Mapping Environmental Risks:
Evaluating Performance Standards Zoning and Use Groups
submitted by

Diane E. Dreyfus

1999 ...
Acknowledgements
When DEP Director of Environmental Economic Development Assistance, Eva Hanhardt,
agreed to give me a rea...
Contents
FIGURES AND TABLES
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
CHAPTER 1
1.1
1.2
1.3
1.4
1.5
1.6

INTRODUCTION ................................
BIBLIOGRAPHY.................................................................................................................
Figures and Tables
FIGURES
1. Study Area in Regional Context……………………………………

25a

2. Study Area and Zip Code 11201 Boundari...
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION
Zoning has always seemed a very dreary subject of little relevance to any
creative endeavor. As a r...
much a victim of its accrued weakness as the rasp of progress. In other words, since its
enactment in 1961, the ordinance ...
overzealous urban renewal, by the 1990’s the abundance of Districts, themselves, appears
to erode the resolution’s integri...
has accelerated7. After a long period of decline, the coincidence of two unrelated trends—
the increased need for housing ...
To introduce the proposed8 instrument: The Sanborn/Best’s and to explain general
Insurance concepts required to understand...
I.

Permitted without restrictions in MX district

II.

Permitted with restrictions in MX district—this is divided into “P...
Unfortunately Use Groups as identified in the New York City Zoning Resolution
do not easily lend themselves to analysis of...
arcane for anybody but specialists. Such a system might not be as valuable to community
based planners as the SIC/Best’s. ...
the employment13 impacts in the neighborhood is excluded mainly because that is not the
focus of this paper.
The waterfron...
The Best’s Environmental Risk indicator rates on a 1-10 scale. I identified only the
addresses of enterprises with ratings...
1.6
Organization of Study
This chapter has presented an introduction to Mixed Use and the zoning resolution. I have
outlin...
Chapter 2

Land Use, Zoning and Mapping Risks
2.1

The current state of the resolution:
The resolution is a “monument to a...
2.1.1

Issues of Mixed Use and the creation of Special Districts
123-0 (12/10/97) General Purposes:
a) To encourage invest...
In a parallel development, loft conversions that began in the cast iron buildings south and
north of Houston (SOHO & NOHO)...
2.1.2

Threshold Controls

“The Performance Standards sections of the (NYC) Zoning Resolution are
designed to provide more...
right. The Chicago process holds that the building owner must commission an architect or
an engineer to certify from plans...
Future residents of the new MX-2 area will be be subjected to at least “marginally
unacceptable” noises and some “clearly ...
venting and filtering. The technology exists and its effectiveness is measured, and certified,
somewhere31. Yet, for resid...
2.2
Current Monitoring and Enforcement
The ability to test wastes for degrees of noxiousness or toxicity is important to s...
that operate in Mixed-Use (MX) zones to “promote the best practice”.35 The question for
the City Planning Commission is: “...
with relating a reporting system to manage New York City’s local mix of Industrial activity: it
is that it may not be comp...
mapping a toxic epidemic, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health researchers combined
tabular health statistics with Geogra...
2.3
A.M. Best’s Environmental Risk Indicator
Since 1970, Best’s Underwriting Guide and Best’s Loss Control Engineering hav...
2.3.2 Standard Industry Codes and ISO 14000
Standard Industry Codes are used by both Dun & Bradstreet and A.M. Best’s prov...
In 1991 the International Conference on the Classification of Economic Activities met in
Williamsburg, VA, to review econo...
Chapter 3 – The Study Area
3.1
Background on the Study Area
The Study Area is a subset of the Zip Code 11201 located on th...
Vinegar Hill and greater Fort Greene workers. The Farragut Houses, a public housing
project were constructed during the fi...
3.2
Census CD 1.1, Area Snapshot, February 27,1997
The poorest residents in the three census tracts are children. There ar...
3.3 Trends
Fort Greene’s (and the Study Area’s) needs are calculated along with the larger Community
District’s Service ar...
and Girl’s Club which is currently under construction. Denser populations are more
prone to communicable diseases and this...
profit social services sectors, and live/work studios have proliferated within the area
and are now legal.
3.4
The range o...
3.4.3
“Grandfathered” Businesses
The resolution was not retroactive in 1961. This means that it did not apply to
business ...
The entire Zip Code 11201 has 35 industries with ratings over “5”; that is less than
7% and includes six “suspicious” but ...
3.7 Profile of a Neighborhood Industry – Printing
Best’s Underwriting Guide – Ink Manufacturing
The analysis of the Printi...
questions was that utilities located in the M-3 zones were rated at Best’s above average
“7”.65 In the Study Area there we...
Chapter 4 - CONCLUSIONS
4.1
Summary of Findings
The decline of manufacturing and thirty years of industries running cleane...
Best’s often reports the presence and, sometimes, the proportion of the chemicals used
for the process. However, it does n...
and more centrally locate a remedial facility or deploy and route additional City waste
handling vehicles during busy seas...
From a practical standpoint, keeping people from harm by declaring too much
decommissioned manufacturing areas “off-limits...
Bibliography
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Mapping environmental risks  Evaluating Preformance Standards Zoning
Mapping environmental risks  Evaluating Preformance Standards Zoning
Mapping environmental risks  Evaluating Preformance Standards Zoning
Mapping environmental risks  Evaluating Preformance Standards Zoning
Mapping environmental risks  Evaluating Preformance Standards Zoning
Mapping environmental risks  Evaluating Preformance Standards Zoning
Mapping environmental risks  Evaluating Preformance Standards Zoning
Mapping environmental risks  Evaluating Preformance Standards Zoning
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Mapping environmental risks Evaluating Preformance Standards Zoning

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Evaluating Manufacturing Districts in NYC in order to declare them safe for Mixed Use Zoning (including Residential and Commercial Uses) is a crutial and complex problem. This papers aims to use extant Mapping Technologies and combine them with A.M.Bests Engineering Guides 10 point scale to give a clear rating of historic and forward Environmental Risks..

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Mapping environmental risks Evaluating Preformance Standards Zoning

