14 March 2008

OK, So the IS Something Good About the Harlem Rezoning

So, there is a silver lining to the could that descended on Harlem this week in the form of a rezoning that usher in a big-shiny-building area in the old Manhattan neighborhood. City Room reports that "the new zoning restricts banks. They cannot occupy the ground floor of new buildings along 125th Street, between Broadway and Second Avenue, or the ground floor of new enlargements to existing buildings. They may, however, have an entranceway or lobby on the ground floor that leads to banking space on another floor. A limited amount of ground-floor space may be devoted to automated teller machines."

Well, that's a big ol' thumbing of the nose to the banking world, which has slathered our City streets with its garish branches in recent years. Richard Barth, executive director of the City Planning Department, told City Room: “Banks can have have a deadening effect on those goals. They can take away from pedestrian activity. They’re not 24-hour uses. In many cases, they’re no more than 9-to-5 uses. And they can potentially take up space” that could be occupied for arts, entertainment or retail purposes." To that, I would add: they're ugly, and they suck.

Now, how about a big-box drug store clause...

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