Rail Yards Update: CB4 and BP Stringer Call to Save the Spur
The support for the full preservation of the High Line at the rail yards continues to grow-- Community Board 4 and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer have both added their voices to the call to save the spur.
At a recent full Board meeting, Community Board 4 made a clear statement advocating preservation of the entire High Line at the Eastern Rail Yards, including the spur over 10th Avenue.
In a letter addressed to the City Planning Commission, CB4 recommended approval of City Planning's proposed text amendments to the zoning plan for the Eastern Rail Yardsâ€”but at the same time, they requested additional text amendments to ensure that the entire High Line would be protected.
CB4's letter points out that though Related shows the entire High Line in its drawing for the site, "the brutal truth of the situation is that the High Line on the ERY and the WRY remains unprotected and at serious risk of demolition. Now is the time to put in place the zoning protections to ensure that the High Line will be preserved."
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer's zoning amendment recommendation to City Planning include an equally strong call to save the spur. In his letter to City Planning Chair Amanda Burden, he wrote, "Redeveloping the rail yards must not threaten any portion of the High Line, including the spur; it should be preserved in its entirety."
The current zoning for the Eastern Rail Yards was written in 2005, before the High Line below 30th Steet became City property and began its transformation into a public park. The zoning plan at the Eastern Rail Yards does not require the High Line to be preserved above 30th Streetâ€”in fact, the High Line is not mentioned in the zoning at all.
After Related won the bid to develop the site last year, changes to the zoning were proposed to facilitate their plan to build on the site, but the proposed zoning changes also make no mention of the High Line.
In December, High Line supporters made a strong showing at a public hearing on the zoning amendments, urging the MTA, Related and City Planning to save the spur. The outpouring of support for High Line preservation has been, and will continue to be, instrumental in ensuring that none of the High Line sees the wrecking ball. Thanks to everyone who showed up and wore a red "Save the Spur" t-shirt.
Read the Chelsea Now article on the December hearing