“City of Yes” Rezoning Plan Has More Dangers, More Oversized Luxury Condos

Mayor Adams’ “City of Yes for Housing Opportunity” is making its way through the public review and approval process, with final votes expected by the end of the year. The sprawling 1,400-page proposal would transform how development can take place in every corner of NYC. Some of its provisions are extremely concerning, and some are cloaked in mystery as the City has thus far refused to supply clarifying information.

We recently wrote to our elected officials and community boards about these concerns, urging them to demand changes to the plan and oppose it if they are not made. These include: 

  • Increasing the allowable size and height of purely market-rate residential developments in various contextual zoning districts in Manhattan Community Boards 1–8.
  • Allowing developers to build larger purely market-rate residential developments in Voluntary Inclusionary Housing Zones throughout New York, such as Hudson Square and the East Village/Lower East Side.
  • Allowing the transfer of air rights from individually designated landmarks over a much larger area, and with greatly reduced public review and approval, vastly increasing potential development in neighborhoods like ours that contain over a hundred individual landmarks. 
  • Removing important provisions from special districts throughout the city (such as SoHo/NoHo and Hudson Square) designed to maintain neighborhood character — supposedly to avoid “redundancy” with “duplicate” provisions City of Yes would add to the citywide text — leaving such areas vulnerable to the loss of these protections altogether in the future.
  • Creating a raft of new special provisions to allow expanded market rate housing and other development on what it refers to as “campuses,” which is likely to include the NYU superblocks, West Village Houses, multiple NYCHA developments, and several church properties in our neighborhoods, among other locations, without providing any clarity on what this would mean in practice or how it would affect our communities.  


May 13, 2024