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January 10th, 2006

Breaking News in the Battle to Save the West Village

by SoHo Journal Staff

* The City announced September 19th, that they will vote the following day to calendar the two new historic districts they are proposing for the Far West Village (calendaring is the critical first official step in considering an area for landmark designation and brings some basic protections to the site before full landmarking is voted upon).?Ǭ Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation has fought hard to have them accelerate this date, because they have been very concerned about owners/developers demolishing and/or severely altering buildings before they are calendared to avoid designation; originally, the calendaring of both districts was not supposed to happen until many months from now.

* Additionally, the City also announced that THREE CRITICAL BUILDINGS GVSHP HAD FOUGHT TO HAVE PUT BACK INTO THE FAR WEST VILLAGE LANDMARK PLAN HAVE BEEN ADDED — 177 Christopher Street and 139 143 Charles/689 Washington Street.?Ǭ The latter two are among the “carve-outs” they fought to have the City put back into the plan.

* The City announced late last week that in response to calls to speed up the date of the vote on the Far West Village rezoning, they would also accelerate that vote, setting it for September 26th, several weeks earlier than initially planned and their earliest possible date to vote.?Ǭ At last week’s hearing, over a hundred of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation members and supporters showed up to urge they move up the vote to prevent the many developers now seeking to “beat the clock” and develop under the old, more permissive zoning, from doing so.?Ǭ Apparently they convinced them.

* The first hearing on Related Company’s variance for development of the Superior Ink site (Bethune and West Streets), one of the sites they have protested being “carved out” of both the landmarking and rezoning plan for the area, will be on Wednesday Sept. 28th at 10 am at the BSA, 40 Rector Street, 6th floor.?Ǭ Though the plan is shorter and no longer glassy and curvilinear like the original, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation will still be there to demand it further reduced in size.

For further information on this topic or to join the battle contact:
Andrew Berman,
Executive Director Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation
212/475-9585 x 38

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