Greenacre Park is a public oasis at 217 East 51 Street between Third and Second Avenues. Friends of this precious bit of natural elegance smack in the middle of the commericial hardscape oppose Mayor Bill de Blasio’s crusade to “upgrade” the zoning of Midtown East.
(Editor’s note: So do we. So should anyone who values quality of life in one of Manhattan’s most densely packed districts.)
This “upzoning” would let surrounding buildings in the 78-block vicinity of Grand Central Terminal go higher and higher. Old buildings would make way for more muscular towers, leaving more and more streets and sidewalks in shadow for more and more hours of the day..
The upshot, according to The Gothamist, would be to downgrade the daily allotment of sunlight for such public amenities as Greenacre Park. The aggrieved parties would be many.
(Check out PIX11’s #FightForLight feature on Greenacre Park.)
Greenacre Park fought for its sunlight in 1980 and won
Back in 1980, the Greenacre Foundation scored a victory over a proposed nearby tower. The building would have gone stories higher than zoning allowed at the time. That win gives the park’s partisans some reason to hope that the mayor’s rezoning plan can be blocked. A similar rezoning effort was blocked near the end of Michael Bloomberg’s administration.
(Editor’s note: They never stop trying, and we should never stop fighting back.)
The rezoning, which would extend from East 39th to East 57th between Third and Fifth Avenues, is now making its way through a seven-month public review process. It would conclude after vetting by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and the City Planning Commission. The City Council could vote on it as early as late July.
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