City Planning Announces Updates to Zap Tool

Zoning Application Portal Search Features Image Credit: City Planning

City Planning continues to improve online platforms to involve and inform community. On December 17, 2019, the Department of City Planning announced two updates to the Zoning Application Portal (“ZAP”). The first update will allow Community Boards, Borough Presidents and Borough Boards to digitally calendar public hearings for land use items. The second update permits Community Boards and Borough Presidents to instantaneously upload their recommendations to the online portal. These two features are intended to “smooth out” and “speed up” the process of calendaring hearings and filing recommendations by centralizing the information on a single website.

The Zoning Application Portal offers the ability to search for specific land use application through a variety of filters and features. On the ZAP platform, in addition to public hearing and Community Board and Borough President Recommendations, there are direct links to City Planning tools and other data bases (i.e. ACRIS, BISweb, ZoLa). City Planning has a multitude of digital planning tools. A full catalogue of City Planning’s digital tools can be found here.

This ZAP tools update comes as part of the City Planning’s commitment toward a greener, paperless land use process. The update also comes in light of citywide efforts to make the ULURP process more transparent, placing an emphasis on community based input.

Public Hearing Feature

Community Boards, Borough Presidents and City Council will have the ability to schedule a public hearing by filling out an online form with the details about the hearing. Upon submitting the form, the details will instantly be posted on the ZAP portal and they will also be sent to the City Record.

Recommendations Feature

The system will now permit Community Boards and Borough Presidents to utilize the system to send recommendations directly to the City Planning Commission. The recommendations will be posted directly on the respective application’s profile page, thus making the recommendation immediately available to the public.

City Planning Director Marisa Lago stated, “Land use proposals only get better with robust public participation. I’m thrilled that ZAP now makes it easier than ever for the public to learn about upcoming public hearings, and to see how their Community Board and Borough President voted on an application.”

Council Member Francisco Moya, Chair of the Land Use Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises commented, “Too often communities and individuals feel precluded from or powerless over the land use issues that directly shape their neighborhoods. I support and applaud the implementation of this new tool, which will provide transparency and agency over how communities evolve to the very people most affected—which is exactly where the power ought to be.”

By: Jason Rogovich (Jason Rogovich is the CityLaw Fellow and New York Law School Graduate, Class of 2019)



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