CEQR,ULURP fees proposed for substantial increase

City Planning claims new fees required to cover costs. City Planning moved to increase fees for private applications made pursuant to the City Environmental Quality Review process and the City’s land use review procedure, ULURP. At the Planning Commission’s March 12, 2007 review session, City Planning’s Deputy Counsel Julie Lubin explained that the increase would be the first since 2002, and was meant to align fees more closely to actual costs. The increase, Lubin added, would not cover all costs associated with the review of applications since 22 percent of applications come from government agencies, which are exempt.

Under the proposal, CEQR fees would increase 15 percent, except fees  for Type  II applications which would increase from  $75 to $100. Type II actions do not  require an environmental assessment, making costs   to  Planning
minimal. There are 12 levels of fees for non-Type II actions, with  the  cost  based on the square
footage of the  project. The smallest fees, for projects less than 10,000  sq.ft.,  would increase from $370 to $425. The largest fees, for applications over a million sq.ft., would increase  from   $253,000   to $290,950.

ULURP  fees  would be increased by 40 percent in most cases.  For  special permits, fees  for projects with  less than 10,000 sq.ft. would  increase  from   $1,350 to $1,890, and  the largest fees, for applications over 500,000 sq.ft., would  increase  from $19,500  to $27,300.  For zoning map amend- ments,  projects  with   less   than 10,000 sq.ft. would see a fee increase from $1,450 to $2,030, and applications over  500,000   sq.ft.  would increase from $20,250 to $28,350.

Other fee increases include permits for sidewalk cafes,  which would increase to a flat $50 per seat regardless of enclosure. Planning also proposed a new fee of $100 for letters verifying a  site’s zoning.

Not-for-profits will no longer be exempt from  CEQR or ULURP fees.  Lubin  explained that this  change resulted from very large applications by-not-for-profits, such as the recent expansion of the Museum of Modern Art, which created huge costs for Planning. Instead, Planning will exempt some smaller organizations including neighborhood, community, or homeowner groups if they operate on a non-profit basis and if their application consists of a zoning map amendment for an area of at least two blocks.

Planning will hold its public hearing on the proposal on April 25, 2007 at 22 Reade Street.

City Record,March 20, 2007, at 909.

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