FRIENDS Weighs in on City and State Proposals to Close Zoning Loopholes

The public discussion around the urgent need to close zoning loopholes that are contributing to overdevelopment continues to play out in the press, most recently in a Letter to the Editor that appeared today in Crain’s New York Business by FRIENDS’ Executive Director Rachel Levy.

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Advocacy Update: City Planning Voids Hearing March 13th – Join Us to Speak Out!

On Wednesday, May 29th, the New York City Council voted to amend the Zoning Resolution to cap exempt mechanical void space within new buildings in residential neighborhoods.

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Advocacy Update: Both City and State Move to Address Zoning Loopholes and Curb Supertalls

On Wednesday, May 29th, the New York City Council voted to amend the Zoning Resolution to cap exempt mechanical void space within new buildings in residential neighborhoods.

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Voiding the Voids on the Upper East Side

FRIENDS has been sounding the drum about the mechanical void loophole for over two years, along with sustained joint efforts from civic-minded advocacy groups like Landmark West!, the Municipal Art Society, Carnegie Hill Neighbors, and CIVITAS, as well as invaluable and tireless support from our fellow local champion, Council Member Ben Kallos.

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Image Credit: Michael Korfhage

Breaking News: De Blasio Administration to Finally Propose Void Solution

Following the Department of Building’s (DOB) reversal of prior zoning approval at 36 West 66th Street last week, it seems the city is prepared to move forward on proposing a solution to close loopholes in the zoning resolution related to unregulated mechanical void space in new developments.

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Another Win for First Avenue Estate

In the Spring of 2017, FRIENDS led the effort of local and national preservation groups, along with elected officials, to file an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the City of New York in the ongoing battle to stop the demolition of two historic buildings, part of the City and Suburban Homes First Avenue Estate.

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Final Decision for 180 East 88th Street

In a vote of 4-1 last week, the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) voted to deny our appeal of 180 East 88th Street. In their comments, Commissioners acknowledged the deficiency of the Zoning Resolution’s text regarding this issue, but eventually conceded that the Department of Buildings (DOB) acted within its right to approve the subdivision

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BSA Update: Second Public Hearing for 180 East 88th Street

FRIENDS of the Upper East Side Historic Districts and Carnegie Hill Neighbors’ fight against 180 East 88th Street continues. Next Tuesday, October 30th, the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) will hold a second public hearing to address our joint community challenge of the Department of Buildings’ (DOB) approval of a 10 foot by 22 foot portion carved out of

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“Fix Our Zoning Rules,” Say Manhattan Borough President and City Council Speaker

Last week, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Council Speaker Corey Johnson wrote a letter, supported by the entire Manhattan delegation of the City Council, to Department of City Planning Chair Marisa Lago to encourage the agency to address and prevent the suite of loopholes being exploited by developers.

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ADVOCACY ALERT: We need your support to save Marx Brothers Playground

Dear Friend, When the City agrees to give away the public’s parkland to a private developer with deep pockets, you know we’re in trouble.

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