  1. 1. Mapping Environmental Risks: Evaluating Performance Standards Zoning and Use Groups submitted by Diane E. Dreyfus 1999 Diane E. Dreyfus A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in City and Regional Planning from the School of Architecture of Pratt Institute October 1999
  2. 2. Acknowledgements When DEP Director of Environmental Economic Development Assistance, Eva Hanhardt, agreed to give me a real problem for my Thesis, she offered me the “Sun, Moon & Stars” (her famous list of zoning issues: “ripe for review”). I delighted at the quantity, range and depth of topics the Director had assembled and seized upon what appeared the tiniest star: “Use Groups and Performance Standards zoning”. However, from this point, the view broadens to profound issues of jurisdiction, Environmental Justice and Regional Planning standards - -both Industrial and Land Based and opens onto various policy issues. The real difficulty has been keeping the focus narrow, without losing that big picture. I am grateful to Ms. Hanhardt for her most generous to contribution to this paper. I want to specifically praise the teachers, who made such a difference to me at Pratt: Robert Alpern, Esq., Mia Gray, Margaret Guarino, Saad Laraqui, Gene Norman and John Osborn, Esq. Along with these teachers, I want to express gratitude to Tom Angotti and Ayse Yonder, who ever so patiently guided me, during the Thesis process. They endured the rewrites, suffered caviling e-tantrums and bore all kinds of other madness. Dr. Angotti’s “zinger” questions always made me rethink my content, but Dr. Yonder had an even harder job. She cajoled and coaxed disparate particles of content and kept stacking them -- waiting for a semblance of form to develop. Thank you, both. Outside the walls of Pratt, many people assisted me in this project. Special thanks go to: Daniel Coleman of the Brooklyn Office of City Planning and zoning consultant, Brian Kintish, who took time to explain again and again; to Daniel Dickholtz of A.M.Best’s, who provided vital, clear answers on that company. Finally, to my special “readers”: Barbara Simonetti, Charles Sandmel, Perry L. Cohen, Esq., Charles P. Nafman, Esq., Mai McDonald and Angelo Ferraro, extreme thanks. To my husband. 2
  3. 3. Contents FIGURES AND TABLES ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS CHAPTER 1 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................ 6 PROBLEM STATEMENT ................................................................................................................... 8 OBJECTIVES AND AIMS ................................................................................................................... 9 REVIEW OF RELATED STUDIES ...................................................................................................... 10 SCOPE AND DEPTH ...................................................................................................................... 13 METHODOLOGY AND SOURCES ..................................................................................................... 14 ORGANIZATION OF STUDY............................................................................................................. 16 CHAPTER 2 LAND USE, ZONING AND MAPPING RISKS .................................................................. 17 2.1 THE CURRENT STATE OF THE RESOLUTION:.................................................................................... 17 2.1.1 ISSUES OF MIXED USE AND THE CREATION OF SPECIAL DISTRICTS .............................................. 18 2.1.2 THRESHOLDS ............................................................................................................................ 20 2.1.3 PERFORMANCE STANDARDS ............................................................................................ 21 2.1.4 USE GROUPS ....................................................................................................................... 22 2.2 CURRENT MONITORING AND ENFORCEMENT.................................................................................. 24 2.3 A.M. BEST’S ENVIRONMENTAL RISK INDICATOR............................................................................. 28 2.3.1 Dun & Bradstreet - Information Services............................................................................. 28 2.3.2 Standard Industry Codes and ISO 14000 ........................................................................... 29 CHAPTER 3 – THE STUDY AREA .......................................................................................................... 31 3.1 3.2 BACKGROUND ON THE STUDY AREA .............................................................................................. 32 CENSUS CD 1.1, AREA SNAPSHOT, FEBRUARY 27,1997............................................................... 33 Demographics: ....................................................................................................................................... 33 Age groups: ........................................................................................................................................ 33 Family Type:....................................................................................................................................... 33 Ethnic and racial composition............................................................................................................. 33 3.3 TRENDS........................................................................................................................................ 34 3.4 The range of risks shown by the Sanborn/Best’s system in the Study Area .............................. 36 3.4.1 Exceptions and Anomalies .................................................................................................. 36 3.4.2 “Grandfathered” Businesses.............................................................................................. 37 3.4.3 The Unmapped section of 11201………………………………………………………………….32 3.4.4 General Analysis of Data..................................................................................................... 37 3.5 Study Area Map Discussion……………………………………………………………………… …. 33 3.6. D&B SPREADSHEET .................................................................................................................... 38 3.7 Profile of a Neighborhood Industry – Printing ............................................................................ 39 CHAPTER 4 - CONCLUSIONS................................................................................................................ 41 4.1 4.2 4.3. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS ................................................................................................................ 41 POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS ......................................................................................................... 41 ISSUES FOR FURTHER STUDY ....................................................................................................... 42
  4. 4. BIBLIOGRAPHY....................................................................................................................................... 45 Special Sources ................................................................................................................................. 46 Periodicals ......................................................................................................................................... 46 Downloads: ........................................................................................................................................ 46 Interviews........................................................................................................................................... 47 Conferences....................................................................................................................................... 47 APPENDIX - A .......................................................................................................................................... 48 TOXICOLOGY ........................................................................................................................................... 48 LAND BASED CLASSIFICATION STANDARDS ............................................................................................... 48 A.M.BESTS -- INK MANUFACTURERS… …………………………………………………………………………..43 LETTER FROM COMMUNITY BOARD 2 COMMITTEE REPORT ON WASHINGTON STREET REZONING……… ….47 APPENDIX B - INTERVIEWS ................................................................................................................ 48 Sanjay Jeer, American Planning Association ......................................................................................... 48 COMMUNITY FACILITIES AND SERVICES – Jehovah’s Witnesses ................................................. 48 ZONING CONSULTANT’S OPINION –Interview with BRIAN KINTISH ................................................. 49 4
  5. 5. Figures and Tables FIGURES 1. Study Area in Regional Context…………………………………… 25a 2. Study Area and Zip Code 11201 Boundaries………………….. 25b 3. Businesses in Study Area above Best’s “5” – listed by address… 28a 4. Best’s Ratings and Current Zoning – Ratings and Activities….. 28b 5. Detail of MX-2 District with Ratings above “5”……… ………… 28c TABLES 1. Sanborn/ Best’s Rating Above “5”…………………………………… 32a 2. Sanborn/ Best’s Rating Below “5”…………………………….. 32b
  6. 6. CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Zoning has always seemed a very dreary subject of little relevance to any creative endeavor. As a result of our experience with the Theater District we came to realize that zoning could be made into one of the basic methods of designing cities.1 In any city, zoning regulation and enforcement is a monumental task, especially, in the face of increasing pressures to respect regional, national and worldwide controls. There is confusion and a possibility of conflict between external regulations and local life styles. There are questions about how many regulations, combined, will impact a city’s design and land use controls. Right now, New York City’s zoning resolution names, gauges and distributes both risks and opportunities throughout all five boroughs. It permits and allows shopping, theater districts and restaurant rows and also, sites waste handling and other unpopular services. This paper will explore old and new technologies and their interface with the classification systems that are used to manage urban space. This paper’s focus is specifically on how zoning shapes residential sharing in marginal industrial areas. Zoning has the authority of Police Power; it is enforced to preserve Public Health and Welfare. This Constitutional foundation for land use ordinances is often over shadowed by regulations that have glaring economic impacts. Furthermore, the domain of land use ordinances keeps widening, encompassing more than public health and environmental matters; it, now, impacts esthetics and neighborhood character; even appearance i.e., landmarks and business improvement districts. However, the right and duty of American cities to manage their risks, locally, remains zoning’s primary reason for being. New York City’s zoning resolution is the guiding instrument administrating land uses. It sets forth in both text and maps what is existing and allowed and, to a lesser degree, what can be expected. The text governs zoning and related appeals and includes a differential2 kind of language for incorporating later requirements. It is a purposefully mutable ordinance, appearing more as a running commentary than as a comprehensive guide. Ironically, it is rarely praised for that built-in flexibility—even in view of the great variety of uses and building forms that it permits “as of right”3. In fact, the resolution is rumored to be failing—as 1 6 Jonathan Barnett, Urban Design and Public Policy, (New York, NY, Architectural Record Books, 1974) p.49 2 It is very common in contracts to specify “(a named) Standard or better” thus setting forth the minimum and including more stringent by reference. 3 Pro forma as opposed to specially permitted
  7. 7. much a victim of its accrued weakness as the rasp of progress. In other words, since its enactment in 1961, the ordinance has been continuously remade by a combination of default to stricter regulations, by revisions, by amendments and most often, by appeals. And, now, there is concern that the resolution is so riddled with ambiguity that it is regularly misconstrued. How land uses are permitted in Mixed Use (or MX4) districts is typical of such administrative quirks. In the late fifties, wartime innovations5 like computers and systems thinking were first being applied to government and business administration. At that time, “threshold type” zoning was being experimented with as a means of municipal siting. Public Health Standards could be implied from extant engineering calculations on machinery’s efficiencies. With them, a municipality could set limits on technologically induced waste (with its nuisance and risks) by referencing that norm. Any operation that was on the “right side” of a city’s designated “cutoff, met the standard, no matter what that activity was. So, where original zoning had excluded operations by type from districts, the Performance Standards system was intended to include as many activities as “met the standard” in any given zone. In New York City, Use Groups were promoted as a new way to make permitting at once less arbitrary and more stringent. It was thought that the grouping of like activities (by levels of noxiousness) would simplifly the process of siting and add a dimension to supplement the extant gradations i.e., between and within zones. The Use Group System was problematic6 In fact, the 1961 resolution immediately met resistance for many reasons. Wherever the new zoning diluted local character, entire neighborhoods appealed to the Board to modify it. Eventually the City Planning Commission salved this entrenched discontent by creating over thirty “Special Districts” e.g., Little Italy, or the Theater District. Where in the 1960’s, Special District status was an olive branch, offering a chance to re-balance after years of 4 MX is the current designation for Mixed Use zones- see definition, below Time and motion studies, PERT and GANTT charts, Industrial Psychology are examples of this kind of thinking. 5 6 “As this is written, the New York City Planning Commission has been holding hearings on a new progressive, up-to-the-minute, comprehensive zoning resolution….There are several dozens of use categories, each differentiated most carefully and thoughtfully-and all of them are irrelevant to the real-life problems of use in diverse city districts….What can you recommend, when the very theory behind such a zoning resolution- not merely its detail- needs drastic overhaul and rethinking?”. Jane Jacobs, the Life and Death of Great American Cities,(New York, NY, Vintage Books, 1961)p. 246
