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.
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.
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.
After six months, the Department of Buildings (DOB) has finally responded to FRIENDS’ Zoning Challenge of 249 East 62nd Street filed in November 2017.
It has been nearly a year since the first public documents about the Zoning for Quality and Affordability (ZQA) Text Amendment were released, and nearly a year that New Yorkers have expressed serious concerns about the proposal’s negative effects on neighborhoods citywide.
The Upper East Side: A Framework for the Future of Five Neighborhoods FRIENDS remains steadfast in its pro-active commitment to preserve the character of the Upper East Side in spite of development pressures stemming from the completion of the Second Avenue Subway, the City Planning Commission’s proposed zoning changes, and
As any good preservationist would, I will start with a bit of history. In 1985, our founding president, Halina Rosenthal, wrote to our members: