Sidestepping Zoning to Build Green in NYC
"The amendment, which is currently under public review-meaning it's been referred for comment to community boards, borough boards and borough presidents, before city planning approves a version for the City Council to consider-is the product of the Green Codes Task Force, a panel pulled together by the Bloomberg administration and the nonprofit Urban Green Council; last year it released an in-depth analysis of the city's building codes, with a mission 'to remove zoning impediments to the construction and retrofitting of green buildings.'
This was desperately needed because, as [the city's deputy director of sustainability Howard] Slatkin said, standing in front of a black-and-white slide of a just-built LeFrak City, 'a lot of the regulations that were drawn up with zoning were not drawn up with the notion of promoting green buildings.'
According to PlaNYC-the mayor's master plan for the city-buildings generate 75 percent of the city's greenhouse-gas emissions. The zoning code has been in effect for 50 years, since long before the concept of 'greenhouse gasses' even existed."