These organizations have long maintained that housing is expensive in New York City because New York City's development regulations are extremely difficult and restrictive. It is a mantra repeated over and over. Well some bad news — a developer who builds all over the United States has moved into town, and when asked about development restrictions in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, he gave the "wrong" answer.
WSJ: Is it easier to build in the suburbs versus the city?
Mr. Toll: It's easier in the city. The approval process is more professional in the city. The experts that you deal with are pretty much doing the assigned job, as opposed to the secret unassigned job to stop the growth, stop sprawl [in the suburbs].
Now Robert Toll is a major builder of McMansions. Had be been trying to build two-family homes, or apartment buildings, either of which might produce units affordable to the non-rich, he would have found out just how restrictive the suburbs could be.
But in the mean time, someone needs to call and tell him that just because in New York City you can build large buildings in many places, and 2-3 family homes just about everywhere, with little or no parking, and often get tax exemptions, and not have to pay for infrastructure improvements, doesn't mean New York City isn’t an anti-development hell hole. Even if the fairly liberal rules are only enforced in rich and politically connected neighborhoods in any event.