Public to Weigh in on Protecting UWS Mom & Pop Stores

By Leslie Albrecht on January 17, 2012 2:40pm 

Several vacant storefronts appeared in 2011 on the east side of Amsterdam Avenue between West 78th and 79th streets.
Several vacant storefronts appeared in 2011 on the east side of Amsterdam Avenue between West 78th and 79th streets.
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DNAinfo/Leslie Albrecht

UPPER WEST SIDE — Residents will get their first chance Wednesday night to weigh in on a city plan to save the Upper West Side's fast-disappearing mom and pop stores.

Community Board 7 will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. on a set of proposed zoning laws meant to keep chain stores from proliferating while preserving smaller neighborhood businesses. Among other changes, the proposed laws would limit the size of bank buildings on Broadway in response to criticism that the financial institutions deaden once-lively streets.

In some areas, storefronts for all types of businesses would be restricted in size to prevent big box retailers from taking over large stretches of a single block.

City planners drafted the proposed laws after Upper West Side residents raised concerns about the loss of neighborhood character as one longtime business after another closed. Upper West Siders have mourned the loss of H&H Bagels, Maxilla & Mandible, and several businesses along Amsterdam Avenue between West 78th and 79th streets.

Realtors and landlords have criticized the proposal, saying that a similar effort on the Upper East Side in the 1970s and 1980s failed.

The public hearing on the proposed zoning laws to protect mom and pop stores will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18, at Goddard Riverside Community Center, 583 Columbus Ave., at West 88th Street.

 

The east side of Amsterdam Avenue between West 78th and 79th streets saw several vacant storefronts appear in 2011.
The east side of Amsterdam Avenue between West 78th and 79th streets saw several vacant storefronts appear in 2011.
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DNAinfo/Leslie Albrecht

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