Keep Megatowers Out of Our Residential Neighborhood

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Depiction of 95 Story Tower

Our Community-Generated Rezoning Proposal is Now Law—But the Fight Isn’t Over Yet!

Three years ago, our neighborhood had a rude awakening: A developer planned to construct a 1,000-foot tall tower on East 58th Street. How could that happen? Unlike other NYC communities, the East River Fifties (the area between 51st and 59th Streets, east of First Avenue) was the only residential community left where mid-blocks and quiet residential streets had absolutely no building height limits due to a 1960s-era zoning law.

Other residential neighborhoods had been rezoned. We needed the same protections afforded other neighborhoods—we knew what we had to do. The East River 50s Alliance (ERFA) sprang into action to protect this neighborhood, submitting one of the most sweeping community rezoning plans in City history to stop out-of-scale development, while including affordable housing provisions that would ensure that the area remained livable for more New Yorkers. We worked with the NYC Department of City Planning over more than two years to bring rezoning to fruition.

On November 30, 2017, our rezoning proposal was enacted into law, making the East River Fifties safe from new construction of megatowers—but with one major threat remaining. Because the developer of the 58th Street site had begun construction of a foundation before the new zoning law was adopted, it has appealed for an exception to the law to be allowed to build as planned—or “grandfathered.”

ERFA is vigorously fighting that appeal. Read the blog, FAQs and access the Media Center for more information.

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