General requirements for the Southwest Open Space
A publicly accessible open space, (henceforth referred to as the “Southwest Open Space”), shall be provided in Subdistrict F. Such accessible open space shall be open to the sky, except that portions of a building or other structure on Site 5, the High Line and amenities that are provided in accordance with Sections 93-75 and 93-77 (Design Criteria for Public Access Areas in Subdistrict F) shall be permitted to cover a portion of the Southwest Open Space.
(a) General purpose
The Southwest Open Space is intended to serve the following purposes:
(1) to serve as an inviting pedestrian gateway to the Western Rail Yard from open space networks along the Hudson River;
(2) to provide pedestrian amenities and connections between surrounding public spaces both on and adjacent to the Western Rail Yard; and
(3) to offer a unique open space experience for pedestrians through the negotiation of the area’s grade changes.
(b) Location and minimum dimensions
The Southwest Open Space shall be located within the area bounded by Twelfth Avenue, the Western Open Space, the West 31st Street Extension, Site 6 and West 30th Street, and shall also be comprised of any portion of Site 5 which is not covered by a building or other structure at the ground level as shown on Map 3 (Subdistrict F: Public Access Area Plan) in Appendix B.
The Southwest Open Space shall have a minimum dimension in the east-west direction as measured from the easterly street line of Twelfth Avenue to the western boundary of Site 6 of 400 feet. However, if the length of Site 6 is extended to accommodate a public school in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (b) of Section 93-568 (Site 6), the minimum dimension of the Southwest Open Space shall be 360 feet.
The Southwest Open Space shall have a minimum dimension in the north-south direction as measured from the northerly street line of West 30th Street to the southern boundary of the Western Open Space of 180 feet and a maximum dimension of 200 feet.
(c) Core elements
The Southwest Open Space shall have the following core elements. For the purpose of determining the amount of an amenity to provide in relation to the area of the Southwest Open Space, the area of the Southwest Open Space shall exclude the area occupied by a building or other structure on Site 5 and the High Line.
A minimum of 50 percent of the area of the Southwest Open Space shall be landscaped with soft ground cover, and the remaining 50 percent of the Southwest Open Space may be paved. At least one tree shall be provided for every 1,500 square feet of Southwest Open Space.
An unimpeded paved pedestrian access with a minimum width of 12 feet shall link either Twelfth Avenue or West 30th Street and the West 31st Street Extension. If such pedestrian access contains ‘switchbacks,’ comprised of a series of ascending pedestrian ways, the minimum distance between midpoints of each way, as measured, in plan, from the northerly edge of one way to the southerly edge of the next ascending way shall be 15 feet.
A second unimpeded paved pedestrian access with a minimum width of 12 feet shall link either Twelfth Avenue or West 30th Street and the High Line bed or with an elevator located adjacent to the High Line that provides public access to the High Line bed. Such access need not be opened to the public until the High Line is reconstructed as public open space in accordance with the provisions of Section 93-756.
A minimum of one linear foot of seating shall be provided for every 75 square feet of soft ground cover provided within the Southwest Open Space. At least 50 percent of such required seating shall provide seatbacks.
Permanent structures, such as food or information kiosks, pavilions or public restrooms shall be permitted within the Southwest Open Space, provided the height of such structures does not exceed 20 feet. The maximum area lot coverage that all such permanent structures may occupy shall be 1,000 square feet, provided that such structures are located entirely west of the High Line. Such permanent structures shall be exempt from the definition of floor area.
(d) Permitted encroachments from private streets
The terminus of the West 31st Street Extension shall be permitted to encroach upon the Southwest Open Space, provided that the site and landscape plans for the West 31st Street Extension are approved in conjunction with the Southwest Open Space, pursuant to Section 93-78 (Site and Landscape Plans for Public Access Areas in Subdistrict F).