The Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery (HRO), the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and the Department of City Planning (DCP) are proposing a zoning text amendment to accelerate post-Hurricane Sandy recovery and enable flood-resilient building construction in certain waterfront neighborhoods throughout the flood zone. The proposed amendment will be applicable in certain areas of Staten Island, Queens and Brooklyn that have experienced a high concentration of damage and where thousands of properties are expected to be elevated or rebuilt to comply with flood-resistant construction standards and to protect property owners against higher flood insurance premiums.While extensive zoning changes were adopted in 2013, as part of the Citywide Flood Resilience text amendment, this proposal is needed in order to remove underlying zoning barriers that have slowed the recovery process in these neighborhoods.
Many homeowners within the “Build-It-Back” program – the City’s Sandy recovery program for residents, jointly administered by HPD and HRO and funded by the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – have been hindered during the process of rebuilding and elevating their homes, due to a lengthy and burdensome documentation process which determines whether their residence is considered non-conforming or non-complying. The proposed text amendment would provide zoning relief to facilitate the elevation of existing homes and replacement of substantially damaged homes with more resilient ones by simplifying the process for documenting non-compliances, removing disincentives for property owners to make resilient investments, and establishing a new zoning envelope for narrow and shallow lots, where homes are to be reconstructed, that more accurately reflects the existing neighborhood character. The text amendment will be time-limited with the primary goal of accelerating recovery in Sandy-impacted neighborhoods.
Together, these proposed zoning changes will speed up the process for owners of Sandy-damaged buildings to obtain building permits for elevation and reconstruction faster and will reduce vulnerability to future flood events, as well as protect property owners against higher flood insurance premiums.
The proposed text amendment consists of an amendment to the New York City Zoning Resolution, Article VI, Chapter 4 (Special Regulations Applying in Flood Hazard Areas).
This application (N 150302 ZRY) was duly referred by HRO, HPD and DCP on March 30, 2015 to Staten Island Community Boards 2 and 3, Brooklyn Community Boards 13, 15 and 18, Queens Community Boards 10, 13 and 14, the Staten Island, Brooklyn and Queens Borough Presidents, and the Brooklyn, Staten Island and Queens Borough Boards, in accordance with the procedure for non-ULURP matters.
On July 23, 2015 the City Council adopted the Special Regulations for Neighborhood Recovery text amendment. The text amendment is now in effect. View the adopted text. For additional information, please see Article VI: Special Regulations Applicable To Certain Areas Chapter 4 - Special Regulations Applying in Flood Hazard Areas.