  8. 8. overzealous urban renewal, by the 1990’s the abundance of Districts, themselves, appears to erode the resolution’s integrity. Ultimately, the value of Use Groups and Performance Zoning has been most impacted by “future shocks”, like the environmental movement, homelessness, and, most recently, home offices. In fact, the environmental movement, alone, mooted the core definition of “nuisance” forever replacing it with that interminable complex of risks we now associate with “process emissions”. When trouble was detected by human senses, a properly administrated permit was the only enforcement called for (unless there was an obvious violation that generated a complaint). Then, Performance Standards and Use Groups could promise elegant controls. The health risk management that they are delivering, to Mixed Used Districts, in the 1990’s is the subject of this paper. 1.1 Problem Statement The public wants assurances that the air it breathes and the water it drinks will be safe, and that induced industrial hazards will be controlled if not eliminated by some authority. Ideally, industry voluntarily reduces or recycles waste as the best defense against risk mismanagement but, really, a morass of complicated environmental laws is required to regulate what and how much industry discharges. Somewhere between the ideal of voluntary compliance and the reality of regulatory requirements lies New York City’s permitting process, siting each new building or allowing for proposed re-use. In manufacturing districts permitting could be done “uniquely”; then, a landlord in an industrial area would require a special variance to rent to commercial or residential tenants. Or, ideally, permitting can be done “in bulk” or as-of-right. The latter method requires a degree of interpretation of the criteria by the administrator who issues the permit. The objective of as-of-right zoning’s authors is to make the code as unambiguous as possible, but, in New York City, interpretations can and must vary to accommodate current styles and needs. For example, zoning in other cities and suburbs routinely allows living in retail and office districts but may agree to residents in manufacturing zones only by special permit. Generic “Mixed Use”, i.e., residential living in manufacturing zones was once common for factory workers. However, in New York City, people trying to live in manufacturing zones 8
  9. 9. has accelerated7. After a long period of decline, the coincidence of two unrelated trends— the increased need for housing and the declining demand for manufacturing space—has made industrial zone living necessary and, in most cases, possible. However, the residential use of industrial zones requires extraordinary attention to risk management. This paper will examine two of the zoning resolution’s mechanisms designed for handling nuisance exposure in manufacturing zones: Performance Standards and Use Groups. 1.2 Objectives and Aims The objective of this paper is to evaluate the effects of Use Groups and Performance Standards as zoning and land use tools in the Study Area—which includes a recently declared MX-2 District. The purpose is to test the suitability of these tools for siting Uses in New York City in order to suggest a supplemental tool that could improve the process of classifying activity for administrative purposes. Aims: To review some world and national regulatory trends that could complement or impact New York City’s land use categorization. To discuss New York City’s Mixed-Use land classifications and the permissions identified in the current resolution To describe the relevance of relating standards and reporting mechanisms to forms that could supplement Performance Standards zoning and Use Group siting i.e., Standard Industry Codes (SIC), International Environmental Audits and Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA), health and fire mapping and database linking technology. To present evidence that New York City’s Use Groups are not the most effective indicators of uses by focusing on a typical industry, namely, printing. 7 The Tri-State Metropolitan region has absorbed 3 million immigrants since 1970. The trend is up: 85,000 in 1970’s; 125,000 in the 1980’s; 170,000 in the 1990’s. Richard Yarrow and Tony Hiss, Region at Risk, (New York : Island Press,1996) p. 45.
  10. 10. To introduce the proposed8 instrument: The Sanborn/Best’s and to explain general Insurance concepts required to understand the Best’s rating. To evaluate how Use Groups actually performed by mapping the Sanborn/Best’s in the Study Area. Finally, to draw conclusions and make policy and technology recommendations available to the City Planning Commission. 1.3 Review of Related Studies In addition to reviewing mapping and database technology packages and various other technical resources, I reviewed American Institute of Planning, insurance and legal publications related to risk, negligence, liability, and nuisance and trespass issues. Publications from N.Y. State and U.S. Government and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) sources as well as United Nations, American Medical Association, British and American Standards Organizations were examined. References, periodicals and other information were supplemented by interviews conducted with experts in the field of planning, government and insurance. While there are epidemiological maps for tracking AIDS and maps tracing genetic traits from Pleistocene Africa across time and space, hoards of traffic emission patterns are examined but there were no studies trying to map risks associated with Standard Industry Codes. New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has been reviewing proposed amendments for Special Mixed Use Districts since 1994, when potential development of the waterfront and dock lands was proposed by the City Planning Department. The Comprehensive Waterfront Plan of 1994 celebrated new opportunities for expanding public use of the docklands to counter the economic effects of the decline of the shipping and other Industries. The Report encourages Mixed Uses, identifies the waterfront as an attractive destination and indicates that development is to be encouraged in former industrial areas that once served shipping. DEP Proposed Classification of Use Groups for Mixed Use Zoning Text Proposal January 2, 1997 recommends that Use Group uses be additionally categorized in to three categories: 8 10 The “Sanborn/Best’s” system is original with this paper.
  11. 11. I. Permitted without restrictions in MX district II. Permitted with restrictions in MX district—this is divided into “Process Emissions” and “Nuisance” III. Not Permitted For example, this system when applied to Use Group “6”, i.e. retail stores and personal service establishments, would rate Dry Cleaners under 2,000 sq.ft. FAR using solvents with a flash point of not less than 138.2 degrees as Category II Permitted with restriction on “Process Emissions”. When applied to Use Group “12”, i.e. fairly large entertainment facilities, the system would rate Eating and Drinking establishments with capacity for dancing as Category II Permitted with restriction on “Nuisance”. Here, it looks as if DEP is distinguishing between an uncertain amount of “risk” (process emissions) and nuisance (noise, traffic glare) which is a more subjective calculation. The DEP wanted to make implementation and enforcement of new MX zoning as simple as possible. Applicants would submit documentation of their eligibility for certification to locate with the Department of Buildings. The process would not require businesses to file any additional forms since the applicant must review permit filing or Right to Know requirements. City, State and Federal permitting and enforcement regulations regulate environmental health. Because living in manufacturing zones is still pretty new for the middle classes and artists, these regulations were not written with any expectation of sharing buildings or common walls with sensitive neighbors. Importantly, they do not have a procedure accounting for the types of cumulative exposures that a MX district allows9. So, DEP was looking for a supplement to Use Groups because: 9 See below for Johns Hopkins Philadelphia Map Study presented by Thomas Burke at “Meeting the Urban Health Challenge” Conference, Fall, 1998.
  12. 12. Unfortunately Use Groups as identified in the New York City Zoning Resolution do not easily lend themselves to analysis of their potential environmental, health and safety impacts. Most environmental regulations control chemicals/substances or equipment rather than industrial or commercial “use.” Where industry specific environmental health and safety impacts are studied, EPA uses SIC codes to define activities. However, .NYC Zoning uses are not uniformly correlated to SIC codes, thus making an analysis by “use” problematic10 Other states, specifically, Colorado and Rhode Island seek new ways to issue permits in their manufacturing districts that would give the community an ability to segregate certain industries. They are using Standard Industry Code (SIC) classification without any supplement “as a much more specific and unambiguous alternative to traditional light and heavy classifications”11. Sanjay Jeer of the American Planning Association is developing Land Based Classification Standards (LBCS). This project is a continuation of the coding systems for land begun in 1963 with the Barton Aschman Association’s “Uniform Coding System for Land Use”. This original system was modified by various government agencies to become.“1965 Urban Renewal Administration, Housing and Home Finance Agency and the Bureau of Public Roads and the Department of Commerce Standard Land Use Coding Manual: a Standard System for Identifying and Coding Land Use Activities” known as SLUCM. SLUCM used about four digits to identify activities and up to eight digits for typing ownership. SLUCM attempted to provide an “exhaustive and hierarchical” set of land uses derived from SIC codes. The 1990’s American Planning Association version, LBCS, also proposes a standard classification, based on several dimensions: activities, functions, structure types, site development and ownership. 12 This sophisticated system is intended for comprehensive land use classification and will exceed the data requirement for the type administrative siting discussed in this paper. LBCS combines various measures in an effort to cover all types of land use including farming and recreational spaces. When completed, LBCS may prove too 10 Proposed Classification of Use Groups for Mixed Use Zoning Text Proposal, (Department of Environmental Protection, New York, January 2, 1997). 11 James Schwab: Industrial Performance Standards for a New Century (Chicago, IL: American Planning Association, 1993) p. 3. 12 The Draft for this project is available for download on the APA website as: American Planning Association.org/ publications/ Land Based Classification System – Draft: June 28,1998. 12
  13. 13. arcane for anybody but specialists. Such a system might not be as valuable to community based planners as the SIC/Best’s. However, once it is in place, LBCS will easily take advantage of technology such as satellite mapping and relational databases. Key to proper function, LBCS will have to be constantly updated or become immediately outdated as a tool. 1.4 Scope and Depth The purpose of this paper is to study environmental risks associated with Mixed residential and manufacturing uses. It is not about traffic or super stores although they also impact a neighborhood’s environmental quality. This analysis is restricted to those portions of the zoning resolution that pertain to Mixed Uses, Performance Standards and Use Groups. The focus is on evaluating the accuracy of Use Groups and Performance Standards Zoning to measure risk by utilizing an alternative approach (Sanborn/Best’s) to mapping risks in one of several Mixed Use Districts. This is a cross sectional study and tracks current condition in the Study Area. A longitudinal review could be made using the same method as far back as 1980’s. However, the Sanborn/Best’s risk analysis is not valid earlier than that, because the Best’s environmental impact ratings don’t go back any farther. The proposed method can not be used for projections, either, because we can not know what future hazard insurers will rate. Underwriting is the process of writing and pricing insurance. Best’s data for underwriters is a unique industry publication and the publisher is somewhat subjective. The engineers and statisticians who write the opinions, make a judgement call based on the probable or actual severity and frequency of any occurrence. On a scale of ten, the middle ranges numbers “46” may include huge problems that don’t happen too often or little problems that happen a lot. However, because there is no reporting requirement for insurance companies to publish either their number of claims or the amount of their payouts, Best’s analysis is limited. Furthermore, the Insurance industry is driven by both government regulation (influencing the demand for policies) and actual claims paid (which limits the supply insurers will issue). This study is based on the assumption that Best’s will tend to be conservative, in assessing risks, because it is analyzing risks for pricing purposes. The Study Area contains the first MX-2 zoning district created by the newly amended resolution (5OCT98). That it also contains Historic Districts is of interest even though not relevant to this analysis. Although I mention area demographics for context, speculation on
