District News

Proposed Zoning Changes to Promote Recovery

Mar 15, 2021
Proposed Zoning Changes to Promote Recovery

Mayor de Blasio recently proposed a suite of zoning changes intended to promote the city’s recovery from COVID-19. According to an alert from Kramer Levin, the proposed zoning text amendments seek to remove administrative hurdles for gyms and restaurants, to improve transit accessibility, and to promote the creation of new grocery stores.

Current zoning regulations require that certain uses, such as gyms and spas, receive a special permit from the Board of Standards and Appeals to open. The city is seeking to remove this requirement for gyms, allowing them to open as-of-right where such commercial uses are permitted. Whether other health-related businesses, such as spas and massage parlors, will be allowed as-of-right remains to be seen.

The Open Restaurants program offered a lifeline to many struggling restaurants during the pandemic. With outdoor dining set to become a permanent fixture on our streets, the city will review current zoning regulations to eliminate or change rules to allow outdoor dining.

For more information on the proposed changes to the FRESH Program, read the press release from City Planning. For more information on all of the proposed zoning text amendments, read the press release from the Mayor’s office.

Other proposed changes seek to expand zoning incentives for the construction of accessible subway stations. As more information on proposed zoning changes becomes available, we will continue to update our businesses and the public. 

Photo credit: Equinox