CMG / ZOJ / TNYF / WENN 1 / 6
CMG / ZOJ / TNYF / WENN 1 / 6

NEW YORK (AP) -- Famed director Martin Scorsese wants New York's mean streets to keep some of their grittiness.

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The "Gangs of New York" director has joined an effort to curb redevelopment of the Bowery. That's the former skid row near where Scorsese grew up.

Scorsese wrote to New York City Planning Commission Chairwoman Amanda Burden last week. He praises the neighborhood's grittiness, ambience and vivid atmosphere.

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Scorsese is backing a plan that would limit the height of new development on the east side of the Bowery to eight stories. The plan also calls for preserving several historic buildings.

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Planning Department spokeswoman Rachaele Raynoff tells the Daily News the agency has not made a ruling. She says the department recognizes and appreciates the Bowery's historic value.