Midtown Community Board Doesn’t Want Any More Luxury Towers Right Now

May 18, 2015 | Liam Mathews

Community Board 5, which covers the core of Midtown including the stretch of super-luxury skyscrapers on 57th Street called “Billionaire’s Row,” has called for a temporary moratorium on the construction of buildings taller than 600 feet, DNAinfo reports. In a letter to Department of City Planning and Mayor de Blasio dated May 15, CB5 cited concerns that have arisen from zoning falling behind the pace of development.

“We really need to hit the pause button,” writes Layla Law-Gisiko, chair of CB5’s Sunshine Task Force (one of the myriad controversies created by the towers has been the shadows they cast over Central Park).

The task force’s report says that Midtown needs to revise its zoning and land use regulations in order to fortify and recuperate from the effects of the whirlwind of construction. The community board wants to make sure that the public doesn’t get steamrolled by developers. They also recommend a pied-a-terre tax and a ban on buying properties using identity-concealing shell corporations.

“The modification of the current zoning resolution should provide an opportunity to protect access to air and sunlight, mitigate the impact on infrastructure, eliminate tax loopholes and bring much needed transparency in the land development,” the report says.

(Photo: Shinya Suzuki)