After shelving expansion plans during the pandemic, Lenox Hill Hospital has once again come forward with a rezoning proposal to radically expand the scale of its full-block campus between 76th and 77th streets and Park and Lexington avenues. Although the residential tower on Park Avenue has been dropped from the proposal, the plans are largely the same as the revised proposal from October 2020, including a rezoning of the entire block and a 436-ft. tall hospital building on Lexington Avenue. Click here to see the documents filed with the Department of City Planning.
The upzoning of the block to introduce midtown-level density would set a dangerous precedent that could lead to the dismantling of a series of zoning and land use mechanisms that have maintained a careful equilibrium to foster growth and preserve neighborhood character. Besides its impact on historic district and residential neighborhood controls, the hospital expansion plans will also negatively impact traffic and levels of congestion, and the height of the new construction will cast long shadows. Beyond the immediate environmental impacts, we continue to question the need for this project. How will further centralizing medical care in a neighborhood already saturated with such facilities improve healthcare for New Yorkers? Were viable alternatives to the proposal seriously explored?
On February 28th, Northwell Health presented their proposal at the Community Board 8 Zoning and Development meeting. You can watch a recording of the meeting here.
UPCOMING PUBLIC MEETINGS:
There are two upcoming opportunities to make your voice heard about Northwell Health's expansion plans. The Department of City Planning is holding a Scoping Meeting on Thursday March 2, at 2:00 pm. Register by tapping the button below. You can also submit written comments, sign up to speak, or watch a livestream of the meeting.
April 4, 2023 (5:30 - 7:00 pm): Public Rally at St. Jean Baptiste Church, Main Sanctuary at 76th Street and Lexington Avenue. Speakers to include George Janes, Urban Planner and Zoning Expert; Andrew Gaspar, Co-Founder, Committee to Protect Our Lenox Hill Neighborhood (CPOLHN); and Lois Utley, Healthcare Consultant.