NYC Property Owners Want All Public Plazas Closed at Night

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Property owners are moving to change an old zoning law that has allowed anti-Wall Street protesters to camp out in Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan around the clock.

A 1960's era zoning rule gave developers zoning concessions in return for building public plazas that would be accessible 24 hours a day. This rule has since changed so that new privately built public spaces may close overnight; however, the plazas built under the earlier rule were not affected and still kept open 24 hours.

Real Estate Board President Steve Spinola said his organization, which represents institutions and people involved in NY real estate, will request a zoning change that will allow those plazas built under the 1961 rule to close at 1 a.m. "I do believe that plazas should have the right to shut down at a certain time because they were not meant for camping out," he said.

But changing the rule retroactively for plazas built under the old rule is expected to be a lengthy legal process.