The East Harlem Neighborhood Planning Study is a part of Housing New York, the Mayor’s housing plan to build and preserve affordable housing through community development initiatives that foster a more equitable and livable New York City. Housing is considered “affordable” if a household spends no more than a third of its total income on housing costs.
In 2002, the Department of City Planning (DCP) rezoned 57 blocks in East Harlem, east of Lexington Avenue and south of 124th Street to East 99th Street, much of which was zoned R7-2, a moderate density residential district. The goals of this rezoning were to encourage new residential opportunities, ensure future development was consistent with the existing neighborhood characteristics, preserve the scale of the mid-block and lead to ground floor retail and services.
In May of 2013, Community Board 11, in partnership with the not-for-profit organization Civitas, published a planning and zoning study of the area between East 115th Street and East 132nd Street, bound by Madison Avenue on the west and Lexington Ave on the east. Informed by over a year of community input, the report made recommendations to update zoning districts and increase density in certain areas, promote affordable housing and economic development, and preserve neighborhood character.
A major factor of the study will also be a Neighborhood Health Initiative. On February 1, 2015, the Fund for Public Health in New York announced its partnership with the New York Academy of Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital and DCP to work on establishing a local wholesale food hub that will provide neighborhood bodegas and markets with fresh fruits and vegetables, among other goals.
The current East Harlem Neighborhood study expands upon these previous efforts by examining a large geography and incorporating a plan for the preservation and the development of affordable housing. Additionally, the study proposes to identify areas where infrastructure and open space improvements are needed as well as areas of opportunity for economic and community development.
Engagement with the community and local stakeholders is an essential component of the planning process in East Harlem. DCP will lead a range of events throughout the land use review process to allow public participation, engagement, and comment on the East Harlem neighborhood planning process. Partnering with DCP on this Plan are the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), Department of Small Business Services (SBS), NYC Economic Development Corporation (EDC), Department of Transportation (DOT), Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), and the School Construction Authority (SCA).
City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Community Board 11 convened a steering committee comprised of East Harlem community organization representatives and city agencies. The Steering Committee held public community visioning workshops on various neighborhood topics throughout 2016. The Steering Committee produced a comprehensive set of recommendations in the East Harlem Neighborhood Plan, which serves as a foundation for DCP’s efforts in the East Harlem neighborhood. For more information on the Speaker’s Steering Committee and its East Harlem Neighborhood Plan, check Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s webpage, where you can also submit your feedback.
If you would like to get involved, keep checking this webpage and our Get Involved page for upcoming events.