|NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer has recently weighed into the debate about upzoning SoHo and NoHo, expressing his unequivocal support for a change which would allow larger development in these neighborhoods, where current rules allow new structures 300 feet tall or greater.|
Various groups, in some cases backed by developers with vested interests and potential development sites in SoHo and NoHo, have been advocating for such an upzoning, waging a renewed campaign. This effort hides behind the fig leaf of promoting affordability, denying the reality that such upzonings create vastly larger quantities of luxury housing in oversized towers than any modest set-aside of affordable housing. It also ignores that affordable housing could be created — and would likely be welcomed — in neighborhoods WITHOUT destroying longstanding limits on the size of new development, and without offering huge bonanzas to developers as the price for it.
Stringer’s statements are particularly distributing, as they indicate support not only for upzoning SoHo, but for similar neighborhoods, saying it’s an important part of his agenda. Comptroller Stringer has a troubling track record when it comes to such issues — as Borough President he supported gutting neighborhood protections for NYU’s massive 2031 Expansion Plan, destroying the historic Provincetown Playhouse and Apartments, and allowing the Trump SoHo to be built, in spite of widespread contentions that it violated zoning rules.
It’s important that Comptroller Stringer hear from New Yorkers who think that massive giveaways to developers and destroying the scale and character of neighborhoods is NOT the way to address affordability issues in New York City: