Great News for the High Line at the Rail Yards

pipe Photo courtesy Alex S. MacLean/Landslides Aerial Photography.

We're pleased to bring you news of another major milestone towards the full preservation of the High Line at the West Side Rail Yards. The Department of City Planning announced today that it has certified the City's application for approval of future acquisition of the High Line above 30th Street.

Read the full Press Release [PDF]

This certification kicks off the seven-month Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), during which there will be several opportunities for public input. Along the way, we hope you will come out and show your support for the High Line's preservation, as you have so many times before. We will push for the City to take ownership of the High Line and ensure that its future is determined by the public.

Though today's announcement does not guarantee preservation of the High Line, the City's move toward High Line acquisition is a major positive step towards achieving our ultimate goals: full preservation of the historic structure north of 30th Street, including the 10th Avenue Spur, and completion of the High Line project all the way to 34th Street.

How does the review process work? New York City's ULURP is the process by which all changes in zoning, property acquisitions, housing plans, and other city planning changes are made possible. Each ULURP begins with a certified proposal from the Department of City Planning. The proposal is reviewed on a set timeline by Community Boards, the Borough President, the City Planning Commission, and the City Council, and there are multiple opportunities for public input. Once a ULURP application is certified, the clock begins, and the following steps are taken:

  1. The Community Board has 60 days to hold a public hearing and make recommendations
    based on the input it receives.
  2. The Borough President and Borough Board then have 30 days to make their recommendations
    to the proposal.
  3. The City Planning Commission then has 60 days to hold another public hearing, after which it
    approves, modifies, or disapproves the proposal.
  4. If approved, the proposal then goes to the City Council, which has 50 days to review. The Council
    may hold another public hearing if it wishes.
  5. Lastly, the proposal goes to the Mayor's Office. The Mayor has 5 days to review, and approve or
    veto the proposal.
Read more about ULURP on the City Planning Department Web site [PDF]

Western Rail Yards Rezoning: Approved! Today's announcement follows another piece of good news for the High Line at the rail yards. In December, after a ULURP of its own, the Western Rail Yards rezoning was approved by the City. This rezoning requires that the historic High Line be used as a public open space, and calls for the careful treatment of the structure with regard to new development at the site. The inclusion of this language was another victory, and the result of the tireless work of High Line supporters like you.

Please stay with us as we work together to ensure that this last 1/3 of the High Line is fully preserved at rail yards, and that the park we've worked so hard to build can continue all the way to 34th Street. We will be in touch as soon as we hear about the next opportunity for public input.

Special thanks to the Department of City Planning, especially Chair Amanda Burden, who has long recognized the value of the High Line to the rail yards site, to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, whose leadership in 2002 reversed the previous City policy to demolish the entire High Line, to the City Council under the leadership of Speaker Christine Quinn, who has been at the forefront of this advocacy campaign, to United States Representative Jerrold Nadler, who has worked towards the High Line's preservation at the rail yards for decades, to Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe and all of our partners at the Department of Parks & Recreation, to Borough President Scott Stringer, State Senator Tom Duane, Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, and all of our partners at Community Board 4 and Hudson Yards Community Advisory Committee. Without the support of our elected and government leaders, the High Line's preservation at the rail yards would be an impossible dream. Thanks also to the Related Companies, the site's developer, for their recognition of the High Line's value and their work to integrate it into their plans for the site.

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