New Directions: An Introduction
A 197-A Plan for Manhattan Community district 11 (Revised 1999)
the district shares a rich and varied past, its hallmarks today are diversity
and opportunity. The community assets of new government initiatives, excellent
location, transportation systems, recreational amenities and an active
citizenry must be fully capitalized if the "New Directions" described
herein are to be achieved.
Manhattan Community Board I I prepared this 197-A Plan as a policy guide for the future growth and development of East Harlem and Randall's and Ward's Islands as outlined in the New York City Charter under section 197-A.
New Directions serves as a policy guide to the City of New York, its agencies, and to the people of East Harlem.. The City should use these recommendations to guide land use decisions and delivery of services to East Harlem, Randall's and Ward's Islands.
economic and community development is important to the people of East
Harlem. Public services should provide decent and affordable housing,
accessible health, quality education, recreational and cultural services,
and safe streets. Current public services must not be allowed to deteriorate.
Delivery and maintenance of public services should be enforced by the
City of New York. This 197-A Plan aims to address the land issues in East
Harlem, a comprehensive vision for the future, current service delivery
issues and current and future capital needs.
1988, the planning consulting firm, Buckhurst Fish Hutton Katz and Jacquemart
working with CB# 11 and the City of New York, prepared a study called
East Harlem: A Development Strategy.
1990, the El Barrio Convention, sponsored by CB# 11 , East Harlem Interfaith
and the East Harlem Renewal Agency, brought community-based agencies and
planning groups together to develop a set of planning principles. The
recommendations of the El Barrio Convention were presented to NYS Assemblyman
Angelo Del Toro, who proposed a wider coalition subsequently convened
as the East Harlem/El Barrio Coalition for Community Planning and Development.
This Coalition met weekly for three months. Mr. George Calvert drafted
the consensus document called The Will to Plan: East Harlem's
Housing Program which called for a total of 2,850 mixed units of housing,
new and rehabilitated, over a five year period. This housing plan was
adopted by CB# 11 in March of 1992, but was never incorporated in the
Mayor's Ten Year Housing Plan.
In 1991, Columbia School of Architecture and City College collaborated in a proposal called the A Phillip Randolphh Village which made creative suggestions for the vacant land above East and West I I 7th Street including the Millbank-Frawley Circle Urban Renewal Area.
1992, CB# 11 began preparations for a 197-A Plan and requested assistance
from the Manhattan Borough President, Ms. Ruth W. Messinger. Later that
year CB# 11 held a weekend working retreat in upstate New York, which
was sponsored and attended by the Manhattan Borough President. This retreat
resulted in the agreements on the housing section for this 197-A Plan.
In 1993, the New York City Department of City Planning ("NYC DCP") prepared
a report titled Neighborhood Land Disposition Plan: Northern East Harlem
which recommended land disposition strategies. Unfortunately, this study
did not include the southern portion of El Barrio/Spanish Harlem-East
Harlem. Many of its land-use suggestions are included in this 197-A Plan.
In 1993, An Upper East Side civic organization, CIVITAS, commissioned
Buckhurst Fish Hutton Katz and Jacquemart for a Madison Avenue Study,
which involved, a significant amount of public participation and concluded
with the first in-depth look into Madison Avenue from 96th Street to East
In 1993, the East Harlem Neighborhood Based Alliance conducted a study
of East Harlem which resulted in the publication of the Strategic Neighborhood
Action Plan. This plan also involved significant public participation
and defined clearly the myriad of social and economic issues facing East
Harlem life and residents.