  14. 14. the employment13 impacts in the neighborhood is excluded mainly because that is not the focus of this paper. The waterfront Study Area hosts businesses and manufacturers of various kinds and ages along with its unexpected residents. In spite of peculiarities i.e., being near the waterfront, one of the oldest neighborhoods, demographically diverse (with grosser than usual income disparities) it still shares health and safety issues common to all Mixed Use Districts. (Table 1.) and Sanborn Maps (Figures 2, 3 and 4)of the site clearly show some environmental “hot spots”, according to the current Best’s Environmental Impact scale. However, the “acceptable threshold” of risk (i.e., should the mapping start at Best’s neutral “4” or the above average“6” instead of this study’s moderate “5”) must be determined elsewhere. 1.5 Methodology and Sources Steps in the analysis: Software for Facilities Management is readily adapted to mapping projects that interface with databases. The mapping aspect is very simple. The building “footprint” is represented as a closed polygon and assigned a linking field such as the building’s address. Once the buildings have been “regionialized” by this process, an application is written that will do two sequential things. First, ascertain what SICs are in each building. Then, match the SICs via a “look-up table” to the Best’s rating associated with each one. (Best’s has a 1-10 rating scale and names “5” as moderate.) Such an application can select for the greatest number (between 1-10) for that building. A color code can be attached to each of the ten numbers and the building footprint is “automatically” filled based on that. In order to identify the industries in the Study Area, a recent Dunn & Bradstreet (D&B) listing of industries in zip code 11201 has been obtained and the 504 businesses in the Study Area were sorted out of the larger list by address. Each D&B record14 for a business includes the businesses’ SIC (and three fields for listing additional SIC’s that are associated with the business). 13 Or negative cost for public transit when residence and place of work are the same. There is other D&B data on the business: the date of founding, revenues, number of employees, etc. However, the key is the SIC number which will both confirm what Use Groups actually permitted and match up to the Best’s ratings. 14 14
  15. 15. The Best’s Environmental Risk indicator rates on a 1-10 scale. I identified only the addresses of enterprises with ratings over Best’s moderate “five” in the Study Area because Best’s considers “5” or below neutral. I have aligned with Best’s internal standard for moderate “5” as an ideal indicator although for zoning, the cut-off could be higher or lower, etc., depending on what the district is analyzing. The above “5” businesses are mapped to show their relation to possible residential sites. (On business with more than one SIC listed, I selected the SIC with the highest Best’s rating to identify the worst health risk.) In the maps for this paper, only the location and quantity of the industries “above ‘5’” are shown. However, if desired, the base polygons can be scaled to indicate the square footage or residential population of a building so the volume of impact can also be mapped.
  16. 16. 1.6 Organization of Study This chapter has presented an introduction to Mixed Use and the zoning resolution. I have outlined an approach to identify ordinary15 risks that might otherwise go unnoticed If only Performance Standards and Use Groups were employed to handle thresholds and siting. The scope, objectives, related studies, the methodology and sources of data have been explained to give an overview of the study. Chapter Two discusses the current state of the resolution with respect to issues of Mixed Use, the creation of Special Districts and the impact of regulations associated with environmental protection. It outlines various standards and their relevance to zoning, such as Standard Industry Codes, EPCRA and Best’s Rating System. It introduces combined database and mapping technology as a management tool using Dunn & Bradstreet data. Chapter Three introduces the Study Area. The Study Area’s history and a review of current uses and building forms are presented. It then gives a detailed look at the selected industry: Printing and its Best’s ratings and Use Group designations. It analyzes what the risk indicator shows and its use in evaluating the Study Area with reference to mapping. Chapter Four summarizes the results and makes policy recommendations. 15 Also called “second tier” in this paper to indicate that they are too light to be subject to direct Federal environmental reporting but could easily mitigate damages. –Most printers fall into this category. 16
  17. 17. Chapter 2 Land Use, Zoning and Mapping Risks 2.1 The current state of the resolution: The resolution is a “monument to accommodation” and completely confusing. This is further exacerbated by the fact that the zoning resolution is a regulatory tool that promotes a Master Plan and New York City does not have a Master Plan. In 1938, a commission was created by a charter revision. The commission was to amend zoning text and maps. It was also charged with writing a Master Plan. The Plan was not approved until 1968. Volumes were created but the City never adopted it at the City Council or Board of Estimate level. Since 1974, there has been no reference to creating a Master Plan.16 New York has no guiding Master Plan. That has not seemed to be a zoning problem. In fact, it may be the lack of a Plan that gives this city its vitality; in any case, the lack provides a void that community based planners fill. In the Study Area, the City Planning Commission was chastised by neighborhood groups for failing to insist on a comprehensive approach to development17, especially in a waterfront development in Brooklyn’s Community Board 2. Absent a bigger plan, any district that has enough buildings with the appropriate floor area ratios (FAR) could be zoned for manufacturing.18 So, under the current zoning, neither Use Groups nor Performance Standards control use, bulk and density but only the district’s designation (i.e., M-1, M-2 or M-3). The zoning resolution allows for Mixed Use, Special Districts and MX use under the revision of December 1997. 16 17 BRIAN KINTISH - Interview 07JAN99 See Appendix for report of public hearing held November 4, 1998 “…seventeen people spoke against the proposed zoning change and one spoke in favor of it” 18 In reality, zoning rarely goes from some other designation to manufacturing. In New York’s competitive real estate market, zoning for “manufacturing” is necessary to protect that activity’s dedicated area from being out bid by other interests.
  18. 18. 2.1.1 Issues of Mixed Use and the creation of Special Districts 123-0 (12/10/97) General Purposes: a) To encourage investment in mixed residential and industrial neighborhoods by permitting expansion and new development of a wide variety of uses in a manner ensuring the health and safety of people using the area. b) To promote the opportunity for workers to live in the vicinity of their work; c) To create new opportunities for mixed use neighborhoods; d) To recognize and enhance the vitality and character of existing and potential mixed use neighborhoods and e) To promote the most desirable use of land in accordance with a well-considered plan and thus conserve the value of land and buildings and thereby protect the City tax revenues.19 When zoning was first created in New York City in 1916, activities were categorized by three use-related restrictions: residential, commercial and “unrestricted” districts. All zones had specific physical (bulk and density) restrictions. Since the 1961 resolution, the “manufacturing” designation superceded “unrestricted”. That change meant that many residents, like those in the historic district, were still permitted although technically nonconforming. Manufacturing was supposed to make a “come-back” and replace residences in the long run. However, not only did manufacturing fail to rally but the prospective buyer or non-conforming resident who needed refinancing for property in a former “Unrestricted” district, now, had difficulty getting mortgages unless the City owned the property. To remedy that inequity, four “Special Purpose Mixed Use Districts” were established: Hunter’s Point, Coney Island, Williamsburg, and Greenpoint. These districts still allow for as-of-right home renewal and limited new construction. Refinement of this code in 1981 strengthened and affirmed as-of-right residence and removed the limitations to construction with such broad language that other neighborhoods also qualified for the designation. As Norman Marcus indicated “The proliferation of Special Districts ultimately eroded the City’s capability to enforce zoning. Thirty-seven Special Districts means Thirty-seven ordinances.” 20. 19 1997 New York City Zoning Resolution, Article XII, Chapter 3, Section 123-00 Norman Marcus-quoted by Todd Bressi, Planning and Zoning in New York City (New Jersey: Rutgers, 1993) p.63. 20 18
  19. 19. In a parallel development, loft conversions that began in the cast iron buildings south and north of Houston (SOHO & NOHO) in the mid-1960’s were written into the resolution in 1971. These “Loft Law” sections were also revised in 1981 for wider application in other Community Districts in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn. However, two kinds of Mixed Use sections in the resolution only added to the regulatory palimpsest .21 The current trend is to reverse this process and minimize ambiguity by simplifying the definition of Mixed Use Areas now MX-# zones. The (#) number modifies the M-1 zoning based on FAR. The resolution’s language specifies that a residential zone can pair with an M-1 zone, therefore, the refining designation beyond the “M” references the density of the area. The Study Area had a MX-1 district. When that M-1 area was rezoned to accommodate high residential density (R-8) and additional parking it became a MX-2 covered by the Special Mixed Use District section: Special Mixed Use Districts Regulations as defined in the Article XII Chapter 3 (12/10/1997) In Special Mixed Use Districts an M-1 District is paired with a Residential District, as indicated on the zoning maps. The designated Residence Districts in Special Mixed Use Districts shall not include an R1 or an R2 District.22 21 22 That is parchment that has been scraped and written over-often leaving the prior writing still visible. 1997 New York City Zoning Resolution, Article XII, Chapter 3 123-10
  20. 20. 2.1.2 Threshold Controls “The Performance Standards sections of the (NYC) Zoning Resolution are designed to provide more latitude in industrial location but stricter standards to ensure compatibility are everywhere ignored23 Threshold type controls, new to the resolution in 1961, were a precursor of more environmentally sensitive zoning. Because they are specifically based on measurable phenomena, Performance Standards need monitoring. However, instruments and the competent technicians to operate them are not always available. Too, instruments are expensive and their raw data can be confusing for planners and interested community members. In short, zoning based on thresholds requires experts to run tests and use special instruments. That is just one level. When relying on instruments, it needs to be remembered that no instrument has the capacity to convert data to information i.e, analyzing for cumulative and combined threats. That must be done --over time--another way i.e., regular enough to build a database. However accurate, a log of past results may not be a valid indicator of future problems or unseen violations or unreported “accidents”. Finally, as industrial technology improves, threshold standards are subject to change and obsolescence. In sum, the Performance Standards can change as soon as instruments to test them do. And, likewise, all affected data must be re-evaluated The purpose of Performance Standards is to quantitatively control emissions and other hazardous issues in certain commercial and most manufacturing zones. This is accomplished by referencing “standard”, acceptable thresholds for noxious operations. 24 These perishable Standards are only “enforced” by the Buildings Department and the Board of Standards and Appeals or Department of Finance when issuing a permit for alterations that change the Certificate of Occupancy or when a Building is sold or transferred. There is no provision for on going inspection or monitoring of any kind. And, compliance with zoning district requirements is assumed. This is not so in Chicago, where it was invented, Performance zoning, governs siting, but each use is specially permitted that is: not as-of23 Robert Alpern et al., Pratt Guide to Planning & Renewal for New Yorkers (New York: Quadrangle,1973) p.433. The original Performance Standards thresholds from 1961 have long since defaulted to “more stringent” requirements from the Department of Environmental Protection, and, yet, that outdated section is still included without alteration in the current resolution. This recital adds nothing and may be misleading 24 20
