Land Use

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.

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In May 2014, Mayor de Blasio released his plan ‘Housing New York,’ a five-borough ten-year plan to preserve and expand affordable housing. Key components of this plan include protecting current housing stock, preserving 120,000 units of existing housing, investing in strong neighborhoods by planning with communities, and creating 80,000 new affordable housing units. To achieve these goals, the Department of City Planning (DCP) proposed three initiatives: Zoning for Quality and Affordability (ZQA), Mandatory Inclusionary Housing and Neighborhood Studies.

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A joint project with CIVITAS and Community Board 11, the recommendations were developed to encourage the following goals in the community: affordable housing opportunities, economic development and job creation, new buildings that are contextual in scale with their surroundings and revitalization of Park Avenue.

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CIVITAS is concerned with the scale of projects recently being proposed in East Harlem and in the Upper East Side Historic District. One such site is at Park Avenue and 125th Street. Initially proposed as a 55-story tower,

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CIVITAS is a vocal advocate for reform of allowable bulk for rear yard encroachment for community facilities. A zoning amendment to bring the Upper East Side in line with what is allowed in other neighborhoods

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CIVITAS led a coalition of neighbors and advocacy groups to urge denial of permits and to raise public awareness regarding Mount Sinai Medical Center’s proposed research lab and 540-foot residential tower

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A catering operation that will use the church building at 583 Park Avenue to host large gala events five days a week threatens the distinctively residential character of Park Avenue in the 60s. CIVITAS is actively supporting

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