Zoning to Protect Mom & Pops on the Upper West Side

Joseph Berger reports on New York City's efforts to protect local retailers with new zoning in Manhattan's Upper West Side, where the proliferation of chain stores, banks, and pharmacies have caused consternation.
February 3, 2012, 10am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Fearing a loss of the unique character and relationships that local retailers bring to the neighborhood, planners in New York have proposed amending the zoning code to narrow the allowable maximum width of ground floor stores in one section of Manhattan's Upper West Side.

According to Berger, "The proposal would amend the neighborhood's zoning to limit the ground-floor width of all new stores to 40 feet on two major commercial thoroughfares - Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues - and banks to 25 feet on those two avenues, and on Broadway as well."

"Mel Wymore, who until recently was chairman of a local community board on the West Side, has argued that big banks and large pharmacies have a 'deadening' impact on street life and eat up sidewalk space."

"But critics, like the Real Estate Board of New York, which represents landlords, say the proposal is misguided and chains and large drugstores are proliferating because people like them."

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Published on Thursday, February 2, 2012 in The New York Times
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