  21. 21. right. The Chicago process holds that the building owner must commission an architect or an engineer to certify from plans what the building use is to be. Once that sealed report is filed, a “revenuer” (tax inspector) goes out six months later to confirm the building’s use is as reported. Both Performance Standards and Use Groups are spoken about together but they do not exactly inter-relate. While activities are operated according to the given Performance Standards for the zone type buildings to contain them are placed in each zone according to Use Group. 2.1.3 Performance Standards Per Zoning resolution Article IV: Chapter 2: 42-20 Manufacturing uses and certain intense commercial uses are subject to performance standards, which limit noise, air pollution and other nuisancecreating activity. These zoning controls provide minimum acceptable standards and are designed to provide building occupants and the general public with light, air and ventilation and a safer more livable environment. Performance standards are written for both sensible and imperceptible process emissions usually associated with manufacturing. The least nuisance is permitted in the M-1 (transitional) district, the most noxious are located in M-3 zones. Threshold management allows process emissions 25 but controls where, how much and, sometimes, when26 they can be released. The “control” can be passed along; stipulated in the building permit. For example, in the Study Area, the landlord’s plans must clear DEP’s “environmental flags” -(E) designation for ambient noise of all categories (i.e., vehicular i.e., train or aircraft) – the plans must provide for adequate window/wall attenuation along with closed windows and vents or air conditioning. 25 27 For example, gravel must be covered in an M-2 district to contain the dust but need not be in an M-3 “Smoke stack” emissions can be mapped with a wind rosette and depending on height of stack , emissions are curtailed or halted depending on wind direction and speed 27 Two Trees Management Report on Washington Street Rezoning, (New York, 1998) pp. D 9-D10. 26
  22. 22. Future residents of the new MX-2 area will be be subjected to at least “marginally unacceptable” noises and some “clearly unacceptable” aviation noises from the three heliports on the East River. New York Zoning Code Section 123-32 for Special Mixed Use states that dwellings in that area must maintain a standard of 45dB (A) or less for interior noise. 2.1.4 Use Groups The Uses permitted in each of (these districts) are found in one or more of the eighteen use groups set forth in the resolution. The uses listed in each use group have common functional or nuisance characteristics. These groups start with residential and institutional uses (Use Groups 1-4) and work their way up the nuisance scale from local retail and service uses (Use Groups 5-9) to regional shopping centers (Use Groups 10-12), waterfronts/recreational uses (Uses 1315) heavy automotive service (Use Group 16) and industrial uses (Use Groups 17 and 18). The text identifies which use groups are permitted in each zoning district.28 Unlike SLCUM, the Use Groups are neither particularly hierarchical, nor are they exhaustive. They are a set of eighteen lists, naming more than six hundred known activities. The named activities are sorted into one or more of the eighteen Use Groups according to Floor Area Ratio (FAR) not activity. This is a problem. For example, most categories of printing straddle three Use Groups; Gasoline Service Stations are in two.29 This is too ambiguous for pure as of right siting. Additionally, because some of the previously inventoried activities no longer exist, what should be listed and in what detail is an on-going issue. For example, the use “Daycare center” is not on the list but it is construed and sited as a “School”.30 This same “Use” would probably cover Adult Day care as well. Because they are in disarray, Use Groups can not even be employed to address which activity is compatible with which. In some residential neighborhoods the proper mix of Use “thresholds” just has to get “discovered”. For example, eating establishments, pubs and bars are ubiquitous uses that can have sensible nuisance impacts, such as noise and odors. And, like industrial emanations, restaurant odors and noise are remedied by special materials and methods, i.e. 28 1997 New York City Zoning Resolution, Chapter 2, Use Regulations, 42-14 See Tables 1 and 2. 30 Here is an example of the “administrative construction” that Use Groups were meant to short cut. 29 22
  23. 23. venting and filtering. The technology exists and its effectiveness is measured, and certified, somewhere31. Yet, for residential neighborhoods there are no formally defined thresholds for such non-industrial emissions. Without more formal controls, a community’s tolerances and preferred limits are sometimes identified and “enforced” by local coalitions. When there is too much bar noise, a neighborhood organization32 must take concerted action to have “ rowdy laws” enforced, to block liquor permits. Additionally, community groups have been known to set up a phone relays for calling the Department of Environmental Protection and Police requesting noise monitoring or, less officially, to send letters panning the offending bars to restaurant guides. The DEP does not appear to measure noise after business hours and after two years of action the local police department still does not have equipment. Clearly, residential zones are not “protected” from this kind of nuisance by Use Groups or any thresholds defined by the resolution33. The Use Groups and Performance Standards sections of the resolution, do not clearly address what happens in the event of change in either use or performance34 after the permit has been issued. One reason for this oversight may be because the resolution was written by one entity (City Planning Commission) and interpreted and administrated by another (Department of Buildings) and disputes appealed still elsewhere (Board of Standards) and there are also local DEP and wider EPA control issues. In this confusing environment, an operator could be compliant for one agency’s rule and, at the same time, violate another. For example, a hospital that is properly sited according to zoning is still subject to Health Department and, other City, State and Federal Regulations that may or may not conflict with the Zoning practices. However, even if all the current rules were perfectly written and interpreted, they would still require monitoring and enforcement. 31 Manufacturers technical specifications for restaurant venting can be found in Sweet’s Catalogue published by McGraw Hill. 32 The author is active in the Little Italy Neighborhood Association (LINA). LINA is the newest incarnation of the core neighborhood organization that successfully fought the unfair siting of many drug treatment facilities in the 1970’s and activated the police to prosecute drug pushers in the 1980’s. 33 It might help to adapt some additional siting system like the Sanborn/Best’s or DEP’s three categories to rate and control the maximum noise and odor permitted to hospitality establishments in each zone. 34 This excludes positive acknowledgment, unfortunately. So incentives are not provided based improved performance.
  24. 24. 2.2 Current Monitoring and Enforcement The ability to test wastes for degrees of noxiousness or toxicity is important to such empirically derived benchmarks as Performance Standards thresholds. Threshold limits were based on observing and recording the best industrial practices that could be “discovered”, measured, and ranked at the time. Generally, they are not imposed from outside of an industry but are the result of collective experience. While standards change slowly because of this, they are very perishable, prone to sudden and complete obsolescence. Standards can facilitate seamless interface through an inherent interchangeability or through the creation of a commonly shared virtual link or not. Agreement on which standard to use is fundamental to all exchanges from international currency to data’s baud rate. It is important to have a uniform test to name and categorize risks in order to control them. The United States does not have a comprehensive risk reporting system. The next, best system of risk reporting is the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA). That report identifies the specific location of several levels of toxic threats. EPCRA releases reports from data on material safety data sheets (reporting hazardous substances required under Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA)). Depending on a industry’s toxic levels, additional reporting may be required under EPCRA -including information for emergencies about the inventory of and location of hazardous substances. The TRI or Toxic Release Inventory is close to a uniform system. The Federal government collects this data annually and it is a large amount of information to sift through without some screening mechanism. Nevertheless, some reporting system is in place but it does not cover everything. This is the invitation for the EPA to expand its function from regulator to advocate of best practice similar to the International Standards Organization (ISO). With EPCRA data, New York City’s Planners can locate businesses that completed Toxic Release Inventories to inform the City’s emergency service providers. But EPCRA does not pinpoint the “second tier” of less offensive industries. It may be useful to target industries with little and continuous impacts or with large but intermittent effects (Best’s “5” and above) 24
  25. 25. that operate in Mixed-Use (MX) zones to “promote the best practice”.35 The question for the City Planning Commission is: “How to identify a reasonable “second tier” industry to target for better practice?” (The act of identification is complicated by at least questions of the “return on investment”. In waste management, the paper, glass, plastic and metals make up forty percent of the target. All other materials (the “second tier”) are “one percenters”. So cleaning up 100% of 1% does not appear to make a big enough statistical difference to be worth the effort36.) Here, I will speculate that the City will resist imposing additional paper work over and above extant OSHA requirements. The resistance would be strongest when targeting potentially fugitive manufacturers, because they can offer their jobs (and pay taxes) elsewhere. 37 In this context, for strictly environmental impacts , economic incentives or other “carrots” are not the purview of planners. In fact, under the resolution, in any (M1-M3) manufacturing zones planners can only permit FAR increases or parking space reductions or increases. These are enticements for new-builds and they certainly lack luster as incentives to promote better environmental citizenship. If they did have any “carrots” to offer, planners would need to establish which performance merits award, i.e., tax breaks or incentives to upgrade equipment, assistance with special recycling; or identification of Industries that could share a remedial resource (special waste pick-ups, pre-treatment equipment, gray water recycling or other processors). Use Groups would be worthless for such a task, especially, today, when efficiency and ease of coordination is required to ensure enforcement over a wide area. However, EPCRA reports are limited to the “big offenders”. The focus of this paper is the “second tier” industries, like printing, that have faults that might be remedied as a class but are unknown to each other or authorities because they may not be required to file a Toxic Release Inventory and, therefore, escape detection. The problem 35 Recently the EPA has proposed a national Environmental Leadership Program. This program would acknowledge leadership in advanced technological investment for pollution control and environmental management. Regional panels are established and special public awards for environmental leadership promoted in each state and region. Here EPA is expanding its role beyond that of regulator to become the promoter of the best practice. In line with recent theories regarding compliance, as a public agency, it’s seeking to use carrots as well as sticks to gain the best practice in industry. David Shillito, Implementing an Environmental Audit (Princeton, NJ., Institute of Chemical Engineers, 1996) p. 50, 36 J. Winston Porter, Trash Facts IV, (Leesburg , VA, Waste Policy Center, 1997) one page 37 Theater Districts and Adult Use zoning are for economic ends.
