YIMBY -- The History and Future of New York State’s Hard Cap on Housing Density

New York State has arrogated from New York City control of its transportation system and property taxation, but it’s mostly stayed out of zoning. The one exception is a little-known provision in the State Multiple Dwellings Law, which generally forbids cities from zoning any land for residential densities beyond a floor-area ratio of twelve. And according to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s housing plan, released in May, the city intends to do something about it.

“The city,” his plan read, “will propose state legislation to remove the FAR cap and permit decisions about density to be made through the local land use process.”

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