New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Gregg McQueen

Media Post Electeds, advocates seek to close zoning loopholes by Gregg McQueen

Electeds, advocates seek to close zoning loopholes

Advocates pointed to two construction projects in particular – at 200 Amsterdam Avenue and 180 East 88th Street – where they said developers have attempted to exploit zoning laws.

“These are real issues rooted in specific buildings, but they should worry residents in any neighborhood in Manhattan,” said Jim Caras, General Counsel in the office of the Manhattan Borough President.

Caras said the East 88th Street project, a planned 32-story residential building, includes a 10-foot, unbuildable lot that allows the project to skirt zoning rules, as the developer can claim the building no longer fronts on 88th Street, allowing them to build a taller building.

“It’s like playing Whac-a-Mole with an industry that has billions to devote to coming up with new ways to circumvent the rules, and as soon as we find a way to get them to follow one rule, they come up with a new way to do it,” said City Councilmember Ben Kallos. “The creativity is limitless for trying to avoid the rules.”