Petition to Curtail Overbuilding in NYC

Hello all,

Many NYers are seeing their skyline, light, air affected by out-of-scale development in formerly low-rise or even (what we used to think of!) mid to high rise neighborhoods.

Let us know what you think?

CB#5 has done a great deal of research on shadowing and Central Park with their Sunshine Task Force Report.

This petition is from the Tribeca Trust.

We urge the City Council to amend (and urge Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer to support amending) local zoning laws as they relate to as-of-right development given the significant environmental impact of tall buildings over 25 stories. The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) should take into consideration density and congestion, the effect of shadows on parks, and the vulnerability of an area to sea rise and storm surges.  Zoning should allow for the following principles:

  1. Limit height
  2. Require an EIS on buildings over 25 stories (no as-of-right)
  3. Consider existing density and congestion on neighborhood streets
  4. Require operable windows
  5. Adhere to the Public Trust and Open Space Doctrine*
  6. Prohibit tall residential buildings in low lying areas subject to sea rise and storm surges
  7. Contain a Sunshine Clause that prohibits shadows in parks caused by new development
  8. Designate landmark-worthy sites and ensure contextual zoning in Historic Districts.


New Yorkers for a Human-Scaled City

– Our Petition to Government-




WE, the citizens of New York City, call for an end to the violence that real estate developers have inflicted on our skyline, parks, public areas, and cityscape with dramatically over-scaled buildings that ignore the historic context of our City.


WHEREAS, we are angered when developers seize our commonly shared light, air, and iconic views for private consumption.


WHEREAS, we are aggrieved when we see developers plunder our historic neighborhoods and bury them in a sea of glass, all for luxury condos that destroy more affordable housing than they create.


WHEREAS, we are dismayed that small businesses are being hounded out of their premises by an army of banks and chain stores.


WHEREAS, many parts of our city are already too dense such that the public infrastructure in those places cannot support more people without a decline in the quality of life, destruction of historic fabric, and deterioration of the urban experience that made New York so great.


WHEREAS, economic growth and affordable housing are indisputably compatible with both a human-scaled city and the preservation of our historic neighborhoods.


WE CONCLUDE that reform must take place or the unique character of New York City will be lost forever.


THEREFORE, we call upon the Mayor and the City Council to prioritize and develop zoning changes, height restrictions, demolition moratoria, strengthened environmental reviews and to implement other regulatory reforms and laws to guide future development towards a human-scaled future – one that protects rather then destroys New York’s historic fabric. We ask that appointees to regulatory bodies be free of ties to the real estate industry. We call for widespread public debate and referenda on these policies.


We also call on the political clubs to field candidates for all offices who are willing to challenge the power and influence that the real estate lobby has accrued within our government.



Sponsored by:

Tribeca Trust, 29th Street Association, Friends of South Street Seaport


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