Mayor Adams Announces Citywide Zoning Initiatives in his Vision for a “City of Yes”

June 6, 2022

On Wednesday, June 1st, Mayor Adams announced a series of city-wide zoning proposals to support small businesses, create new affordable housing and promote sustainability. These zoning changes are part of the Mayor’s "Rebuild, Renew, Reinvent" effort to permit more flexible zoning and cut red tape and center equity in planning to promote a speedy economic recovery.

Outlined below are the three citywide text amendments:

  • Zoning for Economic Opportunity: This citywide text proposal would provide local businesses with the flexibility to repurpose their space for a post-pandemic city, and will include:
    • Removing unnecessary geographic limitations on certain businesses, including life sciences, custom manufacturing, maker-retail and nightlife;
    • Eliminating obstacles to repurposing space, allowing the city’s businesses and economy to evolve over time; and
    • Creating flexibility for local businesses to expand without relocation and without triggering needs for additional parking.
  • Zoning for Housing Opportunity: This citywide text proposal would encourage the creation of more housing in neighborhoods in all 5 boroughs and would include:
    • Expanding opportunities for affordable and supportive homes for New Yorkers by increasing the floor area ratio for all types of affordable housing, similar to the allowance already afforded to affordable housing for seniors;
    • Broadening the acceptable variety of housing types and sizes, including studios, to accommodate a wider range of families and households;
    • Easing conversions of underutilized commercial buildings into homes; and
    • Reducing unnecessary parking requirements that add cost and take up space in buildings that could be used for additional homes.
  • Zoning for Zero Carbon: This initiative includes:
    • Removing obstacles to deploying new clean energy storage and uses, including electric vehicle charging;
    • Facilitating building retrofits for sustainability, including allowing more rooftop coverage for solar panels; and
    • Eliminating barriers to the electrification of building systems such as heat pumps or efficient HVAC systems.

Please note these city-wide zoning and code amendments will be subject to public review, including multiple public hearings culminating in a review by the City Council. We will continue to monitor these initiatives and will provide updates as more details arise.

For more information on this issue or other land use & zoning matters, please contact:

Mitchell A. Korbey at +1 212 592 1483 or [email protected]
Raymond H. Levin at +1 212 592 1450 or [email protected]
Robert Huberman at +1 212 592 1592 or [email protected]
Ellen Hay at +1 212 592 1593 or [email protected]
Vinh Van Vo at +1 212 592 1588 or [email protected]

© 2022 Herrick, Feinstein LLP. This alert is provided by Herrick, Feinstein LLP to keep its clients and other interested parties informed of current legal developments that may affect or otherwise be of interest to them. The information is not intended as legal advice or legal opinion and should not be construed as such.