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Spooked by Tall Tower Boom, Midtown Residents Propose Revised Approval Process

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Community Board 5 is calling for reforms to the as-of-right building practices that are allowing so many megatowers to rise along Central Park's southern border. First spotted by Crain's, the community board in cooperation with the Central Park Sunshine Task Force—yes, that's a thing—have issued their long-anticipated recommendations for protecting Central Park's light and air exposure. Because advances in building practices are exceeding the rate by which the city is reforming its zoning regulations, the community board is calling for a temporary moratorium on construction of buildings taller than 600 feet that aren't passing through a public review process—which are many—as well as a change in zoning and land use regulations in the area bounded by 53rd Street and Central Park South, and Fifth Avenue to Eighth Avenue.
With seven towers rising and five in the works, the community board is calling for more transparency behind the building and buying process, including restricting the use of LLCs for condo buyers, reporting site mergers to the community board, and requiring a review process for historically significant buildings that are in danger of being torn down for new development. The report also proposes implementing a "shadow budget" for new development within the area. The budget would cap new development along the park when its allotment, to be determined, gets maxed out.

See Community Board 5's letter to the mayor here, and read the full report here.
· Report: Central Park Sunshine Task Force [official]
· Midtown Community Board Defends 'Access to Sunshine' [Crain's]
· New Yorkers Slam Central Park's Shadow-Casting Megatowers [Curbed]