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Plea to Curtail Sky-High Development Gets Even More Support

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After a July 23 meeting, a group of city officials have penned a letter to the Department of City Planning asking them to reform the policies that have turned the city, especially Midtown, into a boomtown for new development breaching 1,000 feet. "We write to voice our concern about the impacts of as-of-right super-tall buildings in the 57th Street corridor below Central Park and its environs," the letter, cited by Crain's and signed by seven city officials including City Council members Daniel Garodnick, Corey Johnson and Mark Levine, begins.

The officials want City Planning to heed the recommendations of Community Board 5, and reform the as-of-right practices that have allowed buildings like Central Park Tower, 111 West 57th Street, and One 57 to dominate the southern border of Central Park. The pols also suggest that City Planning take into account the studies of CB5's Sunshine Task Force, as well as those of the Committee for Environmentally Sound Development, which advocates for environmental impact studies for new construction slated to rise over 25 stories.

"We want to make sure these buildings are in the context of what we have and what we want to be. We want to make sure we don't have the dog wagging the tail when it comes to planning," Councilman Garodnick said at July 23's meeting (although Central Park South is arguably already wagged.) Although 57th Street may be a lost battle at this point, DNAinfo suggests that attention is now turning to the Upper East Side after DDG's 551-foot-tall condo building was greenlit in mid-June. Council member Ben Kallos, whose district it's in, urged meeting attendees to press the neighborhood's community board to adopt a resolution to change the Upper East Side's zoning to restrict larger developments. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, who has gained a reputation for curtailing development, attended the meeting to cheer Kallos on.
· Key City Council members want to curb super-tall buildings south of Central Park [Crain's]
· Pols Push For Zoning Change That Would Put Cap on Height of UES Towers [TRD]
· Spooked by Tall Tower Boom, Midtown Residents Propose Revised Approval Process [Curbed]
· New Yorkers Slam Central Park's Shadow-Casting Megatowers [Curbed]