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Zoning Reform - What's Next?


Learn more about specific zoning reforms and recent and pending initiatives.

Many architects, attorneys, and other practitioners understand that zoning regulations influence the size and shape of buildings and the relationships among uses in our neighborhoods. This topic will provide a deeper discussion of the types of policy goals that can be advanced through zoning, with a focus on recent and emerging reforms at both the local (primarily New York City) and national levels. It will begin with an overview of the history of zoning and of traditional entitlement schemes and zoning controls. The material will then turn to specific zoning reforms, with extended discussion of recent and pending initiatives to advance affordable housing policies, climate resiliency, improved transparency and fairness in entitlement processes, and economic recovery, among other things. Through discussion of these topics, the presenters will explore questions regarding the value and cost of zoning regulations, and the types of planning issues that can be effectively addressed through zoning.



Adam Taubman

Adam Taubman

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP

  • Special Counsel in the land use department of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, the largest land use practice in New York City
  • Represents private developers, financial institutions, and not-for-profit educational, cultural, and health care institutions in the planning, development, acquisition and financing of major projects and properties in New York City
  • Advises clients on the development potential of sites, negotiates complex development rights transactions, conducts land use due diligence for property acquisition and financing, and advocates on behalf of clients to obtain discretionary land use approvals
  • Recent projects include: representing a prominent theater owner in connection with the substantial rehabilitation of a landmark Broadway theater, including by obtaining a City Planning Commission special permit and negotiating multiple development rights transactions; advising a large university in connection with the long-term planning of its New York City campus and the negotiation of development agreements with a private residential developer partner; and representing a major New York City landowner in connection with the sale of transferable development rights under the Greater East Midtown zoning framework
  • Has published on a range of land use topics, including New York City’s recent Zoning for Coastal Flood Resiliency initiative and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act
  • Named to City & State’s 2019 New York City 40 Under 40 Rising Stars List
  • J.D. degree, New York University School of Law; B.A. degree, Yale University
  • Can be contacted at 212-715-9377 or [email protected]
Meenakshi Srinivasan

Meenakshi Srinivasan

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP

  • Senior Land Use and Zoning Advisor at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, which has the largest land use practice in New York City
  • Practice involves representing private developers, private property owners, cultural and educational institutions, and lenders and investors with respect to New York City real estate development issues
  • Advises clients on the development of potential sites, zoning entitlements, and land use and environmental processes, and practices before various New York City land use agencies including the City Planning Commission, the Landmarks Preservation Commission and the Board of Standards and Appeals
  • Obtained successful approvals in support of housing production, economic development, landmarks preservation and community benefits in New York City at the Landmarks Preservation, the Board of Standards, and the City Planning Commission
  • Former Chairs of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission and Board of Standards and Appeals, and prior to those, the Deputy Director, Manhattan Office Department of City Planning
  • As former Chairs of the Landmarks Preservation Commission and Board of Standards and Appeals, instituted agency reforms to address professional quality, efficiency, improved technology and transparency, and equity in application and approval processes
  • Lectured on zoning, land use, and landmarks issues at Columbia Universi-ty Business School and Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, and Brooklyn Law School
  • Master of Architecture, and City Planning, Graduate School of Fine Arts, University of Pennsylvania; Bachelor of Architecture, School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi
  • Can be contacted at 212-715-7514 or [email protected]

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