Quality of life is fundamental to our Upper East Side. Help protect it today!

Dear Friend,

You and I know what makes the Upper East Side one of New York’s great neighborhoods – from the gorgeous architecture of its historic districts to the village charm of its side streets. But those very qualities we love are at risk.

FRIENDS is fighting for smart development on the Upper East Side that preserves a balance of human-scale character on our side streets and limits higher-density development on wider streets and avenues. But, it’s a big fight and we need your help.

Today, please make a year-end donation of $50, $100, $250 or more to FRIENDS. You will help us take action against the on-going and blatant subversion of our zoning laws that is threatening not just this community, but neighborhoods throughout New York.

Diagram of 249 East 62nd Street showing an octagonal structural core (shown in gray) that will raise the top residential floors.

Here’s what we are up against:

In the case of 180 East 88th Street, the developers have artificially divided their lot to evade zoning regulations and add height to the building. This, combined with unnecessary voids, excess mechanical space and ultra-luxury ceiling heights (when did a single story become 16 feet?) has allowed the developer build to over 500 feet in a neighborhood where, under traditional building assumptions, a 300-foot building is the norm.

And just when you thought that manipulation of the zoning laws couldn’t get any worse, a recently announced development at 249 East 62nd Street — just steps from the Treadwell Farm Historic District — has over 150 feet of empty space whose sole use is to lift residential units high into the air, where views are better and apartments more profitable

Zoning laws are intended to serve the public interest… to ensure that alongside the necessary evolution and growth of our city, it remains livable for all of us, with plenty of access to light, air, and open space.

These manipulations by developers are symptoms of a larger illness: a disregard of the public purpose of our zoning laws. Your year-end gift to FRIENDS will allow us to pressure the Department of City Planning to re-write the zoning to eliminate such egregious loopholes.

Your gift will help us lead a coalition-building effort with other groups across the city as we collectively challenge the City’s approval of projects that that negatively impact the public realm.

Please give today and be as generous as you can. It’s a fundamental investment in the future quality of life of our Upper East Side.

With thanks and best regards,

                    

Franny Eberhart                                         Rachel Levy
President                                                      Executive Director