NYS Seal



SUBJECT: Zoning Changes and their Effects on Affordable Housing Production

PURPOSE: The purpose of this hearing is to explore the effects that zoning changes have on local communities, including the effects on the development of affordable housing and to solicit ideas regarding modifications that could be made to the existing zoning change process.

Swingin' 60's Senior Center

February 26, 2004
4:00 PM
211 Ainslie Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Over the last forty years the economy of New York City has changed dramatically, with light manufacturing and service industry jobs replacing most of the industrial employment. This trend has left many former manufacturing sites idle and unproductive. In conjunction with this trend, decreasing vacancy rates have led to a city wide housing crisis. This has led state and local officials to look at ways of using zoning laws to facilitate the development of residential property in those areas where former manufacturing sites exist that remain unproductive.

Please see the reverse side for a list of subjects to which witnesses may direct their testimony, and for a description of the bills which will be discussed at the hearing.

Persons wishing to present pertinent testimony to the Committee at the above hearing should complete and return the enclosed reply form as soon as possible. It is important that the reply form be fully completed and returned so that persons may be notified in the event of emergency postponement or cancellation.

Oral testimony will be limited to 10 minutes' duration. In preparing the order of witnesses, the Committee will attempt to accommodate individual requests to speak at particular times in view of special circumstances. These requests should be made on the attached reply form or communicated to Committee staff as early as possible.

Ten copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted at the hearing registration desk. The Committee would appreciate advance receipt of prepared statements.

In order to further publicize these hearings, please inform interested parties and organizations of the Committee's interest in hearing testimony from all sources.

In order to meet the needs of those who many have a disability, the Assembly, in accordance with its policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Assembly facilities and activities.

Hon. Vito Lopez

Member of Assembly
Committee on Housing


  1. Over the last twenty years, there has been a trend to re-zone existing manufacturing zones to residential zones throughout New York City. What effect have these re-zonings had on the development of housing in these areas? What effect has re-zoning had on the communities in which they have taken place? Have these re-zoning projects met the City's stated objectives as outlined when the re-zoning was first proposed?
  2. Mixed-use zoning has been used to allow for the co-existence in one area of manufacturing and residential purposes. Can this co-existence be maintained successfully? Are local jobs retained and is the quality of life in the new mixed-use zone upheld? Are there changes that can be made to ensure that residential development co-exists with the businesses that provide an important source of income for community residents?
  3. How can zoning laws be used to promote the development of affordable housing? Should the development of affordable housing be mandated? If so, should such mandates be applied city-wide or area by area? What can city and state officials do to promote the development of affordable housing while minimizing any displacement caused by zoning changes? What incentives can be provided to private developers to promote the development of affordable housing in areas that have been re-zoned?
  4. How can state and local officals ensure that the public has access to the newly re-zoned waterfront areas? Are sufficient policies in place to promote the development of wetlands and greenspace in all newly re-zoned areas?
  5. How can the new Brownfield Cleanup Program be used to promote jobs and affordable housing development in recently re-zoned areas?
  6. What can be done to ensure that zoning variances granted by the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) continue to relieve genuine hardship while not significantly altering the existing Zoning Resolution? How can community participation in re-zoning decisions continue to be ensured during periods of large-scale development?


Persons wishing to present testimony at the public hearing on Zoning Changes And Their Effects On Affordable Housing Production are requested to complete this reply form as soon as possible and mail it to:

Caryn Canfield
Committee Assistant
Assembly Committee on Housing
Room 513 - Capitol
Albany, New York 12248
Email: canfieldc@assembly.state.ny.us
Phone: (518) 455-4355
Fax: (518) 455-4128

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