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February 17, 2016
FATE OF NEIGHBORHOOOD ZONING PROTECTIONS
NOW IN THE HANDS OF THE CITY COUNCIL
Local Reps Will Decide If Height Limits
Stay or Go
Last week, hundreds of New Yorkers came to City Hall to express their serious concerns about the Mayor’s twin citywide rezoning plans, ‘Zoning for Quality and Affordability’ (ZQA) and ‘Mandatory Inclusionary Housing’ (MIH). The former would gut hard-won neighborhood zoning protections by lifting height limits for allowable new construction with little or no public benefit in return. The latter would be part of a city policy to only approve rezonings which significantly increase the allowable size of new residential development, while mandating that a fraction of the new housing be affordable.
These plans have now been approved by the City Planning Commission, and their ultimate fate lies with the City Council. The Council can approve, disapprove, or modify the plans within certain limits. The Council has expressed support for the stated goals of the plans, but some misgivings about details of the plan and a willingness to make changes.
GVSHP has argued and provided evidence that both plans in their current form will do more harm than good in terms of addressing unaffordability in our city, and will certainly destroy the scale and character of neighborhoods while also stretching local services and infrastructure ever thinner.
Meanwhile, an investigation by GVSHP has shown that the City is already ignoring existing rules governing the allowable size of new developments and requirements for affordable housing, frequently approving construction of oversized developments which do not contain the required affordable housing – read more here.
If approved, the zoning changes would particularly profoundly impact University Place and surrounding blocks, the Far West Village, the South Village, and the East Village.
The Council will be making its decision in March. It’s imperative that they hear from you NOW about your concerns about these massive zoning changes.
HOW TO HELP:
You can read GVSHP’s testimony to the City Council on MIH here and an ZQA here. Watch video of the City Council MIH hearing here (GVSHP testimony begins at 8:31:00) and ZQA hearing here (GVSHP testimony runs from 4:26:46 to 4:53:14).