Ambitious Zoning Reform Package Proposed in New York State Legislature

Single-family zoning, parking requirements, and minimum lot sizes are on the chopping block in Senate Bill S7574.

2 minute read

December 14, 2021, 6:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


An aerial view of New Jersey suburbs, with Manhattan and New York City in the distant background.

James Kirkikis / Shutterstock

The New York State Legislature this legislative session will consider a full suite of planning and zoning reforms. New York State Senator Brad Holyman (D-Manhattan) recently introduced Senate Bill S7574, which would legalize multi-family residential construction almost everywhere in the state, remove parking minimums, and end minimum lot sizes in some parts of the state.

Joe Levinger reports the news about SB S7574 for TheRealDeal:

The legislation would prohibit cities and villages from setting minimum lot sizes larger than 1,200 square feet. It would also bar them from requiring off-street parking.

In cities, landowners could build four-family dwellings on any residential lot, or up to six-family buildings within a quarter mile of a train station. In villages, builders could construct duplexes on any residential lot or six-family dwellings near transit stations.

The bill would put New York State in the company of the rare few states that have preempted local zoning to allow new multi-family developments. First Oregon and then California led the way, followed by, to an extent, Connecticut (an "opt out" provision in Senate Bill 1024 prevents the Constitution State from being included as a full member of the state preemption club).

Holyman is quoted throughout the article explaining the reasoning behind the bill—including a mention of a study by researchers at the NYU Furman Center, "which found that New York has some of the most exclusionary zoning in the country, particularly in the suburban enclaves of Westchester and Long Island."

The article also notes that Holyman is far from a consistent voice of YIMBY politics. Hoylman objected to the recently approved Soho/Noho upzoning, calling it the "Amy Coney Barrett of zoning proposals."

Friday, December 10, 2021 in TheRealDeal

Single-family homes in a suburban neighborhood in Florida.

New Florida Law Curbs HOA Power

The legislation seeks to cut down on ‘absurd’ citations for low-level violations.

June 16, 2024 - The Guardian

Three colorful, large beachfront homes, one khaki, one blue, and one yellow, with a small dune in front and flat sand in foreground.

Florida Homeowners 'Nope Out' of Beach Restoration Over Public Access

The U.S. Corps of Engineers and Redington Shores, Florida are at a standstill: The Corps won’t spend public money to restore private beaches, and homeowners are refusing to grant public access to the beaches behind their home in return for federal assistance.

June 7, 2024 - Grist

Multistory apartment building under construction.

New Tennessee Law Allows No-Cost Incentives for Affordable Housing

Local governments in the Volunteer State can now offer developers incentives like increased density, lower parking requirements, and priority permitting for affordable housing projects.

June 10, 2024 - Nooga Today

Green meadow with water running through and trees on either side in Yosemite National Park.

Yosemite Meadow Undergoing Major Restoration

Rangeland recently acquired from private owners is being restored to a more natural state thanks to a purchase by the Trust for Public Land.

2 hours ago - San Francisco Chronicle

Large black SYV driving down city street with blurred background.

GAO to Investigate How Vehicle Design Impacts Safety

A lax set of rules around vehicle size, height, and other factors is partly responsible for the alarming rise in pedestrian deaths in the United States.

3 hours ago - Streetsblog USA

Worker in yellow safety suit holding up orange SLOW sign on road

New Orleans Faces $1 Billion Shortfall for FEMA-Funded Roadwork

After years of delays, cost overruns, and deadline extensions on a FEMA-funded street repair program, New Orleans officials face a massive funding shortfall and accusations of mismanagement.

4 hours ago - NOLA.com

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.