On Monday, August 24, 2015, the Department of City Planning released the draft zoning text for its proposal to facilitate affordable and senior housing developments and promote higher quality buildings, primarily in medium and high density districts citywide.
As previously described in Land Use Bulletin 2.24.15- The Department of City Planning Takes Next Step in Implementing Mayor’s Housing New York Plan, the proposals are intended to:
- Remove zoning barriers that constrain housing and increase costs
- Encourage better quality buildings
- Promote senior housing to address affordable housing needs for this growing segment of the City’s population
- Reduce unnecessary parking requirements that drive up the cost of affordable housing.
A letter from Director of NYC Department of City Planning Carl Weisbrod accompanying the draft zoning text notes one specific change in response to concerns voiced on proposed building height changes.
The proposal allows increased building height of five feet in many of the medium and higher density contextual districts specifically to facilitate better retail spaces in commercial districts, and to allow for more space between ground floor apartment units and the sidewalk in residential districts.
In order for this five-foot additional building height to be used for improving the ground floors (and not in the upper portions of the building), it would only be permitted when the ground floor is at least 13 feet high. Otherwise, this additional five feet in building height would not be allowed.
The draft zoning text is available for review by the public and practitioners in advance of the formal public review process to amend the Zoning Resolution. Capalino is examining the draft text in order to properly advise our clients regarding their current and proposed projects.
Read the draft zoning text here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/zoning-qa/zoning-for-affordability-zoning-text.shtml
Read Chairman Weisbrod’s letter to Community Boards and elected officials here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/zoning-qa/dear_NYer_CW_08242015.pdf
We are also keeping a close eye on the City’s proposal for mandatory inclusionary zoning. Like the Zoning for Quality and Affordability, the inclusionary proposal would also be implemented through a citywide zoning text amendment. It will mandate the inclusion of affordable housing in residential developments built within all future rezoned areas and in conjunction with certain other discretionary zoning actions.
Both text amendments as well as the East New York rezoning are targeted by City Planning to begin the formal public review process in late September.
If you have comments or questions on this draft zoning text, please send them to Department of City Planning at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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