The Real Deal New York

Taller buildings, looser parking requirements: new zoning plan

Before implementation, zoning changes have to go through public review process

February 23, 2015 09:05AM

CarlWeisbrod

Carl Weisbrod

Mayor Bill de Blasio has proposed zoning changes that would eliminate parking requirements for new affordable and senior housing within half a mile of mass transit as well as allow for taller buildings.

The mayor introduced the zoning changes on Friday, according to Capital New York. First, the proposal will have to go through the public land-use review process.

The plans align with de Blasio’s housing plans to add and preserve 200,000 affordable units in ten years, according to the website.

“This will ultimately fix a lot of problems that have held back affordable housing and made it more costly to build,” the mayor’s spokesperson told the website. “With these changes, we’ll be able to get more affordable housing, lower construction costs and build the sort of buildings that really fit into our neighborhoods’ fabric.”

The proposed parking rules only affect affordable housing developments, not market-rate projects, according to the website. Under the new zoning, owners of existing affordable housing developments within half a mile of mass transit could reduce or eliminate their parking.

“All of these proposals were contemplated in Mayor de Blasio’s Housing Plan, which was produced this past May,” the city’s Planning Commissioner, Carl Weisbrod, said in a statement cited by Capital. “A lot of work is still ahead of us in order to make the goal of decent, affordable housing a reality, but this is a major milestone along that long road.” [Capital NY] — Claire Moses

 

  • The problem doesn’t stem from parking requirements per se; rather it’s the FAR/zoning envelope that sets the overall limitation of the site plan, which economically favors apartment usage over parking space usages– a no brainer– which then sets the lower bound on what prices must be charged on the apartment space footage into order to make up for the deficiency on the development of the less-economical parking spaces.

    So then you end up with high-priced condos and of course everyone blames the parking requirements!

    As a counterfactual, imagine if you have buildings constructed with no regard for FAR, they will build as much apt:parking ratio as demanded by the market, and at prices that would make today’s “affordable” housing as antiquated a notion as the medieval “just price” doctrine.

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