Opposing NY State’s Proposal to Lift FAR Cap for NY City

February 13, 2022

Senator Brad Hoylman
New York State Senate

Re: State-Wide FAR cap

Dear Senator Hoylman:

The Lower East Side Preservation Initiative (LESPI) writes to express our alarm over Gov. Hochul’s inclusion of a proposal to remove the existing state-wide FAR cap in the budget that is now before the legislature, essentially encouraging super tall buildings throughout New York City.

LESPI is open to exploring ideas for adaptive reuse of commercial properties, but believes this can be achieved through other means at the state’s disposal, without encouraging rampant luxury development at heights beyond the current reasonable FAR cap.

LESPI has long advocated for the Lower East Side, a culturally rich historic area that has been largely ignored by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. The Lower East Side is already scarred by a growing number of out-of-scale towers, and is especially threatened by this proposal, which would increase development pressure on the streetscapes that give the LES its distinctive neighborhood charm, which is greatly appreciated within and beyond New York City.

Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if we can be of further assistance.


Richard Moses

[Note: this letter was also sent to NY State Senator Brian Kavanagh, NY State Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou, NY State Assemblymember Harvey Epstein, and NY State Assemblymember Deborah Glick]