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NYC embraces ‘City of Yes for Economic Opportunity’ zoning changes to ignite vibrant economic recovery

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The New York City Department of City Planning (DCP) has approved the “City of Yes for Economic Opportunity” zoning changes, marking a pivotal moment for the city’s economic landscape. Mayor Eric Adams, alongside DCP Director Dan Garodnick, celebrated the City Planning Commission’s (CPC) vote, endorsing a set of 18 progressive policy changes aimed at fostering economic recovery, supporting small businesses, and creating a more inclusive future for the city.

Mayor Adams expressed the need to break away from outdated zoning rules, stating, “New York City isn’t coming back – we are back, and ‘City of Yes for Economic Opportunity’ will help take us to new heights.”

“To continue driving New York City’s economic recovery forward, we must look to the future and not be bound by the past,” said Mayor Adams.

“So many of our old zoning rules simply made no sense, but ‘City of Yes for Economic Opportunity’ will deliver long-overdue, sensible zoning changes that will unlock family-sustaining jobs for our neighbors, inclusive growth in our communities, and a vibrant future for our city. New York City isn’t coming back — we are back, and ‘City of Yes for Economic Opportunity’ will help take us to new heights.”

The initiative is part of a trilogy of “City of Yes” initiatives, with the first focusing on carbon neutrality and the third on housing opportunity.

Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer emphasized the importance of updating zoning regulations to meet the needs of 2024, paving the way for small businesses, growing industries, and vibrant commercial corridors. CPC Chair Dan Garodnick echoed the sentiment, noting that the outdated zoning rules have held back entrepreneurs and small businesses for too long.

“Today’s City Planning Commission vote in favor of ‘City of Yes for Economic Opportunity’ is an important step towards creating a more dynamic and prosperous future for New York City,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer.

“The zoning of 1961 is not serving the needs of 2024, and replacing outdated regulations with clear and sensible rules will help boost small businesses, growing industries and commercial corridors. We look forward to working with our partners in the City Council to advance this important proposal and help sustain our economic recovery into the years ahead.”

The comprehensive proposal encompasses changes ranging from doubling the space available for clean manufacturing to creating new tools for businesses in industrial areas to expand.

The plan also eliminates outdated rules restricting dancing and open mic events in commercial areas, ushering in a more dynamic nightlife scene.

Key figures from various departments and organizations expressed their support, highlighting the positive impact the zoning changes will have on businesses, public spaces, and economic growth. The plan received positive recommendations from community boards and borough presidents, setting the stage for its review by the New York City Council in the coming months.

The proposal addresses concerns raised during the review process, ensuring that the zoning changes align with community needs. Modifications include restrictions on commercial uses in upper floors of mixed-use buildings to prevent conflicts with existing residences and limitations on home businesses to individual dwelling units.

“City of Yes for Economic Opportunity” represents a significant leap forward in revitalizing commercial corridors, fostering entrepreneurship, and ensuring a more resilient and adaptable economic future for New York City. The next steps involve a public hearing and a final vote by the City Council, with expectations high for the proposal’s successful implementation.

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