Korifaeus Magazine

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The Zoning Tragedies of New York City

The Big Zone out
By Korifaeus

There is an art to zoning in every city, town or village; permits for construction should always have the benefit of the general look of the city, as well as the people living in the city, at heart at all times. And while we’ve had a terrific Mayor for the past 12 years in this great City of New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who did a great job making the city once again a joy to live in, one wonders who the folks in charge of “zoning” are.

A Mayor can’t know every little detail of what’s going on in the city. He can’t possibly know about every permit issued for construction of a building. The folks in charge of issuing permits, however, should know where exactly permits are issued, but i seriously question they do, or even take a closer look at the sites where buildings are planed to be built.

We’ve been experiencing a building boom during the last decade, with hundreds of more high-rises having gone up; residential buildings bringing thousands of new people to the small island of Manhattan, while the folks in charge of zoning did apparently not take Manhattan’s ” infrastructure” into consideration, the one thing that’s the most important to take into consideration.

Thousands of new people moving to New York City who’ll be walking the streets, riding the subway, many of whom will have “cars”. But while buildings can go “up”, some things can not be added, and that’s ” streets”. Where will all these new people drive their cars ?

Word is Moscow is one of the worst planned cities in the world, as far as zoning is concerned, and that it takes about 4 hours to drive from one side of the city to the other side, with traffic at stop-and go throughout most of the day.

Is that what’s planned for New York city ?

Worst even is how permits for buildings are given without any regard for the people owning a lot of buildings, nor the people paying enormous amounts of rents to live in the city. Many apartments withgreat views will soon be close to worthless, with top rents going down at fast rates, because the views are gone. That won’t make residential building landlords happy, to say the least.

To have a view in New York city means a lot, because we never have a view of the entire sky when looking up, while walking through the city. We see high-rise buildings, even surrounding Central Park. A view out the window has a tremendous impact on the mental well-being of people, as well. It’s not a city for folks suffering claustrophobia, nor should a claustrophobic situation be forced on anyone. It’s something Zoning experts have to also take into consideration when issuing building permits.

Here’s an example where a permit may have been given without the experts actually having come to the site to make sure it won’t interfere with the infrastructure, nor the value of adjacent buildings, thus not hurt the building owners, nor cut off people’s view.

This is the view out of the west Window from the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th floor of a building in Mid Town Manhattan.


And this is the view from the south windows of the aforementioned floors of the same building.

The south views of the building west to that building are similar, but they’ll all lose their view and will be staring onto a wall, or into someone’s living quarters if the planned 7 floor building is going to be built right in front of these buildings.


It’s a zoning tragedy really, because the views are so important in this city; it helps people breathe – it provides a psychological openness in this city in which one can easily feel boxed in.

This is the site, see photo below, where the building is planed to go up, which means a wall will go up right in front of the east windows of the yellow building next to which the new building is planed to be built.


I’ll be sending this article to the city’s department of zoning, as well as infrastructure engineers, as well as the Mayor’s office, etc. because i’m sure they must have been under the impression it’s not taking anyone views, nor hurt the landlords of the adjacent building by jeopardizing the value of their building, views, rent, etc.

Surely such permits must have been oversights ?
Who’d possibly grant anyone to build a wall in front of people’s views ?



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