Avenue Zoning on the Upper East Side
Following hot on the heels of CIVITAS’s recommendations for ZQA and MIH, and in light of increased development of “supertall” towers within the Upper East Side, CIVITAS and consultant BFJ Planning have studied the possibility of a new, contextual zoning designation for Upper East Side avenues. The resulting report recommends that a new zoning designation, C1-9X, be implemented on York, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Avenues within Community District 8. This new designation would create a new height limit of 400 feet, preventing additional “supertalls” along the avenues. Additionally, C1-9X would require setbacks set between 65 and 80 feet in Quality Housing developments, much more in line with existing construction in the neighborhood.
Proposed C1-9X Recommendations
The goal of the report is to offer an alternative to the C1-9 designation that could be applied to avenues in the Upper East Side. This alternative would preserve the prevailing street wall while limiting out of context building heights. These goals could be achieved through creation of a C1-9X contextual zone with two simple, straightforward constraints that are reflective of the particular context on the Upper East Side:
1. Height Limit: 400;
2. If Quality Housing is chose, set back at 60′-85′, not 125′-150′.
These recommendations would preserve each of the development alternatives under existing zoning, with two additional provisions. The C1-9X development alternatives, with these two recommended changes are displayed below: