Consolidated SPDES Renewals
New York City County - The New York City Planning Commission, as lead agency, has accepted a Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed Special West Chelsea District Rezoning and High Line Open Space (CEQR No. 03DCP069M - ULURP Nos. N050161 ZRM, 050162 ZMM, 050163 PCM). The action involves the New York City Department of City Planning (NYC DCP) proposing to rezone portions of the West Chelsea area in Manhattan Community District 4. The rezoning area is generally bounded by W. 30th Street, W. 17th Street, Tenth Avenue, and Eleventh Avenue (the rezoning area also includes the east side of Tenth Avenue between W. 16th and W. 18th Streets to a point 400 feet east of Tenth Avenue). The proposed action would change the existing M1-5 zoning district, mapped over much of the rezoning area, to C6-2, C6-3 and C6-4 zoning districts and the existing MX-3 zoning district (M1-5/R8-A and M1–5/R9A mixed-use districts), mapped between W. 22nd and W. 24th Streets, to C6-2A and C6-3A zoning districts. The existing M1-5 district would be retained in the midblocks between W. 20th and W. 22nd Streets and W. 24th and W. 27th Streets. The proposed action also includes zoning text amendments to Article IX (Special Purpose Districts) of the New York City Zoning Resolution (ZR) pertaining to the establishment of the Special West Chelsea District. The proposed zoning map and text amendments would require approval by the City Planning Commission (CPC) and the City Council.
Also included in the proposed action is the acquisition and site selection action of the High Line to facilitate its conversion to a publicly accessible open space. This includes the High Line elevated structure extending from Eleventh Avenue and W. 30th Street to its southern terminus at Gansevoort Street. It also includes the Post Office spur north of W. 30th Street and east of Tenth Avenue. The entire length of the High Line open space would be publicly accessible. The section of the High Line west of Eleventh Avenue is not part of the proposed action. Accordingly, the proposed action area includes the rezoning area and the portion of the High Line that would be acquired by the City to facilitate its conversion to publicly accessible 6.7-acre open space. Regulations specific to the Special District would include: a mechanism to allow the transfer of floor area from lots occupied by the High Line and immediately to the west, to designated receiving sites for new residential and commercial development; special bulk controls to regulate the height and massing of buildings throughout the Special District; and a floor area bonus in exchange for providing access to and improvement of the High Line open space.
The creation of the proposed High Line publicly accessible open space and the use of zoning bonuses related to improvements of the High Line and the transfer of development rights from the High Line Transfer Corridor, included in the proposed action, are contingent on the City receiving a Certificate of Interim Trail Use (CITU) for the High Line. The CITU is necessary to allow the City to change the High Line to a non-railroad use as the federal government has jurisdiction over railroad corridors used for interstate commerce, including inactive lines such as the High Line [refer to 49 CFR § 1152.29(d)(1)]. In December, 2002, the City filed a request with the Surface Transportation Board (STB) for a CITU for the High Line, which was still pending at the time the EIS was being prepared.
In the event a CITU is not issued, the proposed High Line publicly accessible open space would not be created and the transfer of development rights mechanism and the floor area bonus for High Line Access and Improvement would not be available, as those provisions of the proposed Special District are contingent on the CITU. Therefore, this DEIS considers two scenarios for analysis: one in which the CITU is issued and the High Line is converted to publicly accessible open space; and a second scenario ("Base FAR Scenario") in which the CITU is not issued, the High Line remains in its current state and any zoning bonuses and transfer of development rights associated with the High Line would be unavailable. Both of these scenarios are described in greater detail below.
