Curbed Amendment to close zoning loophole ‘misses the point wildly,’ says city council committee by Caroline Spivack
In a notable exchange with Council member Ben Kallos, who represents a swath of Manhattan’s east side, Hsu-Chen acknowledged that although the city tweaked the revision to cap voids at 30 feet it would support the council if it amended the modification back to the 25 foot cap.
“We would support the City Council modification,” said Hsu-Chen. “The city planning commission did take into consideration input from expert practitioners and made the modification, but we believe 25 feet would be sufficient.”
DCP acknowledged that its research did not identify buildings where an additional five feet would have been crucial for the function of a void, but said it opted to include the extra space to “future proof” buildings in case of innovations in equipment that require additional space. Though the agency did concede that additional zoning changes could be made later to accommodate such innovations.
The Tuesday review of the zoning change was the first leg in the final obstacle—the City Council—the revision must face before it can be enacted. Kallos told Curbed he anticipates a successfully push for the amendment to be scaled back to its original 25 foot cap.
“I believe we should have widespread support,” said Kallos. “I anticipate that amendment will be the case.”