Obama hopes to change America through upzoning

Administration calls on local governments to increase development

TRD New York /
Sep.September 26, 2016 12:57 PM

It’s not every day that real estate developers find themselves in agreement with the Obama administration. On Monday, the White House released a “toolkit” of economic facts and talking points encouraging local and county governments to overhaul their zoning laws and housing policies. The takeaway? The president wants more development — and higher densities — to combat a nationwide housing shortage that’s dragging down the economy.

The report calls out local resistance to development and suggests ways for city and county governments to combat community opposition and NIMBYism.

“Over the past three decades, local barriers to housing development have intensified,” the report notes, particularly in areas of high job growth like New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles. “The intensity and impact of such barriers are most evident in the vibrant job-generating regions where fervent demand far outstrips supply.”

The inability for workers to find housing in areas where the jobs are is exacerbating income inequality and stifling economic growth, the report says. According to one estimate, barriers to development in major cities cost the U.S. economy about $1.95 trillion a year, Politico reports.

The “toolkit” prescribes more density, faster permitting, and fewer restrictions for developers in regards to parking and accessory dwelling.

The federal government has no jurisdiction over county or municipal zoning laws.

In New York City, debates over zoning are a constant. A Midtown East rezoning proposal, released by the city in August, would upzone the area around Grand Central Terminal and allow for a 30 percent increase in maximum density. The Real Deal looked at which property owners would benefit the most if the rezoning goes through.

In June, the city pushed for changes to a state law that currently limits the size the city’s residential buildings. The proposed laws would allow more residential development in high-density commercial areas, but opponents worry it would invite more supertall towers and lead to even more congestion.  [Politico]Chava Gourarie


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
From left: Senator Julia Salazar, Time Equities CEO Francis Greenburger, Housing Justice for All's Cea Weaver and Belkin Burden LLP's Sherwin Belkin

Salazar, Greenburger, Weaver, Belkin debate tenants’ rights on tonight’s TRD Talk

Salazar, Greenburger, Weaver, Belkin debate tenants’ rights on tonight’s TRD Talk
Governor Andrew Cuomo (Credit: Getty Images, iStock, and Pixabay)

Cuomo’s executive order tells banks to give homeowners a break

Cuomo’s executive order tells banks to give homeowners a break
The Obamas and 79 Turkeyland Cove Road (Credit: Getty Images, Zillow)

Post-presidential pads: After the White House, what comes next?

Post-presidential pads: After the White House, what comes next?
Assembly Housing Committee Chairman Steven Cymbrowitz and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (Credit: Getty Images, Google Maps)

Corruption, unit loss in Mitchell-Lama targeted by Assembly

Corruption, unit loss in Mitchell-Lama targeted by Assembly
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren

By the numbers: Breaking down national housing agendas from the far left

By the numbers: Breaking down national housing agendas from the far left
350 Park

Vornado, Rudin mull 1,450-foot tower in Midtown East

Vornado, Rudin mull 1,450-foot tower in Midtown East
Suri Kasirer

WATCH: Suri Kasirer on the influence of her father’s Holocaust stories and lobbying hard for the Vanderbilt Corridor and Cornell Tech

WATCH: Suri Kasirer on the influence of her father’s Holocaust stories and lobbying hard for the Vanderbilt Corridor and Cornell Tech
As rent and tax reforms sweep US, real estate industry braces for fight with progressive lawmakers

As rent and tax reforms sweep US, real estate industry braces for fight with progressive lawmakers

As rent and tax reforms sweep US, real estate industry braces for fight with progressive lawmakers
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...