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Electeds, advocates seek to close zoning loopholes

By July 18, 2018 No Comments

Electeds, advocates seek to close zoning loopholes

by Gregg McQueen

Ban the bad precedent.

Elected officials and advocacy groups gathered at City Hall on July 16 to demand that the city close existing loopholes that allow developers to circumvent zoning laws – and expressed concerns that such bad behavior could be repeated in neighborhoods across the city.

They called on the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) to take action by ruling against a series of loopholes, including the creation of small unbuildable lots, gerrymandering of lots, and “mechanical voids” inside buildings that allow developers to dramatically increase building height.

“These loopholes allow developers to create buildings that are two or three times higher than surrounding buildings,” said Rachel Levy, Executive Director of the Friends of the Upper East Side Historic District.

She remarked that the circumventions “make a mockery” of the city’s zoning laws and “threaten to permanently upend the character of our residential neighborhoods.”

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