On May 13, 2017, FRIENDS hosted a community workshop entitled “Attack of the Killer Megatowers: How to Preserve Quality of Life in a Changing Upper East Side.” The program, was supported, in part, by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The workshop covered the basics of zoning and preservation in New York City, with a focus on the Upper East Side, as well as our recommendations for zoning changes. Working with urban planning consultants George Janes and Ethel Sheffer, FRIENDS seeks to change the zoning loopholes which allow for developers to build taller and taller buildings.

See below for presentations from “Attack of the Killer Megatowers”:

Zoning Basics – Tara Kelly, Vice President Policy & Programs, The Municipal Art Society of New York
As part of their Livable Neighborhoods Program, the Municipal Art Society explains what zoning is, the basics of FAR, how to identify your zoning map, and the basics on as-of-right development and the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure.

Spotlight on UES Zoning & Land Use Mechanisms – Rachel Levy, Executive Director, FRIENDS of the Upper East Side Historic Districts
FRIENDS’ Executive Director, Rachel Levy, discusses the neighborhood character of the Upper East Side, and explains the different zoning districts and the building forms that these districts create.

How Do Supertowers Get So Tall? – George Janes, Principal, George M. Janes and Associates
Urban planning consultant George Janes examines the rise of the supertowers, how developers are able to build so tall, and FRIENDS’ recommendations for how the zoning text can be amended to help reduce overall building height.