CHPC was honored to present a panel on Zoning for Quality and Affordability at Nixon Peabody on Friday, October 30, 2015. On the panel were Mark Ginsberg, Partner at Curtis + Ginsberg Architects, Bill Stein, Partner at Dattner Architects, Marcie Kesner, Planning and Development Specialist at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, Howard Slatkin, Deputy Executive Director for Strategic Planning at DCP, and Frank Ruchala, Deputy Director, Zoning Division at DCP, discussing the proposed changes to residential zoning laws, and how the changes would subsequently affect the housing industry. Because of the complexity of the new zoning laws, CHPC structured the panel in a way that made the information easier to disseminate and digest. The structure was based on our own analysis of the material to pull out the most prominent impacts on housing development.

As demand for housing in New York continues to grow, there is a pressing need for strategies that preserve and create housing, including the need to modernize the zoning laws that have previously prevented productions of new units. The proposed zoning text amendments are focused on making it easier to provide affordable senior housing, enabling inclusionary housing, and also changing housing quality rules that will lead to better and more contextual developments. Frank Ruchala and Howard Slatkin gave a thorough and in-depth explanation of the proposed text amendments.

Mark Ginsberg and Bill Stein offered some great insight onto how these changes will affect future projects, and also questions of how the proposed changes will affect projects in construction.

As part of the panel presentation, CHPC utilized a new interactive Q+A moderation tool. This tool allowed CHPC to field questions from the audience, without interrupting speakers, while also allowing the audience to vote on questions to indicate similar questions. One of the most asked or ‘up-voted’ questions was focused on whether or not the proposed zoning law changes would actually pass, and the real likelihood of the laws going into effect.

CHPC looks forward to hosting more events focused on Zoning for Quality and Affordability, as well as Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning.