Press Releases

For Immediate Release
March 8, 2023

Casey Berkovitz, Joe Marvilli – (212) 720-3471

New York League of Conservation Voters Backs Mayor Adams’ City of Yes for Carbon Neutrality Proposal

Leading Environmental Organization Supports the Forthcoming City of Yes for Carbon Neutrality Zoning Text Amendment in its 2023 New York City Policy Agenda

NEW YORK – This morning, the New York League of Conservation Voters and NYLCV Education Fund (NYLCV/EF) released their 2023 New York City Policy Agenda, which includes support for the Mayor Eric Adams’ City of Yes for Carbon Neutrality initiative. The expression of support for the zoning text amendment is a rare statement on a land use and zoning action from the leading environmental group, a sign of the importance of modernizing zoning regulations in support of the city’s climate goals.

“We’re honored to have the League of Conservation Voters’ support for the City of Yes for Carbon Neutrality initiative as we take critical steps to allow us to meet New York’s climate goals,” said Dan Garodnick, Department of City Planning Director and Chair of the City Planning Commission. “This proposed zoning change will make it easier to green our grid, reduce our carbon emissions, and lower Yorkers’ energy costs. We'll continue to partner with environmental advocates to say yes to a greener, more resilient future as the City of Yes for Carbon Neutrality initiative progresses.”

The environmental organization’s support comes in advance of the Department of City Planning’s first information sessions regarding the proposed zoning text amendment, which will be held on March 20 and 28. Once the formal public review process begins this Spring, the text amendment would go to all 59 Community Boards and all five Borough Boards and Borough Presidents for their recommendations. Next, City of Yes would go before the City Planning Commission for a public hearing and vote. If the Commission votes in favor of the application, it would then head to the City Council for a public hearing and vote.

About City of Yes for Carbon Neutrality
City of Yes for Carbon Neutrality is designed to help New York City to meet its ambitious goal of reducing its carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 and do its part to meet the Paris Climate Agreement of 2016’s goal of limiting global warming to no more than two degrees Celsius. While the City has some of the strictest laws in the nation to reduce emissions and a stringent energy code to help us go green, outdated zoning rules remain an obstacle to the energy-efficient technologies that will help to achieve these goals.

Among the changes City of Yes for Carbon Neutrality is proposing to create a greener New York are:

  • Plan for a renewable energy grid. This initiative would remove existing zoning obstacles that severely limit how much space on a rooftop can be covered by solar panels, unnecessarily hampering clean solar energy. It would also make it easier to install the energy storage infrastructure needed for solar energy and a greener future.
  • Create cleaner, more efficient buildings. Since wall thickness counts against a building’s allowable floor area ratio, many developments find it impossible to retrofit their facades with high-performing walls, typically thicker than existing ones. City of Yes will add flexibility so these modifications can be made to a building without running into zoning violations.
  • Support electric vehicles. Since electric vehicles have only started growing in popularity recently, there are very limited areas that allow off-street charging locations. This proposal would change zoning rules to expand off-street electric vehicle charging to most residential and commercial districts, so they can be easily included in a building’s garage.

Department of City Planning
The Department of City Planning (DCP) plans for the strategic growth and development of the City through ground-up planning with communities, the development of land use policies and zoning regulations applicable citywide, and its contribution to the preparation of the City’s 10-year Capital Strategy. DCP promotes housing production and affordability, fosters economic development and coordinated investments in infrastructure and services, and supports resilient, sustainable communities across the five boroughs for a more equitable New York City.

In addition, DCP supports the City Planning Commission in its annual review of approximately 450 land use applications for a variety of discretionary approvals. The Department also assists both government agencies and the public by advising on strategic and capital planning and providing policy analysis, technical assistance and data relating to housing, transportation, community facilities, demography, zoning, urban design, waterfront areas and public open space.