Citywide Rezoning Plan Certified,
Hearings Move Ahead
The Mayor’s Citywide Rezoning Plan (called ‘Zoning for Quality and Affordability), which would lift hard-fought-for height limits on new development in residential neighborhoods throughout the City, has begun the official public review and approval process. While the City made some improvements to the plan over the last several months in response to serious concerns raised by GVSHP and others, the plan would still have a damaging impact upon neighborhood preservation efforts while offering very little in return in terms of other public benefits.
The plan would:
Increase by up 25 feet or 31% the allowable height of new residential developments in “Inclusionary Zoning” districts that opt to reserve 20% of units for affordable housing. This would apply to every avenue in the East Village, and 3rd and 4th Avenues and the blocks in between. It would also apply to areas where we are seeking contextual rezonings like the University Place and Broadway corridors. The City claims that by adding this height increase to the already existing incentives for including 20% affordable housing, more developers will chose to do so (in the East Village, currently about half have done so). There is no evidence to support this claim, and thus we believe it will result in little or no additional affordable housing built, but will make such developments up to 31% taller.
Increase by 5 feet the required or incentivized zoning height limits for new residential developments. There is no public benefit attached to this height bonus, which would weaken limits neighborhoods fought for years to achieve and which were often already higher than communities wanted. We believe this should be eliminated entirely.
Allow construction in rear yards under conditions where it is currently prohibited.
Eliminate “sliver law” restrictions on overly tall, skinny developments if they set aside a fraction of their units for affordable or senior housing
Grant substantial bonuses in height and size for new luxury, market-rate developments for including just a small fraction of units set aside as “senior affordable housing”
The plan is going through the public review and approval process. The Manhattan Borough President and Borough Board (Manhattan’s 12 community boards) will hold a public hearing on the plan on Monday, November 16 in the evening (time and location TBA).
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