Dear Resident —
Last week Governor Hochul signed a bill into law that now permits non-artist residents of SoHo and NoHo residing in units zoned for Joint Live-Work Quarters for Artists (JLWQA) prior to December 15, 2021 to continue their non-conforming residency without any fear of penalties or fines.
This legislation, enshrined in the state’s Multiple Dwelling Law, legalizes the thousands of SoHo/NoHo non-artist residents who had been living in fear of eviction or governmental penalties, some of them for decades. You can read the law here.
The law, first proposed by the Coaltion for Fairness in SoHo and NoHo, was sponsored by Deborah Glick in the Assembly and by Brian Kavanagh in the State Senate. We applaud their efforts at removing this outdated zoning provision.
It remains to be seen how the city will handle new residents who move in after December 15.
So far we have heard of no talk of the city suddenly enforcing the artist requirement on newcomers. However, the forces behind the rezoning, like the Department of City Planning, will likely still attempt to implement some of the onerous provisions of the upzoning, like the punitive $100 per square-foot filing fee for those residents who may want to convert from JLWQA to straight residential. Stay tuned.
You may recall that the political district lines initially drawn up this spring in Albany were thrown out by a court-appointed arbitrator and new lines had to be drawn. That took time.
Hence a Democratic Party primary election for these two offices is now scheduled for August 23, mid-summer. This election will determine who will represent you in Congress and the State Senate in the years ahead.
We expect turnout to be very low, especially since the election is during the vacation season. It is essential your vote be counted. Do not disenfranchise yourself. If you think you will not be in the city that day, please request an absentee ballot now. Click here https://nycabsentee.com/absentee
Sean Sweeney, Director, SoHo Alliance
PO Box 429 New York NY 10012 212-353-8466
NOTE: Currently, the Jackie Robinson Museum festivities are finally up and running. Due to this we will have a reprieve from the endless construction and debris around Grand Street until at least July 27th, at which time you’d have to assume that the temporary building will be removed and the gas line construction will continue.