In 1993, CB# 11 's Chairperson, Mr. Harry Rodriguez requested the Manhattan
Borough President's Office to assist with synthesizing all prior studies
and reports for the basis of the 197-A Plan. The Borough President's Office
recruited CUNY Hunter College graduates in the Urban Planning Department
who produced a report titled East Harlem At the Cross Roads. This report
was presented in November of 1994. (The next year it won a national award
from the American Institute of Certified Planners for "Best Application
of the Planning Process"),
In 1995 CB# 11's Chairperson, Mr. Eddie Baca requested all of the Community Board Committees to review East Harlem: At the Cross Road and submit comments and recommendations to the newly created 197-Plan Committee chaired by Mr. George E. Calvert, who began weekly meetings starting April 27, 1995. The "Roundtable" studied all the above mentioned documents and met regularly through the spring and summer, public meetings that were open for walk-in ideas and suggestions from any source in the community. The CB 11 197-A Plan Committee specifically requested the advice of all City agencies, in particular, the NYC Housing Preservation Development ("HPD") and the NYC Department of City Planning ("DCP") and targeted community leaders knowledgeable in specific areas relevant to this 197-A Plan.
sought advice was presented at the Manhattan Community Board 197-A Plan
Committee meetings scheduled on May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 - June 7, 14, 21,
28 - July 12, 25 and August 2 and 16, 1995. After each 197-A Plan Committee
meeting, the chairman incorporated new suggestions and comments into a
new draft 197-A Plan for the next scheduled committee meeting. Thus East
Harlem entities participated and viewed the progress on a weekly basis.
Monthly drafts were foxed by CB# 11 to all 197-A Plan Committee members
and to HPD and DCP.
By September of 1995, twenty one pages of a new 197-A Plan Recommendations
had been compiled. From September to December 1995, the Manhattan Borough
President's Representative, Mr. Mitch Silver, met frequently with President
Baca to update and produce a final draft of the 197-A Plan.
In January of 1996, the Manhattan Borough President Office mailed six hundred copies of the final draft 197A Plan Recommendations to wide mailing fist. A Notice of a CB# 11 Public Hearing on the 197-A Plan Recommendations was attached to the 197-A Plan Recommendations and mailed to East Harlem entities.
February 2, 1996, the 197-A Plan Public Hearing was held at La Guardia
Community Center and was
recorded on tape and video. This CB# 11 Public Hearing allowed for public
participation twice during the day, from 12:00 Noon to 2:00 P.M. and from
6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. Over sixty community residents and agencies attended
this 197-A Plan Recommendations Public Hearing and thirty individuals
presented written and oral testimony. Useful suggestions included comments
from NY City Councilman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. and NY State Assemblyman
Francisco Diaz, Jr. The input and recommended changes to the 197A Plan
recommendations were carefully reviewed by the CB# 11 197-A Plan Committee.
A final draft on the 197-A Plan Recommendations were mailed to all fifty
CB# 11 members.
On February 20, 1996, the final 197-A Plan Recommendations were unanimously
approved with a quorum present at the full Board meeting of CB# 11 .
From March to September 1996 the 197-A Plan was further developed with
the Manhattan Borough Presidents Office and CB# 11 1 which resulted in
the approved recommendations and for conformity to the 197-A Guidelines
of Form and Content and Sound Planning Policy.
On September 26, 1996, the completed East Harlem 197-A Plan was submitted
to the NYC Department of Planning for review and implementation by CB#
11 . Their review and careful response stimulated a series of open meeting
in 1997, under Board Chairperson Mr. Harry Rodriguez. A new Task Force
was appointed by Mr. David E Givens, chairperson of Community Board 11
in the fall of 1998. Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields gave
her full support.
That 197A Task Force, again led by Mr. Calvert, has prepared the "Revised Edition" submitted to relevant agencies and to the Manhattan Community Board #11 herewith.
"Nieuw Haarlem " started in Community District 11. It was . divided only recently into " East" and "West" and "Central" Harlem. A partnership of the three districts in the great uptown area called "Harlem" is essential.
A. NEIGHBORHOOD PLANNING STRATEGY
B. CROSSROADS STRATEGY
Maps (all pertain
to Community Board # 11)
Board District # 11 (162K)