NYC Council to Vote on Zone Green Text Amendment

Land Use


The New York City Council is expected to vote next week on the Zone Green text amendment, which is intended to remove zoning impediments to the construction and retrofitting of green buildings.  The City Planning Commission approved the text amendment on March 28, 2012, subject to modifications, and now it moves to the City Council for a vote.  The text amendment is part of a larger green initiative by the Department of City Planning to promote sustainable communities throughout the City.


According to the Department of City Planning, “This proposal would give owners more choices for the investments they can make to save energy, save money, and improve environmental performance. This proposal will help bring our buildings into the 21st century while protecting the character and quality of life of our neighborhoods.”


Some general highlights of the text amendment,  include:  (i) the promotion of energy efficient building walls, by exempting the use of thicker insulated walls from the calculation of floor area for new buildings, and by allowing older buildings to add external insulation within the property line and exempting it from floor area calculations, and yard and open space regulations; (ii) allowing sun control devices and awnings to extend into required open areas, (iii) permitting  solar panels on flat rooftops below the parapet to be exempt from height regulations, (iv) allowing height exemptions for green roofs and rooftop storm-water detention units that are below the parapet height, (v) permitting height exemptions for wind turbines on certain buildings, and (vi) allowing rooftop greenhouses to be exempt from floor area and height limits on certain non-residential buildings by certification from the Chair of the City Planning Commission.


The specific details of the Zone Green text amendment can be found by clicking here.


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