For the second time since her rise to office, Governor Kathy Hochul is attempting to completely turn land use upside-down across New York State.
As reported in the March 2022 Berry in an article that I authored entitled “In This Game of Political Chicken, Everybody Loses,” last year, Governor Hochul stated that she would “fix outdated land use laws that hold back housing supply” and that “transit-oriented development” was part of her housing strategy across New York State.
The bills, which she dumped into the budget to make them difficult to remove, would have eliminated one-family zoning across New York State; forced every municipality to accept Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) – attic, basement, garages or backyard houses – against local zoning and “home rule” decision-making guaranteed by the NY State Constitution; increased density within 1⁄2 mile of all LIRR and Metro-North train stations outside of New York City through Transit-Oriented Development (TODs); and blanket amnesty for all illegal conversions in New York City.
In response, a groundswell of opposition formed in record time. We created the Statewide Alliance Vs. Elimination of 1-Family Zoning in New York (SAVE 1-Family New York) and ultimately forced the Governor to drop all of her proposals.
Fast-forward to January 2023 and Governor Hochul has, if anything, double-downed on destroying our state.
Governor Hochul’s housing policy, if adopted, will once again disproportionately have a negative impact on one-family neighborhoods across Queens and Staten island as well as much of Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties. It will even affect two-family and lower-density multi-family neighborhoods like Middle Village due to mandatory and unsustainable high levels of density required by the proposed zoning. Finally, any new housing created will not be affordable – it will all be market rate.
HER LATEST ILL-CONCEIVED PLAN – she calls it a “Housing Compact” – would:
• Force every city, town and village in New York State to create 3-year development cycles in perpetuity with mandatory housing targets
• If these targets aren’t met, the Governor will take away “home rule” from local municipalities by removing their ability to author and control their own local and use regulations for the next 3-year cycle. A new State board will allow market-rate multi-family developments to be built anywhere, regardless of local zoning.
• Mandate a blanket “amnesty” program for all illegal conversions in New York City (again)
• As an incentive, all property owners who create ADUs will receive a property tax exemption, further defunding our local governments!
• Finally, within 3 years, TODs will be mandated around every MTA train or subway station both within and outside of New York City, with a minimum upzoning of 50 units per acre within 15 miles of New York City.
If you agree that we must stop the Governor from destroying New York State, contact your legislators immediately and demand that these bills be removed from the 2023-24 budget immediately. Visit save1familyny.org for more information and updates.