November 23 Rail Yards Hearing: Note Location Change!


Alex S. MacLean/Landslides Aerial Photography

We need your help at City Hall on Monday, November 23, as the City Council’s Zoning Subcommittee holds a final public hearing on the rezoning of the Western Rail Yards.

City Council Hearing on Western Rail Yards
Monday, November 23, 9:30 AM
City Hall, 260 Broadway, Council Chamber
(Please note the location change)
Subway: A, C, E, to Chambers; 1,2, to Park Place; 6, N, R to Bklyn Bridge/City Hall


This hearing will be the last possible opportunity to give your input before the City Council votes on the rezoning, and it is important that we have a strong showing for two reasons:

We will be urging the Council to approve the rezoning. The rezoning includes substantive language requiring the High Line to be used as open space and recognizing the value of this historic structure to the rail yards site. We see its approval as a crucial step for the High Line’s preservation, and careful treatment and integration into the rail yards development.

We will also urge the City to quickly move forward with the acquisition of the High Line above 30th Street. Three weeks ago, the City Planning Commission announced that the City would take steps to enable it to acquire the remaining portion of the High Line. Read the press release.

This announcement was a major positive step towards the High Line’s preservation, but the process of City acquisition is just beginning. The City Council hearing on November 23 is a perfect opportunity to press for the timely transfer of the High Line to City ownership.

We cannot begin planning for the design and construction for the High Line at the rail yards until City acquisition is complete, so it’s crucial that this first step is taken as soon as possible. We will be urging the City to work towards the goal of High Line acquisition – following the process outlined below – as quickly as possible.

Steps toward City Acquisition of the High Line

1. The Department of City Planning must finalize its ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure) application allowing City acquisition. ULURP is the process through which all changes to New York City zoning must pass.

2. The seven-month ULURP process begins, with opportunity for public comment, review, and recommendations by Manhattan Community Board 4, the office of the Manhattan Borough President, and the City Planning Commission.

3. Public hearing and vote by the City Council (similar to what is happening on the Western Rail Yards rezoning on November 23). If the Council votes to approve the acquisition ULURP, the City may then begin legal negotiations toward acquisition.

The City Council, under the leadership of Speaker Christine Quinn, has led the way in the efforts to preserve the High Line at the rail yards. The hearing will be a great opportunity to thank the Council for its hard work so far, and encourage members to do all they can going forward to make sure the High Line is fully preserved and incorporated into the rail yards site.


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