The Central Park horse carriage industry would be significantly reduced â€“ and its horses confined to a new stable within the park â€“ under a deal announced late Sunday by the de Blasio administration.
Â The agreement, which would shrink the industry from about 220 horses today to 95 horses by 2018, would ease a longtime political headache for Mayor Bill de Blasio, who promised campaign supporters that he would eliminate the industry on the first day of his administration.
Â The deal requires that a new stable, large enough to house 75 horses at a time, be built within Central Park byÂ Oct. 1, 2018. Twenty additional horses would be rotated in and out of service to allow them to rest.
Â The City Council must approve the deal, described by the mayorâ€™s office as â€œan agreement in concept,â€ and a hearing could occur as soon as this week, officials said.
Â The horse carriage industry is a longtime target of animal-rights activists who supported Mr. de Blasioâ€™s 2013 mayoral campaign, spending about $1 million to attack his chief Democratic opponent, Christine C. Quinn. The activists remain big donors to Mr. de Blasioâ€™s political efforts.
Â But New Yorkers broadly opposed Mr. de Blasioâ€™s effort to end the industry, and some supporters of the mayor said they hoped he would abandon the cause.
City officials did not elaborateÂ on SundayÂ evening about the financing for the stable, which would be Central Parkâ€™s first for commercial carriage horses, according to park historians. People briefed on the deal, who requested anonymity to describe discussions meant to be private, said that an area near the parkâ€™s 86thÂ Street Transverse would be the most likely site.
The deal would prohibit pedicabs from operating in Central Park below 85thÂ Street, eliminating a competitor to the carriage trade.