You are reading

De Blasio-Backed Bills For Bigger Buildings Halt In Albany; Met Resistance From Local Officials And Others

Rendering of future LIC Development via LIC Partnership

Rendering of future LIC Development via LIC Partnership

June 20, 2016 By Jackie Strawbridge

Proposed State legislation that would allow for taller buildings in New York City did not succeed in Albany before the session closed last week, following resistance from local officials and organizations.

The bills, introduced in the State Assembly by Member Keith Wright and in the State Senate by Senator Simcha Felder, would lift the existing cap on building density in New York City. If passed, this legislation would open the door for New York City zoning regulations to permit more stories and apartments per lot size – in other words, taller buildings with more residents.

The bills were introduced at the request of the Department of City Planning, as the legislative text states.

De Blasio defended the proposed legislation on the Brian Lehrer Show earlier this month, stating that it goes hand in hand with Mandatory Inclusionary Housing. MIH requires developers to include affordable housing in certain circumstances and was vigorously contested in local communities before it was passed earlier this year.

“There are places where we can appropriately build taller,” the Mayor told Lehrer. “In terms of Mandatory Inclusionary [Housing], we now have a requirement for the creation of affordable housing whenever there’s a rezoning and a land-use action by the City. So, this opens up the potential for a vast amount of additional affordable housing. It’s a big issue.”

He went on to cite “districts that are already very highly built up,” such as Midtown Manhattan, as places where there is an opportunity “to do some more and to include affordable housing.”

However, like MIH, this proposed legislation has met local resistance.

Assembly Member Cathy Nolan expressed her opposition to lifting the FAR cap last week.

“We already have numerous very high buildings in Long Island City with more on the way. I cannot permit any loosening of this restriction without a firmer commitment to infrastructure support, such as more schools and increasing the reliability and capacity of our mass transit system,” Nolan said. “With recent re-zonings around the city, including western Queens, there is ample opportunities to build more affordable housing. Any more changes to allow for even larger buildings is unnecessary and would be unconscionable.”

Cathy Nolan

Cathy Nolan

Others who have publicly voiced their opposition include State Sen. Liz Krueger of Manhattan, the New York Landmarks Conservancy and the Municipal Art Society.

Even Wright, Chair of the Housing Committee who introduced the bill at the City’s request, ultimately decided to pump the breaks.

“With such an urgent need to preserve and create affordable housing in the City of New York, every idea must be thoroughly explored and considered,” Wright said in a statement released from Krueger’s office. “This legislation could reshape the city’s landscape and impact schools, transportation and air rights. Nothing will be acted on until there’s confidence and consensus among all relevant communities and partners, and that certainly won’t be achieved this session.”

The Senate bill was committed to the Rules Committee last week, according to the legislative website.

“This bill is the wrong approach and I am glad that it was not advanced this session,” Nolan told the LIC Post on Monday. “We need to develop responsibly by increasing classroom seats, improving our health facilities and ensuring that our infrastructure keeps up with the demand of our communities before we allow for larger buildings to be built.”

email the author: [email protected]


Click for Comments 

Remember the beknighted ultra-low-rise small home owner or renter. Higher real estate taxes, and no means of getting services but multiple buses, or bus to train changes. A two hour commute? Much of Queens.
A two tier housing and infrastructure reality is all ready in place. The day will come and payoffs to build, building fever, will lead to building deflation. Let’s hold our horses in check. Empty high rises, a delationary cycle, and overbuilding will look mighty foolish.


Infrastructure is the name of the game. With 20,000 apartments under construction and currently planned we need better planning. 75% of the buildings are such a close walk to the train stations. The trains are already overcrowded as it stands


The solution is simple, we need more trams crossing the rivers. Without river crossings to Manhattan, our congestion problems will continue. Subway tunnels would cost billions. Tourists would flock to Brooklyn and Queens.


Good for her! We don’t have the infrastructure to support the thousands of residents already crammed into this corner of Queens. Can someone explain how the bidding process to develop the lots in Hunters South but we don’t know how big the developments may be?


Bravo Cathy Nolan. Finally a Politician with a sensible head. She knows you can’t put the cart before the horse. Infrastructure improvements and other things are badly needed in LIC and other areas before the Skyscrapers.


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Gunman who fired shots at the Ravenswood Houses in Long Island City remains at large: NYPD

Police from the 114th Precinct in Astoria and PSA 9 are continuing their search for a gunman who allegedly opened fire at the Ravenswood Houses in Long Island City last month.

The incident occurred during the early morning hours of Wednesday, Jan. 18, when officers responded to a 911 call and a ShotSpotter activation for multiple shots fired at 21-25 35 Ave. at the Ravenswood Houses NYCHA complex just after 2 a.m., according to authorities.

Popular places where you can watch the Super Bowl in Queens

Feb. 2, 2023 By Tammy Scileppi

Hey, football fans! Game time is fast approaching, and across the city and here in Queens, you can feel the excitement brewing as the two teams prepare to take the field on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 12. So, kick back and watch the big game, and don’t miss Rihanna’s exciting performance during halftime. 

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Long Island City teen sentenced in fatal shooting of ‘beloved’ school teacher at Queensbridge Houses in 2020: DA

A Long Island City man on Friday, Jan. 28, was sentenced to 19 years in prison for the 2020 fatal shooting of a public school social studies teacher who was out walking his dog when he was caught in the crossfire during a confrontation between gang rivals in broad daylight, just blocks from his home, according to Queens District Attorney’s office.

Ike Ford, 19, of 12th Street, in Long Island City, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder. The teacher, George Rosa, 53, was shot in his abdomen by a stray bullet fired by Ford, who was just 17 years old at the time of the shooting but was sentenced as an adult given the severity of the crime, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.