Zoning to Protect Manufacturing in N.Y.C.
Areas in New York City zoned for manufacturing are grappling with the influx of other land uses, particularly hotels, that are driving up costs for manufacturers, leading to a decrease in industrial buildings, and forcing workers to relocate farther away from jobs.
The city is finally taking steps to better regulate the conversion of industrial property by updating a zoning ordinance that had not changed since 1961, says Oscar Perry Abello:
City Council’s move last year requires that hotel special permit applications go through the city’s standard land use review process, known as ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure), which includes nonbinding input from the community as well as a binding vote by City Council. The council typically defers to the member whose district encompasses the land use application request.
The city has tried to support manufacturing in the past through the establishment of industrial business zones and an Industrial Action Plan. But community advocates say protecting land zoned for manufacturing is crucial. While the special permit for hotels is a move in the right direction, they are still concerned about existing development in these neighborhoods and the land use pressures that will come in the future, notes Abello.