Community Board Wants Moratorium Placed on Central Park Skyscrapers Taller than 600 Feet

May 19, 2015

Those looking to build a behemoth along Central Park may have to look elsewhere. The Manhattan Community Board Five’s Sunshine Task Force has voted in favor of a resolution calling for an immediate, temporary moratorium on any new construction of 600 feet or taller that is not already undergoing public review, particularly with those threatening to cast shadows over Central Park in an area bounded by 53rd Street and Central Park South, and Fifth Avenue to Eighth Avenue. The board voiced their concerns and outlined the ban in a policy brief (via DNA Info) which made its way to the desks of the Department of City Planning and the mayor last week.

The brief highlighted the seven supertall buildings already under construction along 57th Street and another five in the pipeline. As it stands there is nothing in place that requires a developer to seek public review. Current zoning and land use regulations allow “as of right” development, making it difficult to find out what developers are actually planning for a site. This they say this lack of transparency is leading to towers of unprecedented heights that are casting long shadows on Central Park, and the approval process needs to be revised.

nyc skyline future 2018

towers cast shadows central park

In addition to this, the brief also delves into construction dangers and the tax loopholes so commonly associated with these luxury properties. The board also wants to remove the possibility of buyers shielding their names behind an LLC (requiring instead that an actual name be used), and are championing for the implementation of a pied-a-tierre tax to keep the Pikettyscraper phenomenon at bay. They’ve also proposed a “shadow budget” for new development within the area, which would cap new buildings vying to rise along the park, and are requesting a review process for historically significant buildings that may be at risk due to new construction.

The brief is said to be under review by the mayor’s office.

You can also have a look at the report for yourself here and see the board’s letter to the mayor here.

[Via DNA Info]


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