NEWS AND ISSUES
November 19, 2010
Amanda M. Burden, Chair
New York City Planning Commission
22 Reade Street
New York, New York 10007
Dear Chair Burden:
As a State Senator whose district includes parts of the Bowery, I write to express my full support for the East Bowery Preservation Plan ("The Plan") proposed by the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors (BAN). I am joined in my support of the Plan by Manhattan Community Board 3, other elected officials and local community and neighborhood coalitions, who share my concern that the east side of this historic and culturally diverse street is threatened by unprecedented development and thus merits the 85 foot height limit and other zoning protections laid out by the Plan.
I greatly appreciate the New York City Planning Commission's rezoning of much of the Lower East Side in 2008 and its rezoning of the Third Avenue Corridor earlier this year. The New York City Department of City Planning deserves much credit for its close collaboration with community stakeholders during the development of these changes. However, as I noted in my public testimonies before the Commission on these rezonings, the failure to include the east side of the Bowery was a conspicuous omission given both the Bowery's own significance and its contiguity with those neighboring low-rise, historic neighborhoods. The lack of zoning protection on the Bowery has fostered an unprecedented development free-for-all that in recent years has produced alarming changes to its character.
While I believe that property development is essential to New York Cityfs continued economic growth, it cannot come at the cost of the Boweryfs integrity as one of our Cityfs oldest and most culturally significant thoroughfares. In light of the recent nomination of the Bowery to the National Register of Historic Places, I urge the Commission to act expeditiously on the rezoning proposal specified in the East Bowery Preservation Plan.
Thomas K. Duane
New York State Senator