SoHo/NoHo Neighborhood Plan

On April 13th, 2022, the CB2 Land Use and Housing Committee heard a presentation resentation by representatives from Assemblymember Deborah Glick’s office regarding her Bill #A09675, which proposes legalizing residential occupancy of joint living-work quarters for artists (JLWQA) without requiring occupancy by certified artists. View a recording of the meeting.

On July 26, 2021, CB2 voted to reject the City’s Proposed Plan to Rezone SoHo, NoHo and Chinatown, 36-1.

Opposition to the City’s Proposed Plan to Rezone SoHo, NoHo and Chinatown

  1. Rejects the Mayor’s Plan because it fails to meet its stated goals – to create affordable housing, allow a wider range of commercial and residential uses, and support the creative community. Instead:
    1. It fails to achieve its affordable housing objectives and fails to protect against displacement of low-income tenants, particularly Chinatown residents, seniors aging-in- place and tenants who are rent-stabilized, rent controlled or currently only protected under New York State Loft Law. Instead, the Mayor’s Plan must provide significantly more affordable housing through direct city investment in 100% affordable housing construction, adaptive reuse of existing buildings, and revise requirements that mandate far greater numbers of affordable housing units with lower median incomes than currently under the city’s MIH program;
    2. It fails to strengthen the unique mixed-use neighborhood, incentivizing commercial development and large retail at the expense of small businesses. Eliminating retail caps threatens small businesses and removing eating and drinking caps eliminates the community’s voice on uses that may be incompatible with residential neighborhoods. These changes will negatively impact the expanding residential community;
    3. It fails to secure the future or consider expansion of the highly successful JLWQA use and instead (i) proposes the eventual elimination through an ill-conceived “mechanism” identified as an arts fund with no meaningful details, (ii) charges a punitive tax on current residents, many of whom are legally conforming seniors aging-in-place and (iii) imposes costly code compliance requirements as a result of the change from manufacturing to residential use that DCP has not even considered;
    4. It fails to protect the six historic districts and buildings in the adjacent areas and in fact encourages unprecedented encroachment of massive commercial development within them;
    5. It utterly failed to directly reach out to residents of Chinatown and include their input even though 43% of the new housing development is projected in Chinatown. It failed to engage with the community as promised throughout the Envision SoHo/NoHo process, including residents, other stakeholders, our state elected officials, the Manhattan Borough President, our local city council members and city council land use staff in the formation of the City’s Plan;
    6. It fails to mitigate the impact of the Mayor’s Plan on active open space, shadows, historic and cultural resources, transportation and construction; and,
    7. It fails to modernize and preserve the governing framework for SoHo and NoHo, to expand on the clear success achieved and does not evolve the zoning to meet the city’s objectives.
  1. Joins with tenant groups, preservationists and many highly respected organizations in SoHo, NoHo and Chinatown and across the city (see Appendix A) in opposing the Mayor’s Plan that clearly financially benefits property owners and does not take into account the negative long-term effects.
  2. Urges the city to resume its planning process under an administration that will work in good faith to balance the goals of those advocating for affordable housing and historic preservation, since it is possible to do both, by specifically addressing the plan’s failures detailed above.
  3. Implores our elected officials to do what DCP has refused to do – LISTEN TO THE COMMUNITY!

Below are some of the letters submitted to Manhattan CB2 in advance of the July 26th Full Board vote:

Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP)

Winter 2021: City Review Sessions

In Winter 2021, the Department of City Planning (DCP), Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Council Member Margaret Chin co-hosted three information sessions. “Each session, joined by involved city agencies, will focus on specific aspects of the Neighborhood Plan. This will be an opportunity to learn more and ask questions specific to the theme of each event including housing, quality of life in a community where businesses and residents live in close proximity, arts and culture and more. Input gathered from these sessions will help inform the ongoing work to further develop and refine the SoHo/NoHo Neighborhood Plan.” More information on each Info Session Series is available on the Department of City Planning’s SoHo NoHo Neighborhood Plan website

Fall 2021: Draft Scope of Work

2019: Envision SoHo/NoHo 

View CB2’s April 2019 Resolution to inform CB2’s role in the Envision SoHo/NoHo process.