As you may have heard by this point, the American Institute of Architects, NYC Chapter (AIA) is proposing a series of blanket zoning text changes to amend contextual zoning in all five boroughs. Contextual zones have been embraced across New York City as means for communities to protect the scale and character of their neighborhoods by guiding development to be in context with existing buildings. Contextual zones have been instituted in hundreds of blocks across the city, often after long, community-based struggles against inappropriate development. If adopted, the AIA's proposed amendments will undo the hard work that's gone into these campaigns and will not only allow, but encourage out-of-context development. And beyond these tangible, negative effects, the way in which the proposal has been brought forward is flawed and seeks to circumvent the public review process which allows communities to have a voice in guiding development in their own neighborhoods.
Get sample letters and write to elected officials here:
Now It's Your Turn: Oppose the Proposed AIA Zoning Text Amendments
Because this is a citywide text amendment, this proposal is not going through the usual ULURP process and has a flexible time table. At this point, it is tentatively scheduled to be heard before the City Planning Commission on February 27, meaning that there is little time left to speak out. Please send your letters as soon as possible to ensure that this flawed proposal is sufficiently addressed and responded to.