New book aims to demystify city zoning laws

February 04, 2011 12:09PM

A new handbook coming out Monday seeks to “demystify” the zoning rules in New York City, a project organized by Amanda Burden, the commissioner of the Department of City Planning, the New York Times reported. Prior to the creation of the new handbook, zoning rules could only be found in the zoning resolution, a 1,500-page book that was virtually incomprehensible to laypeople and even to city officials, the Times said. Since the resolution is “impossible to understand,” Burden said, it took the tool of zoning out of the hands of the public. With her new handbook, she hopes to change that. “I think is entertaining — it’s fun to read,” Burden told the Times. “It turns out that boring old zoning, when used creatively, can be used to solve a whole lot of problems.” The 168-page book contains cartoon-like illustrations of what each zoning designation allows, and shows images of successful applications of the provisions. [NYT]