Tuesday, March 24, 2015

New York City proposed zoning changes regarding building height

From: HistoricWashington@yahoogroups.com
To: HistoricWashington@yahoogroups.com
Date: Sat, 21 Mar 2015 13:53:05 -0400
Subject: [HistoricWashington]
DC is Not Alone in Efforts to Curb Inappropriate Zoning Changes
Below is a "Notice" from a resident of Brooklyn who notes:
"Brooklyn has already done a lot of rezoning, up-zoning leading to new highrise construction.  Streets are getting clogged, not just for drivers but for pedestrians,  Now we stand to lose more of the architectural heritage.  Where does this stop?   
Concerned neighborhood organizations throughout New York City are holding a press conference and rally on the steps of City Hall on Wednesday, March 25th at 3:00pm to express their concerns about Mayor De Blasio's citywide re-zoning proposal, 'Zoning for Quality and Affordability,' which would drastically reduce neighborhood zoning protections and raise height limits throughout the city.  If adopted, the proposal poses a serious threat to Park Slope's cherished streetscapes on hundreds of blocks outside the historic district through tear downs and multi-story additions to existing buildings.  Coupled with the Landmarks Preservation Commission's slow down in processing the extension of the Park Slope Historic District, it would undo many of the positive steps the neighborhood has taken over the last 10 years to safeguard Park Slope's character."

Perhaps what's happening in NYC sounds familiar to DC residents.  Much of the justification for height changes revolve around "Affordability."
The Office of Planning put forth a proposal to help curb "pop-ups" which the Zoning Commission discussed on February 9.  The hearing is posted at dcoz.dc.gov under ZC Calendar for February 9.  Any proposed changes to R-4 zones need input from the public if neighborhood character is to survive the ravages of developers and eager young investors who care only about flipping their properties for profit.  Consideration must be given to whether the proposed changes to height are really about affordability.  Didn't the Chair of the Zoning Commission recently ask, "Affordable for whom?" 
On the Zoning Commission's calendar for April 30, is Case No. 14-13 - Rooftop Penthouses.  The latest submission from OP has been filed as Exhibit No. 57 for the case and should be reviewed by residents in all zones across the city.
There is an opportunity to testify regarding both Pop-Ups and Penthouses.  If people are serious about expressing concerns let the Zoning Commission hear from you.
Pop-Ups, Case No. 14-11 - Hearing date not set yet.

Penthouses Case No. 14-13 - Hearing date April 30.

Alma Gates

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