Legislature Splits on Allowing Supersized Development in Residential Neighborhoods, Decision Due April 1 — WRITE TODAY!

The State Senate and Assembly this week responded to Governor Hochul’s proposal to lift the 60-year-old limit on the maximum allowable size of residential developments in New York City as part of this year’s budget agreement. It was a split decision.

The Assembly opted not to include the Governor’s proposal in their draft budget, as they have for the last several years. The Senate, by contrast, included the Governor’s proposal in their draft budget, albeit with two caveats attached: that historic districts be excluded from the allowance, and any residential developments that exceed the current allowable size limit make approximately 25% of its units affordable for those with below-average incomes for the NYC area. While such requirements are better than the unconditional removal of the limitation proposed by the Governor, they fall well short of ensuring an appropriate outcome, and don’t justify lifting the already incredibly generous limit. Much of our neighborhoods (including many of the most vulnerable areas), and 96% of New York City, lie outside of historic districts. And the “affordability” requirements would still allow these massively larger buildings to be approximately 75% superluxury, with the “affordable” units requiring incomes higher than those of a large portion of the least well-off New Yorkers, even in relatively affluent neighborhoods like ours, thus making our city and neighborhoods richer and more expensive.

Historic districts are in yellow. Areas outside historic districts — such as the Greenwich Village waterfront and Far West Village, the 14th Street corridor, South of Union Square, and most of the East Village — are in white. 

A final budget agreement is due April 1. The two houses and the Governor will be spending much of the next several weeks negotiating an agreement on this and many other issues, and the final outcome is very much to be determined.


March 15, 2024