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Community Board Approves New East Village Historic District

EAST VILLAGE — The creation of a new historic district in the East Village took a big step forward Tuesday with the local community board's approval of a plan to designate hundreds of properties under a city proposal.

Community Board 3 voted overwhelmingly to support the district, which would offer protections to the area bounded roughly by East Second and East Seventh streets between First Avenue and the Bowery, as well as the stretch of East 10th Street on the north side of Tompkins Square Park.

The proposed district also includes another 13 buildings on East Second Street and four properties on Avenue A.

The plan, discussed at length at Tuesday's full board meeting following a pair of heated public sessions on the matter, has drawn the ire of local religious leaders who fear the designation could push their congregations into the red by adding layers of bureaucracy to any required renovations to their buildings.

Regardless, the board voted unanimously to support the East 10th Street proposal, and came out 23 to 9 in favor of the larger historic district, The Local East Village reported.

The board added a "friendly amendment" in its resolution supporting the district, asking that the city Landmarks Preservation Commission work with houses of worship to address their concerns about the designation, said CB 3 district manager Susan Stetzer.

Local Councilwoman Rosie Mendez also pledged to help religious institutions with any problems they may encounter in the process, Stetzer added.

The proposal now moves to the Landmarks Preservation Commission for approval.