Adams Administration Unveils the “City of Yes for Economic Opportunity Zoning Proposal” 

June 20, 2023

On June 13, 2023, the Adams administration announced the “City of Yes for Economic Opportunity” proposal. This proposal is intended to support small business growth and job creation through changes to the Zoning Resolution. The changes would revitalize commercial corridors, fill vacant storefronts, invest in key growth industries, and eliminate barriers to economic growth.

“With the ‘City of Yes for Economic Opportunity,’ we’re pushing full steam ahead on the city’s economic recovery and growth by changing outdated zoning requirements that are preventing our businesses and commercial corridors from reaching their potential,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer in a press release. “Through 18 policy changes, we’ll allow small businesses more opportunities to grow and expand, and we will strengthen commercial corridors that have experienced vacancy during the pandemic.”

The proposed changes to the Zoning Resolution include:

  • Expanding locations where small-scale commercial uses and clean manufacturing are permitted;
  • Working with the city council in New York state’s process for siting casinos;
  • Updating use regulations to provide greater flexibility for modern industries, such as life sciences, urban agriculture (including legal cannabis), and experiential retail; and
  • Modernizing loading berth requirements applicable to the adaptive reuse of commercial buildings.

“Mayor Adams’ ‘City of Yes’ vision breaks down outdated barriers, removes confusing and unnecessary restrictions, and opens up opportunity in our commercial neighborhoods,” said New York City Department of Small Business Services Commissioner Kevin D. Kim. “From more diverse and dynamic commercial corridors to revitalized storefronts and more comedy shows at bars and restaurants, there are dozens of reasons for business owners and all New Yorkers to celebrate these reforms.”

City of Yes for Economic Opportunity is the second of the mayor’s City of Yes zoning initiatives. The first initiative, City of Yes for Carbon Neutrality, is focused on easing zoning restrictions to support sustainability and is currently in public review.

The city’s application to amend the Zoning Resolution in furtherance of these goals is anticipated to be released this fall, at which time the public review process will commence. We will continue to monitor the details of this initiative and welcome any requests for further information.

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Authors

Sunny J. Bhatt

Planning Services Director

sbhatt@cozen.com

(212) 453-3990

Rachel Scall

Associate

rscall@cozen.com

(212) 453-3992

Vivien Krieger

Co-Chair, Zoning, Land Use & Development

vkrieger@cozen.com

(212) 883-2228

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