New York, NY—Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday announced that he will introduce a new zoning law that would limit the size of apartments, businesses and other types of buildings to 100 square feet.
The proposal is a significant step toward protecting New Yorkers from displacement caused by the construction of high-rise buildings, which can rise to 1,000 feet in height and can be designed to absorb heavy rain.
The law would not apply to condominiums, which are allowed to exceed 500 square feet in size.
De Blasio, who is running for re-election, has said the measure is necessary to ensure New Yorkers’ safety in the event of a major storm.
“New Yorkers deserve a safe city.
They deserve a city that is livable, that’s affordable, that is secure and that they can move in and out of as they please,” the mayor said at a press conference at the city’s police station.
New York City’s zoning code is currently divided into nine sections, each with its own rules and rules for construction.
In the new proposal, which is scheduled to be voted on at a special meeting next month, developers would be required to use “proper and appropriate signage” at construction sites, including “any buildings that are located in areas that are expected to be impacted by heavy rain or flooding.”
The new law would also require new buildings to have at least one sprinkler system, as well as any other building-related measures to be “consistent with the existing zoning codes of the city of New York and consistent with other applicable codes.”
It is expected to require developers to provide more detailed information about the construction plans, including the locations of the buildings, when the projects will be completed, and any environmental impact assessments.
There are already stricter zoning requirements in place for many New York boroughs, including in Brooklyn and Staten Island.
A new law was also approved by the state legislature last year, which allows developers to build new housing with a minimum of 20 percent floor area for affordable housing.
According to the Urban Land Institute, about 5.7 million units of housing are currently under construction in New York state.