Here’s a chapter in a book (you can read a lot of it for free) by the same authors of the NYC parking minimum study, but this time on the practical effects of the Bloomberg rezonings. Here’s an excerpt from the conclusion:
This study helps to shed light on the land use consequences of this tension between citywide goals and the political and administrative realities often emanating from neighborhood concerns about development by analyzing the cumulative impact the rezonings the City enacted between 2003 and 2007 had on residential development capacity. By identifying lots that were affected by these zoning changes and estimating the resulting change in residential development capacity, we find that the net impact has been a modest overall increase in the City’s residential capacity. Consistent with the City’s desired development patterns, this modest increase has overwhelmingly been concentrated in neighborhoods near rail transit stations.
We also find, however, that about half the capacity added near rail stations from upzonings was effectively canceled out by downzonings of lots near transit. While these downzonings may be important to protect neighborhoods from new development that existing infrastructure cannot support or that is inappropriate for other reasons, they may limit the City’s ability to grow, or force growth into other neighborhoods, including, perhaps, those that are even less well served by rail transit (or otherwise less suitable for development).
The analysis only took into account maximum FAR, and did not consider parking minimums, height limits, or open space requirements as limiting factors. Those are, however, difficult to factor into analyses, since they influence development by adding costs rather than imposing hard limits, and the extent to which those costs inhibit development is dependent on future market conditions that are beyond the scope of any model.