On May 13, 2017, nearly 50 attendees joined FRIENDS as we hosted a community workshop 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 full video coverage of the event, plus links to presentation slides:

Welcome – Franny Eberhart, Board President, FRIENDS of the Upper East Side Historic Districts

Historic Preservation in New York City – Elizabeth Fagan, Director of Preservation, FRIENDS of the Upper East Side Historic Districts
FRIENDS’ Director of Preservation, Elizabeth Fagan, covers the basics of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, including the criteria for landmark designation, plus a brief overview of the National Register of Historic Places. 

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.