FDNY Union Pens Letter Supporting State Bill – Tell Our State Legislature You Agree!


Schematic massing diagrams depicting 249 East 62nd Street. Left: Based on plans filed in 2017. Right: Under the constraints of a proposed bill to alter New York State’s Multiple Dwelling Law, with same number of units, same zoning floor area, and a notable reduction in the vast central void. 
Credit: George M. Janes and Associates. 

On top of undercutting predictable development and the intent of zoning regulations, the inclusion of empty “mechanical” voids in the core of new buildings poses grave safety concerns for New York City’s firefighters and the citizens they protect every day.


That’s why last week the Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York penned a memorandum in support of a state bill that would implement a broad framework for reform and help put a stop to the exploitation of the mechanical void loophole.

The powerfully-worded memo states: “It is difficult enough for Firefighters operating inside of high-rise buildings. Access to the fire area and to whatever is on fire is paramount to save lives and to protect Firefighters operating at these fires… While we acknowledge and accept the risks of our profession, we strongly oppose construction methods that are inherently dangerous that for no valid reason increase the threat to the lives of the public and our members… we strongly support this bill which would prohibit the creation of these dangerous phantom floors within buildings in New York.” 


To read the full memo, click HERE

Bill A5026/S3820, sponsored by Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal and Senator Robert Jackson, would use the state’s Multiple Dwelling Law to address excessive void spaces by better regulating building bulk. This bill will complement the work begun via the recently-passed Zoning Text Amendment from the Department of City Planning and championed by our City Council Members, but it must be heard by the close of session on June 19th if it is to pass.


Please call Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Assembly Housing Chair Steve Cymbrowitz and urge them to bring this important bill to a vote before the session closes on June 19th!

Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie
Speaker@nyassembly.gov
518-455-3791 (Albany)
718-654-6539 (District)

Assembly Member Steven Cymbrowitz, Housing Committee Chair
Cymbros@assembly.state.ny.us
518-455-5214 (Albany)
718-743-4078 (District)


Read More: “No a-voiding this loophole: How to stop unexpected towers,” by Rachel Levy, Crain’s New York Business, April 8, 2019.

“NYS pols are targeting the favorite loophole of supertall developers,” by Eddie Small, The Real Deal, May 3, 2019.