FRIENDS testifies at City Hall Subcommittee Hearing

Image: Mayor's Photography Office

The NYC Department of City Planning recently announced its overhaul of the 1961 Zoning Resolution. The 1,127 page City of Yes for Economic Opportunity (COYEO) is the second of three major zoning changes the City is sponsoring. FRIENDS agrees that updating and modernizing our zoning is overdue, and COYEO has some important modernizations that we welcome, but it also makes significant changes to our zoning that will have unwelcome, unintended consequences. The Upper East Side, as well as many areas in the five boroughs, have high storefront vacancies. We had hoped that COYEO would help to strengthen our local commercial corridors--which would have made our streets safer, and reinforced the special character of our neighborhoods. However, we believe COYEO could do the opposite.

FRIENDS, along with innumerable other groups and community members, testified at the Subcommittee Hearing on April 8th, 2024. We urged council members to reject City of Yes for Economic Opportunity’s harmful proposals, and work together on a plan that strengthens our neighborhoods and businesses, and demanded a solution that revitalizes our commercial corridors and prioritizes the well-being of residents. Watch our board member Ronda Wist deliver FRIENDS' testimony on the City of Yes Initiative's Potential Impact on Residential Areas here.

Watch our recent City of Yes Explainer with urban planning expert George Janes.