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A Petition About Tall Buildings


Tribeca Trust received the following communication from a coalition of organizations near Columbus Circle and our own Tribeca resident, Michael Sorkin.  How can we fail to hear what they have to say, given the helter-skelter mess of towers we have that are ruining our own neighborhood?  Please read their message and sign the petition below:

Coming Soon: Tall Buildings and Long Shadows in Central Park!

This is our watch. Are we just going to sit by and let developers overwhelm our neighborhood with 100+ story buildings that cast mile-long shadows? Shadows from buildings slated for 57th Street will fall on the Heckscher ball field and playground, the carousel, the zoo, among other areas in the south end of the Park. The effect on traffic on 57th will be horrendous. What’s worse, this trend of mega-development continues in adjacent areas.  It does not have to happen. It is time to rethink our zoning and the manipulation of air rights that allow this unprecedented mega-development to be built, meanwhile placing a moratorium on further construction.

The Petition to City Government on Shadows and Tall Buildings

We urge the City Council to amend (and urge Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer to support amending) local zoning laws as they relate to as-of-right development given the significant environmental impact of tall buildings over 25 stories. The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) should take into consideration density and congestion, the effect of shadows on parks, and the vulnerability of an area to sea rise and storm surges.  Zoning should allow for the following principles:

  1. Limit height
  2. Require an EIS on buildings over 25 stories (no as-of-right)
  3. Consider existing density and congestion on neighborhood streets
  4. Require operable windows
  5. Adhere to the Public Trust and Open Space Doctrine*
  6. Prohibit tall residential buildings in low lying areas subject to sea rise and storm surges
  7. Contain a Sunshine Clause that prohibits shadows in parks caused by new development
  8. Designate landmark-worthy sites and ensure contextual zoning in Historic Districts.


The undersigned:

Olive Freud, Community for Environmentally Sound Development
Alan Gerson, Sierra Club NYC
Kathy Gaffney, Sheffield, 322 West 57th Street
Elizabeth Starkey, former chair, CB7 Environmental Committee
Ronnie Eldridge, former Councilmember
Albert Butzel, Urban Environmental Law Center
Geoffrey Croft, NYC Park Advocate
Michael Sorkin, Distinguished Professor, CCNY
Cleo Dana, Friends of Damrosch Park
Mitchell Bompey – Michael Petry – Erick Johnson – Douglas Mercer – Kathleen Webster – Jen Zhao – Robert Ripps – Edward Flounoy Jr – James Ryan – Kate Perry – Margaret Othrow –

To add your name to this list, please sign here.

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