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New York May Limit Skyscrapers

April 20, 1999

NEW YORK (AP) _ The sky may no longer be the limit for New York City skyscrapers.

Mayor Rudolph Giuliani planned to propose today limiting the height of city buildings, The New York Times reported.

The proposal is part of a plan to overhaul the zoning laws for the first time in decades. It would set height limits for buildings in most parts of the city and would end a practice that allows developers to build taller buildings if they create plazas and other public facilities on the ground.

The height cap, which hadn’t been determined, probably would limit a new building to the height of the tallest existing structure in its neighborhood, city officials said. It would not apply, however, in the most congested parts of midtown and downtown Manhattan.

The proposed zoning changes are an attempt to lasso rampant large-scale construction projects spawned by a strong economy. A 90-story apartment building planned by Donald Trump on a residential Manhattan block, for example, would have been barred had the proposed zoning revisions been in place a year ago, said the city’s Planning Commission chairman, Joseph Rose.

The city’s 900-page zoning law was written in 1916 and was revised last in 1961. The proposed changes are subject to public hearings, an environmental review and a City Council vote and would take effect in the next two or three years.

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