Having trouble viewing this email? Click here


Image Map

18 May 2015

Some Proposed Height Limit Increases
Reduced or Eliminated, But Others Remain

Dear friend,

After months of pushback from community groups and concerned New Yorkers like you, the City has agreed to make some modest changes to their citywide rezoning plan, 'Zoning for Quality & Affordability,' reducing or eliminating the proposed height limits increases in three of the fourteen affected zoning districts citywide.  However, the plan still includes troubling increases in the allowable height limits for new development in areas including the Village, East Village, Chelsea and TriBeCa, and remains premised on questionable notions that such changes would increase the quality and affordability of new housing.

There will be presentations in local Community Boards about the plan starting this week through June, with the official public hearing process and votes by the Community Board, Borough Presidents, City Planning Commission, and City Council coming in the fall.

The Good News:  The revised plan reduces considerably the proposed height limit increases for market-rate developments in a zoning district found in the Far West Village and the East Village, as well as in the contextual rezoning of the South Village GVSHP and community groups have sought. 

The Bad News: The revised plan keeps in place almost all the rest of the proposed height limit increases, affecting areas throughout our neighborhoods, including a 31% increase in allowable height for ‘inclusionary’ developments (80% market-rate, 20% ‘affordable’) in zoning districts found in the East Village and in the University Place/Broadway corridor contextual rezoning GVSHP and community groups have sought.  These height increases would also apply to what the city calls “senior affordable housing,” which under the plan includes general-population, market-rate developments with just a fraction of the space set aside as affordable housing for seniors.


The City claims that by increasing the allowable height of new market-rate developments, it will increase the quality of new housing, a claim GVSHP disputes.  The City also claims that by lifting height limits for ‘inclusionary’ developments (80% market-rate, 20% ‘affordable’), more developers will opt into this program and include affordable units.  Currently, developers get a significant increase in the number of square feet they can build if they opt into the program.  Some chose to opt in, while others do not, typically citing factors such as costs, bureaucracy, and the complications of combining two types of developments in one building as factors for not opting into the program, as opposed to height limits.  Under the City’s rezoning plan, none of these factors would change, and the inclusionary program would remain optional.

The City’s revised rezoning plan will be presented to Community Board #4 (Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen) tonight at 6:30 pm at the Elliot Center, 441 West 26th Street (9th/10th Avenues).  It is tentatively scheduled to be presented to Community Board #2 (Greenwich Village, NoHo, Little Italy, Hudson Square, SoHo) and Community Board #3 (East Village/Lower East Side) on June 10th (location TBD).  You are strongly encouraged to attend to find out more voice your concerns.


You can find out more about the plan here, here, and here.


Andrew Berman
Executive Director


        You help make it happen!






Powered by CQRC Engage