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NY - New Zoning Rules Adopted to Protect Coastal Areas from Climate Change

The citywide zoning changes will help to keep New York City coastal residents and businesses more prepared for climate change.

The citywide zoning changes will help to keep New York City coastal residents and businesses more prepared for climate change.

On May 12, 2021, Mayor de Blasio announced new zoning rules to help protect homes and business located in New York City’s floodplain from climate change. The Zoning for Coastal Flood Resiliency, approved by the City Council earlier that day, helps to withstand and recover from major disasters and rising sea levels.

The Zoning for Coastal Flood Resiliency improves emergency rules put in place by Superstorm Sandy. The plan also limits construction of new nursing homes in areas that are at risk of flooding and of difficult access when faced with a storm.

The new zoning will encourage resiliency in current and future neighborhoods at risk of flooding. New and rehabbed buildings in areas that are expected to have a one percent chance of flooding by 2050 are now allowed to meet or exceed flood-resistant construction standards.

The zoning will also support long-term and more resilient designs by allowing building owners to raise their structures and achieve a better floorplan. Additionally incremental retrofits will allow buildings to adapt to a changing climate. The new zoning allows this by letting buildings elevate or relocate mechanical, electrical, and plumbing equipment above the height of floodwaters.

Future recovery is also expected to be sped up by reducing regulatory obstacles. Recovery provisions have been instated that can be quickly selected based on the issues created by a disaster and the resulting recovery period.

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