  26. 26. with relating a reporting system to manage New York City’s local mix of Industrial activity: it is that it may not be comprehensive. Identification and classification of local risk is traditionally and practically a matter for “home rule”— Here, is where an inventory based on the hierarchical and exhaustive Standard Industry Codes may be helpful. It is a way to both reference national trends in wages and health impacts and since it can be linked, it can be modified by other compatible systems such as A.M.Best’s Environmental Risk Index. Before I discuss Standard Industry Codes and computer/data/mapping standards, I would like to review other instruments and standards that are relevant to this paper. 2.2.1 Mapping for public health and fire risks is hardly a new concept. “Sanborn’s maps identified the use and construction specifics of buildings, the types and locations of fire prevention equipment, and the location of external hazards that could impact the insured properties. Copyrighted in 1868”38 Still, standards for all data sets vary; fresh and accurate are relative and debatable. However, as far as what to map to manage risk, it is easy to conclude that mapping SIC’s can provide twice to three times the information that mapping the eighteen Use Groups would, If only because SIC’s four or six digits of precision is incontestably more specific than Use Groups absolute 1-18. Importantly, because the eighteen Use Groups are stand-alone, they not link-able to any larger system as the SIC’s are39. Because the zoning resolution is set forth in both text and maps, standards for mapping are necessary. Importantly, zoning maps do not have notation to show risks. Also, New York City mapping takes place in several places. It is decentralized to offices throughout the city to borough presidents, to the DOT and City Planning, etc. and most maintain separate maps. Digital integration will be difficult because these disparate maps may or may not share scale and datum40. The lack of centralization and standardization makes mapping more difficult than it should be given the available technology. Maps can be shared once they are digitized or, if necessary, standardized on satellite pictures that are well formatted, fresh, accurate and detailed. Images displayed with more pixels get clearer all the time. Creative visualization of data leads to new approaches to public health. For example of 38 Diane Oswald, “Fire Maps,” , Mercator’s World, March/April 1999, pp. 47-51. For example SIC’s can link to Richard Lewis, Sr., Hazardous Chemicals Desk Reference (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1997) 40 These are absolute points of origin necessary to digitally “registering” one map to others 39 26
  27. 27. mapping a toxic epidemic, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health researchers combined tabular health statistics with Geographic Information Systems 41 to demonstrate an epidemiological pattern. Their Public Health department has long studied Philadelphia’s overall mortality rates because they were consistently higher than the nation’s for certain cancers, particularity those of the prostate. Their mapping study showed that cancer rates were higher in low income South Philadelphia and, there, highest nearest to the manufacturing zones associated with refining and automotive shops. Graphically illustrating his presentation42 on Philadelphia’s land use, Dr. Thomas Burke showed slides of a school for the learning disabled located near an auto body painting shop. While the plant’s exhaust system is OSHA compliant inside, outside, the vents are just a few yards away from and at the same level as classrooms. So, particles and fumes vented from the plant floor are blown right into the school’s windows. Evidently such toxic exposure violated neither zoning code nor EPA regulations and, so, presents one very clear example of a problem associated with mixed land use. Once they have been observed and cataloged by databases, these risks can be easily mapped. Identifying the proximity of hazardous industries to sensitive areas such as schools, parks and residential facilities has prophylactic43 value. The next part introduces the Sanborn/Best’s rating system. The proposed instrument is made up of the unofficial but commonly used Sanborns Map that shows buildings, blocks and lots. This map is overlaid with symbols locating businesses rating more than “5” on Best’s ten scale. These businesses are found via SIC, the government system for tracking industry data. It is the assumption of this paper that the combined system is more effective as an indicator of risks than either SICs or Use Groups, standing alone. 41 Geographic Information Systems – often AutoCAD but also other developers such as Aperture and Muse Technologies have specialty software. 42 September 18-19th 1998 the joint Public Health and Urban Planning conference on meeting the Urban Health Challenge 43 Medical term for prevention.
  28. 28. 2.3 A.M. Best’s Environmental Risk Indicator Since 1970, Best’s Underwriting Guide and Best’s Loss Control Engineering have rated everything from skating rinks to tattoo parlors and offered accurate risk assessment for industrial and commercial risk classification44. The Company publishes all kinds of Insurance data in Hazard Indexes, Underwriting Guides and statistics on Companies and Rates. A.M. Best’s Loss Control Engineering Manual rates several kinds of Industrial risks45 using a Ten Point ranking (with ten indicating the highest insurance exposure and anything below five ranked “moderate” or lower.) The Environmental Risk indicator is the “Environmental Impact “ index in A.M. Best’s Loss Control Engineering Manual. This provides a field rating on how the industry relates with the environment. 2.3.1 Dun & Bradstreet - Information Services The Dun & Bradstreet Register (D&B) provides lists. The Company maintains database containing business facts on over 48 million companies in 200 different countries. D&B uses SIC numbers and accommodates up to four related SIC’s per company. D&B reports are checked and updated twice a year and the date of last update is included in each company record in the database. 44 A.M.Best’s Dangerous Chemicals Outline - explains the classification, labeling requirements, flash point and boiling point information for easy evaluation of health, fire, explosion, and disaster hazards. It also includes control measures for industrial chemicals. Reference Charts - Present vital information on: Chemical causes of skin diseases; Power press safety equipment; Eye protection selection; Fire extinguishers; Fire safety factors; Medical and engineering control measures; Common faults found in inspection of electrical systems; Common poisonous plants, shrubs, and trees; Elevator inspection requirements for each city and state. 45 For example Worker’s Compensation, Fire, Inland Marine, risks etc. See sample Best’s report in Appendix. 28
  29. 29. 2.3.2 Standard Industry Codes and ISO 14000 Standard Industry Codes are used by both Dun & Bradstreet and A.M. Best’s providing the required “common field” for relating databases. The Standard Industry Code was available when the resolution was written, however the spreadsheet and computer capability to use them the way I do would not be in common use until 1980’s as part of the “PC revolution”. The six-digit NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) will soon be superceding the SIC. It is coded this way: the first two digits give the Economic sector (i.e., manufacturing, agriculture, etc) the third digit indicates the sub sector (i.e., crop production, apparel makers, etc.). The fourth digit specifies industry group (i.e. grain oils, fiber, yarn and thread mills). The fifth digit is still more specific (i.e., wheat farming; broadloom mills and the sixth is reserved for the different countries (USA, Mexico, Canada) use. Standard Industrial Codes SIC’s were created by the government in the 1930’s to track production and labor statistics. Their categories were based on the 1926 Safety & Health Regulations for Construction and included sections from federal Agriculture and Maritime Regulations as well. The original purpose of the Codes was to standardize industrial classifications based on the individual establishment as the smallest unit i.e., one mine or one shop as opposed to an enterprise base. The executive branch through the Office of Management and Budget collects data on revenue and the government “triangulates” this data against Census information on employment (listed by SIC Code) to give a variety of statistics measuring productivity, unit labor costs and the capital intensity of projects. However, many agencies and entities including OSHA use the Codes for, as Paul Bugg of the Office of Management and Budget calls it, “non-statistical purposes”.46 46 Substances are regulated by the Hazard Communication Standard but it does not list Businesses that use them by SIC. (Best’s list chemicals as part of report ) Individual manufacturers and importers are required to evaluate and prepare labels and data sheets and this data is picked up from business in other ways – such as Toxic Release Inventories, etc.
  30. 30. In 1991 the International Conference on the Classification of Economic Activities met in Williamsburg, VA, to review economic classification systems and the concepts on which they are based. Although one stated goal of SIC is to reflect the current economic structure, currently “Three-fifths (574) of the SIC 4-digit industries are goods producing (of which 459 are manufacturing), while the remaining two-fifths (430) relate to the entire non-goods producing sector.” 47 The criticisms of the existing system include the current conceptual framework -- listing by establishment --fails to reflect the depth and variety of the service economy. SIC’s do not account for establishments that are, by definition, not in one place, such as those that are on the Internet or run physical pipelines. The Economic Policy paper divides conceptual issues into “demand side” / marketing and “supply side”/ production types. Some groups are advocating two or three additional or altered Codes to cover these differences.48 The debate on how to track activities goes on at many levels. The pressure to have uniform reporting capabilities increases with globalization. Just as, in the spirit of mutual interest, weather information is exchanged since the invention of the telegraph, so, too, will environmental reporting need to be collected and exchanged in some universal format. I the aftermath of The Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal, the International Standards Organization that created the successfully and widely used Total Quality Management Building Audit known as ISO 9000, is focused on larger Environmental Management Standards (EMS): ISO 14000. These emerging ISO standards are to be used like the Standard Industry Codes to track and rank labor costs along with other production values including process emissions. One key feature of ISO 14000’s proposed process standard is the “environmental audit”. The United States has forestalled embracing ISO 14000, but, good corporate citizens, in Europe, conform to this audit voluntarily, for now. Europeans so respect ISO 14000, that private sector business cards are imprinted with a mark to indicate that the company has completed the required environmental audit and has been certified “ISO 14000 compliant”. The peer pressure is so great that this certification is often required to retain certain clients. 47 U.S. Bureau of Census, Economic Classification Policy Committee Issues Paper, No 10, “Conceptual Issues”, (1991) p. 20 48 ibid. p.24 . 30
  31. 31. Chapter 3 – The Study Area 3.1 Background on the Study Area The Study Area is a subset of the Zip Code 11201 located on the northern side of the borough of Brooklyn, New York. Zip Code 11201 is bordered on the South by Kane Street Douglass Avenue, Nevins Street – Navy Street forms the eastern side and the East River is the North and Western limit. Montague Street - Myrtle Avenue, borders the Study Area on the South, Navy Street forms the eastern side and the East River is the North and Western limit. The Study Area is part of Community Board 2 containing Fort Greene and the portions of census tracts as well as the three (21, 23, and 3.02) reported on in this section. These study tracts are adjacent to two historic districts: New York’s oldest (Brooklyn Heights) and its latest (Vinegar Hill), a MX-2 industrial area, a high-density housing complex and an up market waterfront community. (Figure 1 and 2) The urban context of the Study Area is a dense environment: the downtown Brooklyn office, educational and court campuses. It is the East River’s width away from Wall Street by ferry and directly across from the trendy South Street Sea Port. The F-train and a few bus lines serve it while the R-train is a torturous walk across Sands Street, the BQE on-ramp and Flatbush Avenue. With its breathtaking Manhattan views, the Study Area is a magnet for residents (legal and otherwise) and, increasingly, visitors. On the East River waterfront, there is a stretch of Empire State Park, a restaurant and music on a barge. The promise of waterside attractions such as an art colony in the Empire Stores or the proposed movie complex could also bring additional traffic to the area. The new 1998 MX-2 zoning district is mapped (Fig. 5.) as part of the Study Area along with the neighborhoods known as DUMBO49 / Eagle Warehouse / Farragut. Con Edison’s Substation is to the north, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard, with its own zip code as an industrial park with Landmark status to the East. This land near the MX-2 district contains a mix of residential, historic and upland buildings (Figs 2 and 3). Many of the industrial buildings were constructed in the 1880’s for provisioning, storage, and manufacturing incidental to shipping and shipbuilding. There are remains of 1840’s vintage residential units built for the 49 Acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass
  32. 32. Vinegar Hill and greater Fort Greene workers. The Farragut Houses, a public housing project were constructed during the fifties to house returning Navy personnel and their families. Over the decades, the end of the shipbuilding and the subsequent decommissioning of the US Navy Base caused a general decline in the quality of housing stock. (Figures 3 and 4 and 5) Economically, this neighborhood echoed the decline of manufacturing in “World Cities”.50 However, on the docklands of both New York and London, the decline of shipping worldwide appears about to deliver long awaited opportunities to patient developers and speculators who have been operated at a loss through the eighties and much of the nineties. Underused storage and manufacturing lofts have been attracting residential uses since Soho got too pricey for artists in the 1970’s. Their reasoning was that Soho got “grandfathered” and allowed people who were there to continue living or otherwise re-using manufacturing buildings. So, those Brooklyn “pioneers” took space at some risk financially and, (some allege) physically51. The difference between Soho, which was virtually abandoned when the artists decided to move in, and Brooklyn is that the Brooklyn waterfront is still actively manufacturing. The Study Area is zoned predominantly for manufacturing; The Farragut area is zoned R-6 Medium density residential. Under the newest designation (1997), Vinegar Hill becomes the only designated historic district zoned for manufacturing. 50 Paul L. Knox and Peter J. Taylor, World Cities in a World System., (Great Britain, Cambridge University Press, 1995) 51 Some artists say that the Fire Department enforces (read: “shakes them down”) at the Landlord’s behestthe supposed reason is that landlords can warehouse properties to be able to offer them at a premium after the zoning changes. 32
