New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Residential Tower Mechanical Voids Text Amendment


Dear Councilmember Kallos,

The Department of City Planning (DCP) is proposing a zoning text amendment that would regulate excessive mechanical voids within residential buildings in high density residential districts citywide. The application (N 190230 ZRY) will be reviewed and considered for certification by the City Planning Commission (CPC) on January 28, 2019.

In 2018, Mayor de Blasio requested that DCP examine districts/areas of the city where excessive mechanical voids could be used to raise residential tower heights purely for enhanced views and increased market value. While DCP had anticipated referral of the proposed zoning text amendment in December 2018, conversations with City Council members resulted in a request for an expanded geographic scope which required additional analysis. DCP is now prepared to present the proposed zoning text amendment for certification on January 28 as part of a two-phased approach. The second phase - addressing a broader geographic scope - is also expected to go through the public review process this year.

The proposed zoning text amendment seeks to address the issue within residential towers in high density residential districts by limiting the amount of mechanical void space that can be excluded from zoning floor area. You can read more information about the proposal and the issue it seeks to address in the attached document. DCP will refer the application to the Community Board and Borough President for review following certification and the CPC will hold a public hearing. If you have any questions, please contact

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