Mark your Calendars!
Key Dates to Curb Inappropriate Development


LANDMARK WEST! and our colleagues FRIENDS of the Upper East Side Historic Districts have been pushing back against the spread of Billionaire’s Row into our residential districts.  Now, reinforced by a city-wide coalition, we alert you to the next milestone in efforts to stop out-scaled development by closing developer loopholes: a proposed text amendment to shrink voids that came about in direct response to concerns raised at CB7 and CB8 Town Hall meetings with the Mayor in 2018.
Although not a silver bullet, it is a worthy first step and indicates that the City acknowledges that a problem exists.
This month, Community Boards will meet to review the City Planning Commission’s proposal to address excessive mechanical voids. READ the two-page description that aims to limit the currently unlimited space for mechanicals in the body of a building (not below grade nor on the rooftop) to 25 feet, repeatable after a minimum 75 feet of rise for programmed area.  This proposal will go first through land use (LU) committees and then each Full Community Board (FB).  Come out and support this important initiative to shrink limitless void floors!
          Community Board 1:  M 2/11/19 (LU); T 2/26/19 (FB)
          Community Board 2:  W 2/13/19 (LU); R 2/21/19 (FB)
          Community Board 3:  N/A; T 2/26/19 (FB)
          Community Board 4:  W 2/13/19; R 2/21/19 (LU); W 3/6/19 (FB)
          Community Board 5:  W 2/6/19 (LU); R 2/14/19 (FB)
          Community Board 6:  W 2/13/19 (LU); W 2/13/19 (FB)
          Community Board 7:  W 2/20/19 (LU); T 3/5/19 (FB)
          Community Board 8:  W 2/20/19 (LU); W 2/20/10 (FB)
          Community Board 9:  R 2/21/19 (LU); R 2/21/19 (FB)
          Community Board 10:  R 2/21/19 (LU); W 3/6/19 (FB)
          Community Board 11:  W 2/6/19 (LU); T 2/19/19 (FB)
          Community Board 12:  T 2/19/19 (exec. comm); T 2/26/10 (FB)
Again, the Upper West Side’s CB7 meetings dates:
LAND USE: Wednesday, February 20th at CB7 Office, 250 W. 87th Street #2; 6:30pm
FULL BOARD: Tuesday, March 5th at Goddard Riverside Center, 593 Columbus Ave. at 88th Street; 6:30pm
LW! believes this Zoning Text Amendment is a critical first step.  For one, it has immediate, direct implications for the proposed tower on West 66th Street. That development plans 215 feet of NOTHING, and includes a 161-foot 18th floor of NOTHING.  It is essential to engage City Planning to act proactively to protect the safety of New Yorkers.
It’s not a perfect fix. LW! will point out that it still allows the potential for multiple mechanical floors within the body of a building that will still not count against a building’s floor area. Also, we question the seemingly arbitrary choice of 75 feet of rise before these “freebie” floors may repeat.  In typical office construction, mechanical floors occur every 20 stories or more, so for residential buildings, 200 feet would be a more than adequate baseline increment.  However, with swift City action, we hope to enable lasting legislation that will lead to more sensible planning and close other much-abused loopholes ranging from building stilts and interior atria to gerrymandered zoning lots.
Voids cannot be ignored. Without action, they won’t just “go away”.  
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