We are pleased to report that a court has rejected the city’s approvals of plans for a 667 ft. tall tower at 200 Amsterdam Avenue (69th Street) on the Upper West Side, which advocates (incl. Village Preservation) had accused of using outrageous ‘zoning gerrymandering’ to gain approval. The tower, located in a residential neighborhood, would be the tallest in Manhattan north of midtown. The building’s unprecedented height resulted from a ludicrously contrived redrawing of zoning lot boundaries, which allowed the developer to evade limits on the allowable height of new buildings and the required amount of open space around them. If approvals for this building are allowed to stand, there are much broader implications for other potential similar developments throughout New York which could similarly evade such requirements.
Village Preservation supported efforts by local and citywide groups to get the city to revoke the permits with testimony at Board of Standards and Appeals hearings. Although a court has now ruled against the City’s approval, work continues on the building and the City is yet to take action to stop it.
We will continue to closely monitor this case and work with local and citywide groups to ensure that our zoning rules are followed.