Not your average game of patty-cake! Earlier this week, New York’s First Department, Appellate Division issued its decision related to 200 Amsterdam, overturning the lower court’s decision which would have required 200 Amsterdam to remove several floors of its building in order to comply with zoning. The lower court determined that the NYC Zoning Resolution did not permit a developer to utilize a portion of a tax lot to merge with a neighboring zoning lot.
Known as the “gerrymandered zoning lot,” the developer of 200 Amsterdam included portions of neighboring tax lots in its zoning lot in order to transfer air rights from those portions of tax lots to be utilized in 200 Amsterdam’s 55-story development. The inclusion of partial tax lots in a zoning lot is not expressly discussed in the NYC Zoning Resolution, but was permitted by a 1978 Department of Buildings memo. While challenges to 200 Amsterdam started in 2017, the developer moved forward with the construction of its development under lawfully issued building permits.