Carl Weisbrod stepped down from Chair of the City Planning Commission to Chair the Trust for Governors Island. On January 4, 2017, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his new appointment to Chair the Trust for Governors Island, Carl Weisbrod. Weisbrod has served as the Chair of the City Planning Commission and Director of the Department of City Planning since de Blasio’s election in 2013. For Weisbrod’s two latest discussions at CityLaw’s Breakfast Series, click here and here.Under Weisbrod’s leadership, the City has realized considerable changes to the Zoning Resolution for the betterment of all New York City residents. With Weisbrod’s support the City has implemented the nation’s strongest Mandatory Inclusionary Housing law, and the broadest overhaul of the Zoning Resolution since 1961 with the passage of the Zoning for Quality and Affordability law.
Weisbrod has also overseen several important rezoning efforts taken by City Planning. The East New York Rezoning Plan, which was approved by the City Council in April 2016, made East New York the first of 15 neighborhoods to be rezoned under de Blasio’s Housing New York plan. In addition to deep levels of affordability, the rezoning included a commitment by the City to invest $267 million in capital improvements. On January 3, 2017, City Planning announced its public review period for the rezoning of Greater East Midtown which would rezone 78 blocks to enable the development of new Class-A commercial towers and to allow buildings to achieve higher density in exchange for transit improvements or purchasing unused floor area from the district’s landmarks.
“This is a bittersweet moment,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “His contributions have earned him a place as one of our city’s great civic leaders, and we are honored that he has agreed to take on the task of continuing Governors Island’s incredible transformation.”
“I am so proud of what we’ve achieve these past three years. From East New York to East Midtown, we are laying a foundation for truly affordable neighborhoods, world-class business districts and smart transit-oriented growth. It has been an incredible run, and I couldn’t be more thankful to the mayor and to my talented colleagues at City Planning,” said Weisbrod. “I’ve spent my career fighting for New York City, and it’s fitting that my next chapter will take me to the new frontier on Governor’s Island. I am excited to shape into an iconic space of which all New Yorkers can be proud.”
For nearly two centuries the Governors Island served as a military base for the U.S. Army and subsequently the Coast Guard, and was off limits to the public. In 1995 the Coast Guard closed its facilities on the island. In January 2001, President Bill Clinton designated 22 acres of the island as a national monument. That area, including Fort Jay and Castle Williams, has since been owned and managed by the National Park Service. In 2003, the federal government sold the remaining 150 acres of the island to the City and State of New York and has since been accessible to the public. In 2010, the City of New York created the Trust for Governors Island and charged it with the operations, planning and redevelopment of the island. The Mayor appoints the members to the Trust’s board.
Mayor de Blasio has name Marisa Lago to serve as the next Director of the Department of City Planning and Chair of the City Planning Commission. Lago is currently the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Assistant Secretary for International Markets and Developments.
By: Jonathon Sizemore (Jonathon is the CityLaw Fellow and a New York Law School Graduate, Class of 2016).