City of Yes – Proposed Zoning Change to Promote Additional Housing DevelopmentSeptember 27, 2023
Herrick’s Land Use & Zoning Team has learned that the third set of city-wide zoning changes under City of Yes for Housing Opportunity has been initiated. Similar to the other two City of Yes text amendments (Carbon Neutrality and Economic Opportunity), this proposed zoning text amendment seeks to modernize the city’s outdated and oftentimes burdensome zoning regulations to make it easier for building owners and developers to make changes to existing buildings and create more housing. Such proposed zoning changes will address three categories:
Low Density Areas
- Enable campus infill: The proposal seeks to modify existing zoning rules (i.e. mixing rules, minimum distance between buildings, yard and height requirements) to enable existing large campus sites to add new housing units.
- Allow intended densities and housing types: Current zoning rules curtail and limit certain permitted housing stock through onerous and often-times outdated bulk regulations for certain areas in the City. The proposal seeks modify this by changing FAR, yards, parking and other zoning regulations.
- Enable multi-family buildings ("Missing Middle" housing stock) at appropriate locations:
- The text amendment seeks to allow mixed-use apartment buildings in commercial overlays.
- The text amendment seeks to allow apartment buildings on sites that meet specific criteria in low-density residence districts (R1 – R5) by providing such qualifying sites with additional FAR, modified yard requirements and other zoning reliefs.
- Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) Program:
- This text amendment seeks to allow ADUs for 1-2 family homes in low-density districts by providing such units with certain zoning reliefs (i.e. parking).
Medium and High-Density Areas
- Additional FAR for affordable and supportive housing: Current zoning rules permit additional floor area (20%) for Affordable Independent Residences for Seniors (AIRS) in certain areas. The text amendment seeks to expand this incentive by applying it to all affordable and supportive housing.
- Office Conversions: Current zoning rules limit the applicability of the conversion rules to only buildings built pre-1961 or pre-1977 buildings in specific areas of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. The text amendment seeks to expand the eligibility of these regulations to pre-1990 buildings located anywhere in the city where the zoning district permits residential use. The proposal would permit such conversions to include a wider range of housing typologies, including shared housing.
- Enable campus infill: The proposal seeks to modify existing zoning rules (i.e. mixing rules, minimum distance between buildings, yard and height requirements) to enable existing large campus sites to add new housing units
Elimination and Reduction of Parking Requirements
- Sites in Transit Zone: The proposal seeks to eliminate parking minimums in the transit zone.
- Sites outside of Transit Zone: The proposal seeks to reduce parking requirements in areas outside of transit zones but with good transit access to encourage transit-oriented development.
Please note that this city-wide zoning text amendment is expected to begin the formal public review process in Spring of 2024. We will continue to monitor this proposal 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]
Robert Huberman at +1 212 592 1592 or [email protected]
Vinh Van Vo at +1 212 592 1588 or [email protected]
© 2023 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.