As the proposed action would rezone a large area encompassing 13 whole and 2 partial blocks, and a ten-year period is typically believed to be the length of time over which a projection can be made on changes due to the rezoning, the analysis considers an analysis year of 2013. The reasonable worst case development scenario identifies 25 projected development sites likely to be developed under the proposed action. In addition to the 25 projected development sites, there are 28 potential development sites. If development does not occur on the projected development sites, the same overall amount of development could occur instead on some or all of the potential development sites. Although considered possible sites for future development based on the "soft" site criteria, these sites are considered less likely to be developed over the ten year analysis period. Site conditions, location, and market demand are among the factors contributing to the more limited likelihood for redevelopment of potential development sites.
The proposed action is expected to result in a net increase of approximately 4,708 DUs, 219,507 sf of local retail space, 73,169 sf of destination retail space (together local and destination retail include 292,676 sf of retail space) and 198,726 sf of museum (community facility) space and a net decrease of 816,847 sf of office space, 131,100 sf of hotel space, 40,809 sf of storage/warehouse space, 318,580 sf of parking uses and 25,064 sf of vacant land.
Base FAR Scenario: The Base FAR Scenario is expected to result in a net increase of approximately 3,041 dwelling units. The increment for all other land uses is the same as that of the proposed action: an increase of approximately 219,507 sf of local retail space, 73,169 sf of destination retail space (together local and destination retail include 292,676 sf of retail space) and 198,726 sf of museum (community facility) space and a decrease of approximately 816,847 sf of office space, 131,100 sf of hotel space, 40,809 sf of storage/warehouse space, 318,580 sf of parking uses and 25,064 sf of vacant land.
As described in greater detail in subsequent chapters of the DEIS, the proposed zoning map amendments include the placement of an (E) Designation on several tax lots identified as development sites and expected to be redeveloped as a result of the proposed action. An (E) designation would be placed on the amended zoning map to denote certain parcels where the proposed action has the potential to result in significant adverse hazardous materials, air quality, or noise impacts. The (E) designation would ensure that these properties would not be redeveloped unless necessary remedial measures are implemented. Potential Development Sites 46 through 53, currently located in the MX-3 mixed-use district, mapped as part of the Chelsea Rezoning (CEQR No. 99DCP030M), contain noise attenuation requirements mandated by the MX-3 district, pursuant to ZR Section 123-32. As part of the proposed action, the MX-3 district would be eliminated and mapped with underlying contextual C6-2A and C6-3A zoning districts. In order to ensure that the noise attenuation requirements continue to apply to these sites once the MX-3 district is eliminated, these sites have been included in both the future with and future without the proposed action. No incremental development is expected on these sites as a result of the proposed action.
The proposed zoning map amendment, zoning text amendments, and site selection and acquisition require approvals by the City Planning Commission and City Council pursuant to Sections 197-c, Section 199, and Section 201 of the New York City Charter. The actions are subject to CEQR. The zoning map amendment is subject to the City’s ULURP. The zoning text amendment is a non-ULURP action, but is subject to review by the City Planning Commission and City Council as noted above. The site selection and acquisition is subject to the City’s ULURP.
The DEIS discloses the potential for significant adverse impacts related to community facilities (schools, publicly funded day care facilities), open space, historic resources (architectural resources), shadows, traffic and transit (bus services). All significant adverse impacts could be mitigated with the exception of impacts related to shadows, historic resources, and open space (Base FAR Scenario only).
The DEIS considers six alternatives to the proposed action. The alternatives consist of a No Action Alternative; a No Impacts Alternative; a Lesser Density Alternative; a Community Board 4 Alternative; an Affordable Housing Alternative; and an Affordable Housing Requirement Alternative.
Copies of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement may be obtained from the Environmental Assessment and Review Division, New York City Department of City Planning, 22 Reade Street, 4E, New York, New York 10007, Robert Dobruskin, Director (212) 720-3423; or from the Office of Environmental Coordination, 100 Gold Street, 2nd Floor, New York, New York 10038, Robert Kulikowski, Director, (212) 788-2937.
Contact: Glen A. Price, Studies Implementation Division, Department of City Planning, 22 Reade Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10007, phone: (212) 720-3491, fax: (212) 720-3495, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.