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Debate Continues: How Best to Stave Off Chains, Bars?

EconomicDevelopmentSbcmteeNatalie Rinn

Could new zoning help bring mom-and-pop businesses to the East Village and Lower East Side, and keep them there? Community Board 3’s Economic Development Subcommittee met last night to continue a discussion about retail diversity.

Mary DeStefano, the Urban Planning Fellow from Hunter College who has been working with the board, again raised the possibility of Special Purpose Districts, 20 of which have been created in Manhattan by the City Planning Commission in order to meet the specific needs of their neighborhoods. In Community Board 3, such a district would likely put a cap on chain stores and curb operating hours. Ms. DeStefano clarified that S.P.D.’s are “not banning anything, just seeking a way to preserve it, and it’s just giving the community some level of control.” Read more…