NEW YORK CITY—A group of Upper West Side homeowners, businesses along Broadway, Amsterdam and Columbus avenues, neighborhood business improvement districts, and trade organizations and business associations have joined forces to vocalize their opposition to a City Planning proposal that would restrict retail zoning on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Arguing that the proposal would have unintended consequences on local businesses and limit consumer choices, job creation, economic growth and tax revenue, opponents to the rezoning have asked that the Department of City Planning withdraw the proposal pending additional examination of the economic consequences.
The opponents are reacting to the Upper West Side Neighborhood Streets Proposal which seeks to rezone sections of Columbus and Amsterdam avenues to limit the size of all storefronts, including retail shops and restaurants, to 40 feet or less. Among the other constricting proposed rules, the rezoning would only allow banks to occupy 25 feet or less of storefront on Columbus, Amsterdam and Broadway.
Neighborhood, local business groups and trade organizations working together to oppose the rezoning include the West Manhattan Chamber of Commerce; Columbus Ave BID; Council of New York Cooperatives and Condominiums; NYS Restaurant Association; the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce; Lincoln Square BID; the NYC chapter of the Commercial Real Estate Development Association (NAIOP); and the Real Estate Board of New York.
“The proposed zoning purports to protect the interests of small business and maintain the neighborhood flavor, but indeed it will have the opposite effect and in fact hurt those businesses,” said Nancy Ploeger, president, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce. “During such trying economic times, the last thing we should do as a city is to regulate business, discourage investments in new endeavors and deter job growth and tax revenue.”