  33. 33. 3.2 Census CD 1.1, Area Snapshot, February 27,1997 The poorest residents in the three census tracts are children. There are 1,035 Children living below the poverty line. Demographics: FULTON FERRY VINEGAR HILL FARRAGUT HOUSES *Average Mean Wage 52 $62,358 $44,788 $22,810 $29,012* 5% 7% 88% 100% 308 431 5,197 5,936 Age groups: A high proportion of young people (66%) in the study area are below the age of 18 years old as compared to Brooklyn’s (26.3%) and greater New York City’s (23%) A low proportion of elderly residents (6.5%) are above the age of 65 years compared to Brooklyn and NYC (13% each) Family Type: In the three sample tracts, there are 550 Families in Poverty of these, 289 are Female headed households. The composite data show females heading more than 50% of the families in the community. There are more Non Family House holds in Vinegar Hill and Fulton Ferry around thirty percent; at Farragut Houses they are only 23.5% ` Ethnic and racial composition The majority of residents are black (68% ) and Latinos comprise next largest group (20%) while the White population (15%) is followed by Asian53 (7%) 52 Applies to 1,816 employed persons over age of 16. (1990 U.S.Census) Throughout the area, Asians account for a small population; the majority of Blacks and Latinos live upland in Farragut houses; while the waterfront is predominantly white (1990 US Census) 53
  34. 34. 3.3 Trends Fort Greene’s (and the Study Area’s) needs are calculated along with the larger Community District’s Service area. Because Census data is used to apportion funds at all levels of Government, the contrasting financial mix in the study area presents a distorted picture of the population’s actual status. This area is as well served as any in the City and likely to remain eligible for Federal State and City funds for social, health and youth services and there are chronic issues: 3.3.1 Lack of Parks - The Department of City Planning guidelines call for 2.0 acres for active plus 0.5 acres passive recreation, plus .15 acres additional passive space per 1,000 daytime visitors. Applying this formula the area needs 3 acres passive and 12 acres active and at least .3 acres for visitors. It has .96 passive and 8.23 active acres representing a shortfall of 6.07 acres. These “parks” are poor quality because they are tucked in under bridges and highways and are paved and, in short, offer very little “green space”. 3.3.2 Concentration of Social Services - Because of the convergence of nearly all borough’s subways, buses, bridges, highways, truck routes and railroads the Community District has been selected too often for services that would be better sited elsewhere. The unequalled concentration of ex-offender, drug related and homeless services within Community Board 2, has caused the Board to call for a halt on siting any new services of this sort throughout the District. The study area is host to many of those services. As a result, the Community District has become oversaturated with facilities that do not serve the community.”54. The Study Area hosts from 3,000 to 5,000 service workers handling legal and social cases for the City at large and Brooklyn during regular working hours. The clientele of these agencies include offenders, drug addicts and homeless people. This unsavory population is handled in eight buildings, some with multiple bureaus throughout the study area. 3.3.3 Changing Health Services - The health needs of the residential community are served by nearby Cumberland Hospital - recently converted to a diagnostic center and Family Care Facility. There are already reduced services for youth, specifically the reduction of programs at the Doctor White Center, and at the out-of-service Boy’s 54 34 Community Board 2 , Letter to Mayor Guiliani, Jun. 17, 1996
  35. 35. and Girl’s Club which is currently under construction. Denser populations are more prone to communicable diseases and this is a young group. So, HIV-STD-TB-Teen Pregnancy is one inseparable epidemic. 3.3.4 Residential Patterns – In Fulton Ferry, One Main Street has been converted condominiums. The Bureau of Labor recently moved 1,000 jobs from that location into the MetroTech area and additional relocations have taken place for 2,000 more City who were moved to Livingston Street locations. In Farragut, there is a consideration that the total number of residents listed is inaccurate. Really, it is probably much higher than reported because of “hidden homelessness”55. This can mean that the carrying capacity of the structure itself and perhaps the municipal system, too are over burdened by swelling the population beyond what the building (or larger system) was designed to handle. In Vinegar Hill, there has been a decline in manufacturing since the 1970’s due to changes in transportation, i.e. containerization. Technology changes and production improvements that require column free open area, have negatively impacted the viability of the older building stock56 3.3.5 Employment - Despite the larger employment trends towards back office services, high tech industries accounted for a 25% job increase in manufacturing jobs in the 57 Study Area over the past 13 years. This trend was amplified by the losses to the Brooklyn based shipping industry that has lost business to the Ports of New Jersey and, to a lesser extent, Baltimore over the last thirty years58. According to D&B data, Zip Code 11201 has 504 firms with 11,643 jobs an increase from 218 firms with 5,300 jobs in the early 1980’s. Recent trends show that a higher proportion of workers who live in the study area59 are in the government and not-for- 55 56 Hidden Homelessness is defined as voluntary “doubling-up” in individual’s apartments and results in under counting. In the New York City region, factories built before 1922 averaged 1,040 sq.ft, increasing to 2,000 between 1922 and 1945 and after the war to 4,550sq.ft to accommodate changes in the way that factory floors are laid out for using new technologies. Robert Fishman, Bourgeois Utopias (New York, Basic Books, 1986) p. 196. 57 Community Board 2, 197a Work Group Plan “Economic Development Section”, (Nov. 1996) 58 “A Port with a Political Storm”, New York Times, Apr. 26, 1999, pp.: B1 and B6 59 A curious statistic was for Farm self-employment: Ten people at VINEGAR HILL and six at FARRAGUT HOUSES were engaged in this profession, though the average travel time to the “farm” from the study area was just a little more than 30 minutes.
  36. 36. profit social services sectors, and live/work studios have proliferated within the area and are now legal. 3.4 The range of risks shown by the Sanborn/Best’s system in the Study Area The D&B data for Zip Code area 11201 lists names for 504 businesses. However, like most Postal Zip Code demarcations, this very large area does not overlay Neighborhoods or Community Boards or Census tracts or the study area in any meaningful way. The businesses are spread throughout a wide area and the majority of them are beyond the Study Area. Interestingly, there were no industries in the Zip Code sample with Best’s ratings higher than “8”. In fact, Con Edison’s yard (M3-1) rated a “7” in Best’s for Environmental Impact if it is a generating station and a “5” if it is not. (I have assigned it the higher rating). (The sewage treatment plant located in the Navy Yard (M3-1) is also an above Best’s average “7”. It has a Best’s note that “there is a need to monitor for hazardous wastes60”.) 3.4.1 Exceptions and Anomalies One record is an “8’” and gasoline related but the listed address is the “US Post Office” without an actual address in the Study Area - it is listed simply as: “La Guardia” this appears to be bad data. 3.4.2 The unmapped section of Zip Code 11201 Even though these few are in the Zip Code area but not in the mapped Area, they are glaring. There are two automotive uses rated “6” in an area zoned R7-1 (78 Henry Street). This may be due to the SIC codes which list the core business as “Automotive” when the Henry Street addresses are actually dispatching offices for the fleet. There are three automotive uses rated “6” on Gold Street (M2-1). These are barely the minimum 400 feet away from McLaughlin Park. However, since the “park” in question is typical of so many parks in this neighborhood – it is actually a green area under a highway interchange – it is subject to ambient automotive emissions. 60 36 A.M.Best’s, Loss Controlling Engineering Report, “Sewage Treatment”, (New Jersey, 1998)
  37. 37. 3.4.3 “Grandfathered” Businesses The resolution was not retroactive in 1961. This means that it did not apply to business working when it was adopted; only to enterprises that would begin later. This “grandfathering” of extant businesses might, still, pose problems for unexpected residents especially those living in the older manufacturing neighborhoods, like the Study Area. In the Study Area, 42 businesses were incorporated before 1961. The oldest of these is the Orphan Asylum of Brooklyn founded in 1835 and the biggest is the Watchtower, a printer founded in 1909. 3.4.4 General Analysis of Data For the all of Zip Code 11201, there is an agglomeration of one hundred forty four Real Estate Agents and seven Title Abstract Companies (all with null environmental impact) near the Court Campus. There are a total of forty-six Printers rated “4” and “3” (see profile below); forty-four Family Service establishments; excluding fourteen child services and eight residential care facilities (all with null environmental impact but requiring sensitivity). There are thirty-seven Warehouse and Trucking 61 businesses; twenty-six Automotive uses; eight Gasoline Service Stations (these are rated so high “6” because underground storage tanks are assumed). Interestingly, Best’s rates small arms and ammunition factory such as the one located at 25 Chapel Street as only “4”. The accompanying tables are the D&B database for Zip Code 11201 printed in two tones. The white records are businesses shown on the maps and the grey records are not shown in detail but are contained in the outline on the Zip Code map (Figure 1). 3.5 Study Area Map Discussion 61 SICs for “Trucking without Storage” is often refuse transfer operations but there is no Best’s Environmental rating for refuse transfer as such.)
  38. 38. The entire Zip Code 11201 has 35 industries with ratings over “5”; that is less than 7% and includes six “suspicious” but unproven Trucking without storage sites for waste processing. The area shown on the Detail Map has 3080 employees in 140 businesses: 22 Garment and Fabric related 20 Print and book related 10 Reupholstering and repair related 15 Social Services 15 Millwork and metal fabricators 13 Real Estate Agents 11 Transport-Warehouse /Trucking – including an “8” 10 Reupholstering and repair related 6 Food related 2 Chemical including the Printers Ink Maker Additionally there are 18 “miscellaneous” including insurance and travel related industries. Twelve of the industries over “5” located in the study area. Of the industries ranking over “5” in the study area, three are rated “8”. 3.6. D&B Spreadsheet The spreadsheet that follows sorts Zip Code 11201 into grey and white records. The grey records could be shown on the Sanborn map (Figures 2 and 3) the white records are in the remainder of the Zip Code Area. There are two parts to this analysis: Businesses above “5”. And (Table 1.) businesses “5” and below (Table 2.). The 35 businesses above “5” are sorted by Best’s number. The businesses below “5” are sorted by SIC number. The variety and number of printers in the area can be seen along with the Use Group. It is important to remember that any time there is more than one Use Group for an activity the activity is not clearly defined enough to use for siting as of right. (Another group in the Study Area that has multiple Use Groups, are waste handling facilities.) 38
  39. 39. 3.7 Profile of a Neighborhood Industry – Printing Best’s Underwriting Guide – Ink Manufacturing The analysis of the Printing industry will show the extent and effects of Use Groups. Printers are allowed under Use Groups 9, 11 & 17 and are differentiated only by floor area and parking accommodations and not process, per se. Use Group 9 requires Less than 2,500 Sq.Ft.-PRC-F; Use Group 11 more than 2,500 Sq.Ft.-PRC-1; Use Group 17 no limit to Sq.Ft.-no parking restrictions, These requirements are controlled by the zone type, i.e. M-1, M-2, M-3 Printing is listed as a single use even though we know that there are a variety of types of printing processes. Each of the processes involves different chemicals and, thus, some types of printing are far more “compatible” with proximate residential uses than others. Even more difficult is the fact that for certain industries such as printing, where pollution prevention strategies are feasible, “compatibility” may vary from facility to facility.62 The printing industry is a big business in New York City. According to Dun & Bradstreet there are 4273 Printers in New York City, 541 of those are in Brooklyn and 386 of those in Brooklyn make more than $100,00063 in the prior year. Several types of Brooklyn based printers serve the legal, publishing, financial, advertising, general business and religious communities. The definition of printer can include SIC codes 2752, 2754, 2759 for Commercial types and 7332, 7399 for Quick print types and 2751, 2257, 2261, 2262, 2269 for Screen print types. Each SIC code has a different insurance rating for environmental impairment liability but all are equal under Use Groups 9, 11 or 17 when it comes to mixed use planning and zoning. According to A.M. Best’s Manual, Commercial printing ranks a medium “4” on Environmental Impairment (9/96REV). Quick print is “4” and Screen64 is “3”. Use Groups appeared to do a fair job in the entire Zip Code 11201. Of the 504 businesses only 35 had a Best’s rating in excess of the moderate “5”. What raised 62 Mixed Use Zoning Text Framework , (New York City Department of Environmental Protection, January 2, 1997) 63 D&B showed the Jehovah’s Witnesses reported $681 Million 64 According to Best’s the environmental rating for Screen types was not included (9/81REV) but a note on water based and UV inks said that they were “heralded as the industry’s answer to the high cost and environmental and safety hazards associated with the use of solvents…”
