Incentive Zoning Can Help Alleviate Municipal Budget Woes

November 25, 2020

Given the widespread budgetary concerns facing local governments across the state brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, many of them are finding it increasingly difficult to fulfill their obligations to deliver basic public services. Incentive zoning offers a way for these municipalities to get private developers to meet those commitments. Simply put, towns, villages, and cities can grant zoning bonuses or incentives to developers in exchange for the developers providing community amenities, infrastructure, or other public benefits.

New York Law
Section 261-b of New York’s Town Law, Section 7-703 of the Village Law, and Section 81-d of the General City Law all provide a framework for local governments to adopt their own incentive zoning (also sometimes referred to as “bonus zoning”) rules.

These state laws set forth important definitions, describe the authority of local governments to adopt a system of zoning incentives and the purposes for which they may do so, and explain how they may implement such a system.

Reprinted with permission from New York Law Journal, Wednesday, November 25, 2020, Vol 264 – No. 102.

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