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The City Releases West Side/Hudson Yards Environmental Impact Statement

thirty fourth street hudson yards

On June 21, the City Planning Commission certified the zoning text for the Hudson Yards Development Program, formally beginning the public review period for a proposed 40 million square feet of development west of 8th Avenue.

At the same time, the Department of City Planning released the 6,000-page Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (DGEIS), which also examines a proposed expansion of the Javits Convention Center and a new sports and convention facility over the rail yards west of 11th Avenue that would house the New York Jets and the 2012 Olympics. The ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure) proposal and DGEIS are now available on the website of the Department of City Planning.

The public review process may last through late 2004, though certain projects could begin construction as early as this fall. The land-use plan will be reviewed by Manhattan Community Board 4 this summer, followed by the Manhattan Borough President in the summer or early fall, and the City Planning Commission in the fall. Some actions will also require the approval of the City Council. The sports and convention complex and the Javits expansion will not go through the standard city land-use process because they are state projects.

The city is proposing to rezone the area roughly bounded by 42nd Street, 28th Street, 8th Avenue and the Hudson River. The area is built below its zoning allowance, but contains a thriving industrial sector and a vibrant residential community. The DEIS also examines a deck over the rail yards east of 11th Avenue and a series of new streets and open spaces in the Far West Side.

Currently zoned mostly for manufacturing uses, the city seeks to rezone large areas for high-density commercial and residential development.

The Municipal Art Society supports the general aim of redeveloping the Far West Side but recognizes several issues that are keys to success.