Hudson River Park Tax Plan Moves Uptown for Public Comment

By Mathew Katz on January 28, 2013 1:48pm 

HELL'S KITCHEN — Supporters of a plan to fund the cash-strapped Hudson River Park by taxing its neighbors will bring it before the Chelsea, Hell's Kitchen and West Village communities in February.

The plan, known as the Hudson River Park Neighborhood Improvement District, would charge nearby residential property owners a "modest" fee of 7.5 cents per square foot a year. Commercial property owners in the zone would pay 15 cents per square foot annually.

The zone would be made up of properties up to three blocks from Hudson River Park, which stretches roughly between Chambers and West 59th streets and as far east as Hudson Street in the Village and 10th Avenue in Chelsea and Hell's Kitchen.

In all, supporters of the neighborhood improvement district — or NID — hope the tax could bring in roughly $10 million a year, which would help the park fight a projected $80 million deficit over the next decade.

Money raised by the NID would go toward park conservation and stewardship, and fund capital improvements that the park is currently unable to pay for with its limited funds. These projects include building better ways for users to cross the West Side Highway to increase accessibility.

Hudson River Park first presented the plan in November at a series of meetings in Chelsea and the Village. This time around, the park's staff plans to go before other neighborhoods — among them Hell's Kitchen — as part of ongoing public outreach.

Community members will be able to offer feedback and hear the proposal as it stands.

A meeting for Village residents is set for Monday,  Feb. 4 at 6:30 p.m. at the Little Red School House, 272 Sixth Ave.

Hell's Kitchen residents can also attend a presentation at the Hartley House, at 413 West 46th St., on Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 6:30 p.m.

Finally, residents in TriBeCa and Hudson Square can have their say on Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the Manhattan Youth Downtown Community Center, 120 Warren St.

If the NID plan were to move forward, it would eventually need to get approval from both the City Planning Commission and the City Council.

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