Proposals Chipping Away at the Midblock

One of FRIENDS’ earliest initiatives, led by our founder Halina Rosenthal, was the successful effort to bring contextual zoning to the midblocks of the Upper East Side. The R8B zoning district was mapped across vast swaths of our midblocks in 1985, hailed by the New York Times as “the most

Continue reading

IN THE NEWS: Developer Zoning Fraud

The issue of zoning fraud, heightened by the Buildings Department’s broken self-certification program, was highlighted today in an opinion piece published today in Gotham Gazette, by Diana Florence, the former head of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Construction Fraud Task Force.

Continue reading
200 Amsteram

Community Advocacy: Recent Victories and Ongoing Battles

On the heels of of the news regarding 200 Amsterdam, we thought this to be a good time to talk to you about zoning and development.

Continue reading
City Planning Void graphic

Breaking! City Council Passes 25-foot Limit to Uncounted Mechanical Void Spaces

FRIENDS is pleased to offer this extremely limited opportunity to venture behind the scenes at Central Park’s center stage: the Delacorte Theater.

Continue reading

“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.

Continue reading
FRIENDS Executive Director, Rachel Levy, speaking at the Committee on Land Use hearing.

FRIENDS Testifies at City Council Hearing on POPS

On June 29th, the City Council’s Committee on Land Use held a hearing to discuss Intro. 1219-2016, a proposed bill that would require the Department of City Planning to report to the City Council about the status of Privately Owned Public Spaces, known as “POPS.”

Continue reading