'City of Yes': NYC Mayor Unveils Zoning Amendments for Economic Recovery
Thursday, June 2, 2022
New York City Mayor Eric Adams has unveiled a plan to use the city's zoning tools to support small businesses, create affordable housing and promote sustainability.
Adams announced the three citywide zoning amendments on Wednesday at the Association for a Better New York Power Breakfast.
Called the "City of Yes" plan, the first amendment focuses on economic development and aims to provide small businesses more flexibility in how they can repurpose their space for a post-pandemic city.
Adams said it's about removing the red tape and helping businesses evolve.
"Think about the owner of a tapas bar that has live music on weekends and wants to set aside a small space for dancing, but finds that under city rules, it's not allowed." said Adams. "We are going to change that no to a yes and let the people dance."
The amendment includes removing geographic limitations on certain businesses, including life sciences, custom manufacturing and nightlife.
Adams said the city also will work closely with communities on investments that can bring more jobs to New Yorkers, including opportunities in the Bronx. Four Metro North stations are slated to open in the Bronx in 2027.
Another zoning expansion under Adams' "City of Yes" plan focuses on addressing the city's affordable-housing crisis. It includes easing conversions of underutilized buildings, such as vacant office spaces.
"City zoning laws put artificial limits on the number of studio apartments per building," said Adams. "We are going to change that and help a young person who moved to the greatest city on the globe, an older person, stay in the city they grew up in or a person who has experienced homelessness get permanent housing."
The third component of the plan focuses on clean energy and adjusting zoning rules to help speed up the installation of solar panels and charging stations for electric vehicles. New York state and city are working together to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by more than 80% by 2050.
Securing Our Future: Strategies for NYC in the Fight Against Climate Change New York City Council 2022
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