"SINCE becoming New York City’s planning commissioner in 2002, Amanda M. Burden has presided over the rezoning of wide swaths of the city," The New York Times reports.
Fred A. Bernstein writes in The Times:
"Some changes have served traditional zoning goals — encouraging higher density on commercial thoroughfares (particularly near transit hubs) while lowering density in residential neighborhoods. And some have served goals not usually associated with zoning — improving food choices (by encouraging grocery stores to open in underserved neighborhoods) and promoting nonpolluting transportation (by requiring bike parking inside new residential buildings, for example).
“'It turns out that boring old zoning, when used creatively, can be used to solve a whole lot of problems,' Ms. Burden said in a telephone interview.
"The catch is that the rules can be found only in the zoning resolution, a 1,500-page tome incomprehensible to all except city officials — if it’s even comprehensible to them."
The article continues:
"She hopes to change that, with a new handbook, available Monday, that she said not only 'demystifies zoning, but I think is entertaining — it’s fun to read.'
"Along with admirably lucid prose, the 168-page book contains cartoonlike illustrations of what each zoning designation allows, as well as images showing successful applications of the provisions."
"During Ms. Burden’s tenure, the city has created 10 new zoning designations, with names like R9D and C4-5D, to reflect more closely the qualities of specific neighborhoods, and 23 special zoning districts, for places like Coney Island and the Bronx side of the Harlem River. All together some 9,400 city blocks have been rezoned ...."