Recently, Howard Peskoe (of Counsel here at Herrick, Feinstein) and I were invited to speak to the New York chapter of the International Facilities Managers Association on the City’s Greener, Greater Buildings Plan and its impact on IFMA’s members.
IFMA asked us to speak because a major component of the GGBP (the benchmarking law) is about to become effective on May 1, 2011.
We have addressed the GGBP in ZONE previously, but now seems the perfect time to revisit its four laws.
There’s been quite a bit of talk in New York recently about Wal-Mart – the big box retailer is resurrecting its bid to open its first New York City store. Wal-Mart’s earlier attempts to open a Brooklyn or Queens location failed when the store came up against the city’s strong unions – who oppose Wal-Mart’s non-union approach – and a general concern about the effects of the retailer on wages and small businesses. This time around, the City Council’s Committees on Community Development, Small Business and Economic Development plan to hold a joint oversight hearing on Wal-Mart (scheduled for this Wednesday), and Christine Quinn, the Council’s Speaker, has been quoted as saying, “Wal-Mart is something I am not supportive of.” But can the City Council, unions, or small businesses actually block the store from opening anywhere within the five boroughs?
Unlike some other cities in the US, NYC doesn’t have regulations that prohibit chains. So why hasn’t Wal-Mart just opened here already, like Home Depot, Costco, Target and several other large chain retailers have before it? Although these other stores have also faced barriers to entry, particular attention is paid to Wal-Mart, as they seem to rally opposition like no other store. What’s the source of the legal barriers and the regulatory constraints – and can Wal-Mart be stopped? The answers to these questions, like so many others, lie partially within the Zoning Resolution. Continue reading
Yesterday afternoon, the New York City Council passed 5 new pieces of legislation, all of which originally were recommendations of the Green Codes Taskforce (which we previously blogged about here). Continue reading
An article from this week’s New York Observer discusses limitations on hotels proposed for Tribeca. Generally, hotels, considered a “commercial” use under the zoning resolution, are permitted in New York City in all commercial zoning districts (which also permit residential uses) and some manufacturing zoning districts (which do not permit residential uses) with no limitations. The proposal, which is part of a general overhaul of the zoning in northern Tribeca, would limit hotels permitted as-of-right in the area to those with 100 rooms or less. This is worth taking a closer look at, since it’s the first time in recent history that the City has proposed restrictions on hotels in a commercial area. Continue reading
In April, Mayor Bloomberg and Council Speaker Quinn announced the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan – a major package of legislation that seeks to address the greening of existing buildings. The legislation is intended to reduce energy consumption, minimize the City’s carbon footprint, save money for building owners/occupants, and create jobs.
It is a 6-point plan that includes 4 pieces of proposed legislation and 2 new programs under PlaNYC. The legislation will impact 22,000 buildings in NYC, totaling approximately 45% of the City’s floor area! Continue reading