Posts tagged NY
Zoning Regulating “Bulky Houses"

Clients: Villages of Scarsdale, Larchmont, and Roslyn, NY


A number of suburban communities in the New York metropolitan area are grappling with the development of houses that are out of scale and/or out of character with the established neighborhoods in which they are located. Several municipalities have retained Phillips Preiss to craft zoning controls to prevent the proliferation of these so-called “bulky houses." The firm concluded that the size (i.e., floor area and height) of the house is not always the problem, but that the design is equally important in determining how a bulky house appears. Phillips Preiss developed an innovative approach that imposed a baseline cap on building size, with a floor area bonus for architectural design that successfully avoids an oversized appearance.

Roosevelt Island Main Street Retail Study

Client: Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC), New York, NY


RIOC retained Phillips Preiss to conduct a retail market analysis and planning study to help Main Street realize its potential as the true town center of Roosevelt Island. The report revealed significant potential for more retail on Main Street and recommended a series of policy and urban design interventions to revitalize the commercial district.


Within one year of the completion of the study, RIOC moved forward with a central recommendation of the report by soliciting proposals for a master leaseholder for the Main Street retail spaces.

Comprehensive Plans and Zoning Amendments for the Hudson River Valley

Clients: Villages of Dobbs Ferry, Hastings-on-Hudson, Ossining and South Nyack, NY



Phillips Preiss has prepared Comprehensive Plans and zoning amendments for several Hudson River villages in Westchester and Rockland Counties, advising these clients from the earliest phases of community outreach all the way through the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) process and early implementation. While each community has its own distinct traits, all share a common set of planning and development issues: allowing for fiscally and environmentally sustainable development; providing diverse housing options; protecting neighborhood character, scenic views and historic resources; creating downtown vitalization strategies; minimizing traffic; and protecting natural resources. Through the Comprehensive Plan process, Phillips Preiss has developed innovative land use strategies based on a sound understanding of each community’s vision, key assets and market position.


Phillips Preiss' work on the Village of Ossining Comprehensive Plan and Amendments to the Zoning Code and LWRP received the 2010 achievement award for outstanding plan from the Westchester Municipal Planning Federation.

Condemnation Proceedings

Clients: various


Phillips Preiss works on behalf of both private property owners and public agencies in eminent domain proceedings to provide expert planning and market evaluations of taken properties before the courts.

  • Advisement to agencies and property owners on land use issues affecting negotiations and potential litigation.
  • Preparation of expert planning reports for use by agencies and property owners in negotiations and litigation.
  • Appearance and the provision of expert testimony before Commissioner’s hearings; and where property acquisitions are subject to litigation, in New Jersey courts.

Phillips Preiss' services have provided the basis for fair and equitable valuation of property, resulting in voluntary settlement between “taking” agencies and property owners; or where litigation has ensued, have provided the courts with a basis for informed rulings on value.

Larchmont Zoning and Design Guidelines

Client: Village of Larchmont, NY

An example of the large, older homes in the neighborhood.


Phillips Preiss worked for the Village of Larchmont, NY to prepare zoning and design guidelines for a residential neighborhood with large-lot single-family homes, challenging topography, and waterfront views. The firm's efforts focused on mitigating height, mass, and perceived bulk of single-family homes, particularly new construction. Revisions to zoning code and subdivision standards included grading, retaining walls, location and screening of parking, and building bulk and articulation.