For the past three years in a row, many lower-density neighborhoods around New York City have been facing an existential crisis: our own elected officials, particularly Governor Hochul and Mayor Adams, believe that our communities don’t deserve to exist.
This year, Mayor Adams and the Department of City Planning rolled out the City of Yes, a set of land use proposals meant to increase development exponentially, purposefully targeting lower-density areas.
A partial list of changes sought by Mayor Adams:
- Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) would be allowed on all 1 and 2-family properties, including basement/cellar, attic & garage conversions, and new houses up to 800 square feet in backyards.
- Transit Oriented Development (TODs) mapped in large parts of R1 through R5 residential zones, targeting 1 and 2-family areas & allowing large apartment buildings on all wide streets and corner properties.
- “Town Center” Zoning mapped on all commercial overlays in R1 through R5 zones for high-density apartment complexes on top of street-level retail.
- Basic Zoning Framework changes that would make all buildings larger, denser & taller while cutting back lot sizes, yard setbacks & green space.
- Parking Requirements for all new residential development would be eliminated.
- All properties on every residential block within 100’ of a corner would be allowed to have commercial/retail/storefront/office up to 2500 square feet.
- Allow primary residences to have a broad variety of commercial uses applied to 49% of the unit, no maximum square footage and 3 employees.
- Allow manufacturing and “life sciences” on all commercial strips; expand “nightlife” throughout the city; and commercial development to routinely double in size with a simple permitting process everywhere.
These changes – and many more – will not foster positive change in our neighborhoods. Instead, it will deregulate our entire land use process and allow high-density residential and commercial development everywhere.