the rezoning because of Hurricane Sandy — a final, desperate attempt to ensure the rezoning is not done in haste, the New York Observer reported.

The Bloomberg Administration proposed the rezoning in July to encourage replacement of the aging office stock in the area. The proposal would allow taller buildings in the entire 74-block Midtown East region if developers make a payment into a new city fund.

City Councilman Dan Garodnick asked the Department of City Planning to delay its decision on the rezoning in August, arguing that such an overhaul should be implemented more carefully.

“I understand that the Mayor’s term has less than 500 days remaining, but that should not be the prime factor in driving the time frame for such an important proposal,” Garodnick said in a letter to Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden at the time, as the Observer has previously reported.

Now the task force is echoing that sentiment, but using Hurricane Sandy as the main reason for the push to extend the timeframe for the rezoning.

“The tragic events of the past few weeks have brought to light our city’s unique vulnerabilities in a world of climate change,” said a letter from the task force sent to Cuomo, according to the Observer.

Of course, as the Observer notes, few neighborhoods fared better in the storm than the Midtown East area, which saw minimal damage from Sandy. [NYO] –Guelda Voien