Land Use and Government Partner Kenneth Lowenstein commented on pending New York City zoning law in an article by Law360. In April 2018, the City Planning Commission certified the proposal to require new hotels and motels in certain manufacturing zones to apply for a special permit, and now the city wants to turn this change into law in the coming months.
Over the past 15 years, many neighborhoods have seen a construction boom in these special zones due to the relative ease of building. The permit requirement would aid in the city's efforts to preserve existing properties and encourage more industrial construction; however, some lawyers and other critics in the lodging industry say that they change would likely slow down new hotel construction without jumpstarting manufacturing.
"If this proposal is approved, it will definitely discourage hotel development since it will require developers to go through the city's lengthy ... process," said Mr. Lowenstein, who specializes in helping New York clients obtain zoning, permit, landmark and air rights permissions from the city.
Regarding the growing concerns in the development community, Mr. Lowenstein added: "It creates uncertainty. If you were hoping to build ... and hit the market in 18-24 months ... it's very different now. It's entirely likely there will be less development."
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