  40. 40. questions was that utilities located in the M-3 zones were rated at Best’s above average “7”.65 In the Study Area there were eight industries above Best’s well above average “8”: six automotive and one ink maker and one “to be determined”66. The apparent efficiency of this zoning must be discounted by referencing the power of environmental legislation and parallel industrial improvements since the 1970’s. In other words, since the EPA was founded, manufacturers in the United States must have a “scrubbed” smoke stacks if there are smoke stacks at all. To make this clear, an ink maker67 pollutes water, air and has some solid waste problems. However, inside the plant, workers are covered by OSHA. Given that the fumes from this industry can take the paint off of a neighboring building, it is hazard enough to have an EPCRA (“Right to Know”) report or other “environmental auditing” requirement already in place. It must either have EPA approved tanks or dispose via a public treatment plant, or pre-treat and reuse the waste water itself and have the remainder hauled out. The best focus for planners using the Sanborn/Best’s method is “second tier” industries, in the above average “6” or “7” range that may not be subject to such stringent oversight. 65 This is applying the “worst case SIC” for the generating station and the Navy Yard sewage treatment facility. The firm was not listed in Brooklyn information so I could not find out what a “Sant, Good” is 67 See A.M.Best’s tear sheet on Ink Makers in the Appendix 66 40
  41. 41. Chapter 4 - CONCLUSIONS 4.1 Summary of Findings The decline of manufacturing and thirty years of industries running cleaner because of environmental regulation and improved technology, significantly influenced the statistic showing 7% of the industries rating higher than Best’s moderate “5”. (The low overall rating, also, made the few “hot spots” stand out very clearly.) The question, then, becomes which Best’s Environmental Risk rating is too high in a Mixed Use District? The heaviest (M-3) manufacturing use was the Navy Yard’s sewage treatment and Con Edison’s generating yard --at Best’s “7”. The Ink Maker, a Best’s “8”, is located in a (MX-2) Mixed Use zone and adjacent to the light manufacturing M-2 district (see Figure 5). Three Best’s automotive “6s” were located barely 400 feet from McLaughlin Park (see Figures 3 & 4). Employing technologies that are common, now, but inconceivable when the zoning resolution was adopted I have mapped the Study Area and shown sites where Use Groups may have failed (see Figures 3 & 4). When it is possible to be more exact, continuing to apply Use Groups is compounding an anachronistic system --especially when there are better, more widely used tools such as the Standard Industry Code. Obviously, superceded Performance Standards are irrelevant to managing risks. So, both these siting mechanisms give an air of false precision and are confusing. I can, therefore, conclude that Use Group and Performance Standards appear to “work” because they are “backed up” by powerful environmental regulations.. And, it could be deemed wrongheaded (and probably reprehensible) to continue to employ these to site because they can not effectively track risk. 4.2 Policy Recommendations This study has reapplied existing data purchased from Dun & Bradstreet but public planners could use tax records or other government sources and easily link to any data sources that also key off of the SIC. Implementing this method using software for mapping with databases could allow public planners to quickly inventory and continually monitor both actual activity and update associated risks using Best’s without additional intrusion or significant expense.
  42. 42. Best’s often reports the presence and, sometimes, the proportion of the chemicals used for the process. However, it does not address pressures on carrying capacity directly. But, with a little calculation, using reported revenues, one can estimate how much of what chemicals necessary to the process are used and in that way, estimate the carrying impacts, too. 4.2.1 The “Special District”, the Historic District and the Business Improvement District all fulfill community’s specific needs. There could also be a “Manufacturer’s Improvement District” so that an Industrial group’s mitigation measure or the cost of an environmental audit would not devolve to taxpayers but rather be borne entirely by the manufacturer’s group served. In the best of all possible worlds, a self administered, voluntary, environmental audit points up measures that actually save the industry money and/or gives the City better control in supporting these industries to run clean enough to be good residential neighbors. 4.2.2 New York City should have a digital Master Map with different layers for each social service, utility, infrastructure, demographics, tax base and, of course, risks. 4.2.3 Rather than let the Buildings Department and Board of Standards and Appeals rule without any record, planners like Brian Kintish would like to see some kind of review process or hearings and have the results of those interpretations written and complied. (Interview 07JAN99) I agree that keeping and compiling records of public hearings would be beneficial if for no other reason than it might eventually reveal an administrative pattern. 4.3. 4.3.1 Issues for Further Study There is always the “stick”: “risk taxes” based on a Best’s rating of “greater than a certain level” is no more “unfair” than the recent law requiring owners of certain breeds of dog (Pit Bulls) to carry additional insurance. Because this measure might pose an economic disincentive it needs more investigation. 4.3.2 Ranking and mapping the noxious this way might also be used for planning the safer routes and scheduling for deliveries and pick-ups of sensitive materials or their wastes. By targeting an industry like printers, planners could study their needs 42
  43. 43. and more centrally locate a remedial facility or deploy and route additional City waste handling vehicles during busy seasons. 4.3.3 If more of any target area’s industries have a Best’s Environmental Rating higher than moderate “5”, all common chemicals and processes could be rated and the associated chemicals could be listed and rated by appropriate categories. In those businesses that share common chemicals or processes, the standard abatements could be enumerated. After that, costs and/or ease and/or speed of implementation easily rank them. 4.3.4 Even though there has been significant improvement in mapping techniques and availability of maps for New York City, they are still difficult to share. In order to remedy this problem, effort should be made to them into a common format. Once they are computerized, City maps that share datum, can be uniformly scaled, refreshed real-time and even accommodate satellite data for precise physical maintenance of streets and bridges. Importantly, they can be electronically linked to databases.68 4.3.5 Attempting to enforce environmental zoning across a city as large as New York with neither incentives nor proper instruments nor adequate staffing is bound to be ineffective. On one hand, the legal system does not permit manufacturers to be ignorant of the environmental standards that apply to their industry. On the other, manufacturers may not know what can be done quickly, cheaply or well to bring their shops to an acceptable level and, importantly, they may require additional incentives to meet higher standards if they are not actually required.. Incentives for environmental “best practice” could be tax breaks for a “certification” short of a full audit or perhaps a “special agreement” to maintain some performance level. (There are already model “Audit” boilerplate forms from industry and management groups69) that could be tailored for application to the most offensive industries in an area. 68 Tabular data have been routinely linked to maps since the 1980’s. That capability alone would be a sufficient “business reason” for a City to start standardizing all disparate paper maps to Geographic Information Systems (GIS).) 69 Such as American Management Association, Coopers and Lybrand, ASHRAE to name a few.
  44. 44. From a practical standpoint, keeping people from harm by declaring too much decommissioned manufacturing areas “off-limits” is an expensive luxury in a crowded city. Derelict or underused buildings can be a resource for people who will live anywhere they can -- even ignoring evident perils. On the other hand, reliable enough controls are necessary to protect resident’s health and safety. Finally, we are living at a time when global warming, ozone depletion and accidental toxic events such as Chernobyl, Love Canal, etc. blur political boundaries.. International industrial process standardization, ISO 14000 and other unified environmental controls are still off in the future. Meanwhile, further research can be done on methods of integrating New York City into larger regional and global planning efforts. Finally, risk assessment indices and mapping softwares can make zoning’s tools more precise and provide links to many greater and more intelligent systems as I have advocated in this paper. <END> By way of epilogue, as this is completed, both 57 Front Street and 45 York Street (the two addresses with above Best’s “5” businesses) are in the process of residential conversion. The Best’s “8” Ink Maker and the “6” Taxi service no longer exist in the MX-2 district. 44
  45. 45. Bibliography 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. ALPERN, R with MANSON, Astrid; NEWMAN, Helene. ,Eds. Pratt Guide to Planning and Renewal for New Yorkers, (New York, NY: Quadrangle ,1973) ANGOTTI, Thomas., Metropolis 2000, (New York and London: Routledge, 1993) A.M.Best’s Loss Control Engineering Manual, (New Jersey: A.M. Best’s copyrights from 1981,1996 & 1997) BARNETT, J., Urban Design and Public Policy, (New York, NY, Architectural Record Books, 1974) BONE, Kevin., The New York Waterfront, (New York, NY Monacelli Press, 1997) BRESSI, Todd., Planning and Zoning in New York City, (New Jersey, Rutgers, 1993) CASCIO, J. , Woodside, G. Mitchell, P., ISO 14000 Guide, (New York, NY, McGraw Hill, 1996) CASTELLS, Manuel. and MOLLENKOPF, Richard., eds., Dual City, (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1991) COHEN, J. E., How Many People Can the Earth Support?, (New York, W.W. Norton & Co., 1995) DAUGHERTY, J. E., Industrial Environmental Management – a Practical Handbook, (Rockville, Md., Government Institutes, 1996) FAINSTEIN, Susan. and CAMPBELL, Scott, eds., Readings in Urban Theory, (Cambridge MA :Blackwell, 1996) FISHMAN, R., Bourgeois Utopias; The Rise and Fall of Suburbia, (New York, NY, Basic Books, 1996) GILMARTIN, G. Shaping the City :New York and the Municipal Art Society, (New York NY, 1995) GLICKMAN, Thomas. & GOUGH, Michael, eds. ,Readings in Risk , (Resources for the Future, 1990) HAAR, Charles M., Land Use Planning a Casebook, 4th edition –(New York Aspen Books ,1989) JACOBS, Jane., The Life and Death of Great American Cities, (New York, NY, Vintage Books, 1961) KAUFMAN, Ned., History Happened Here, Municipal Art Society (New York, NY, November 1996) KENDIG, Lane and CONNOR, S., BYRD, C., HAYMAN,T., Performance Zoning, (Washington, D.C., Planner’s Press, American Planning Association, 1998) LAST,John.M., Public Health and Human Ecology , (New York NY, Appleton & Lange, 1998) LEDGERWOOD, Gordon, Implementing an Environmental Audit, (New York, NY, Irwin Professional Publishing, 1994) LEWIS, Richard., Hazardous Chemicals Desk Reference (4th Ed)., (New York, NY, John Wiley & Sons, 1997) MANDELKER, David., Environment and Equity: A Regulatory Challenge, (New York , NY, McGraw Hill, 1981) McHARG, Ian –Design with Nature, (New York, NY, John Wiley & Sons, 1997) PAULSON, B. Urban Applications of Satellite Remote Sensing and GIS Analysis, (Washington, D.C. World Bank , 1992) RICHARDSON, Genevra with Ogus and Burrows, Policing Pollution: A Study of Regulation and Enforcement, (London, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1982) Schaffer, Richard. (Director), Zoning Handbook, Department of City Planning, City of New York City, (New York, NY, July 1990) SCHIEFER,H.B., IRVINE, BUZIK, Understanding Toxicology, (CRC Press, 1997) SHILLITO, David, Implementing Environmental Management, (Princeton, NJ, Institute of Chemical Engineers, 1994) Tehranian, K.K., Modernity Space and Power, (New York, NY, Hampton Press, 1995) VINCOLI, J.W. ,Basic Guide to Environmental Compliance, (New York , NY, Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1993) WHITE, T. and RODDEWIG, R , Preparing a Historic Preservation Plan, (Chicago, IL, American Planning Association, 1994)

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