City Planning Commission Resumes Hearings

CPC Chair Marisa Lago speaks during the August 3rd Review Session, the CPC’s first meeting in months. Image Credit: CPC

The full ULURP process will resume on September 14th. On August 3, 2020, the City Planning Commission resumed hearings for the first time since March 16th. Hearings had been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic after Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order halting the ULURP process which allowed the City Planning Commission to cancel its meetings. While other agencies started resuming public hearings virtually in June and July, the City Planning Commission has been a notable holdout until now. For CityLand’s prior coverage of the COVID-19 impact on the ULURP process, click here

According to Commission Chair Marisa Lago, the City Planning Commission will not certify new projects into public review in August. New certifications will resume at the Monday, September 14th review meeting when Mayor de Blasio’s executive order halting the ULURP timeline expires. During August, the Commission will review applications that are not subject to the ULURP process or projects that were already in the public review process in March when ULURP was halted. The Commission will also hear presentations for applications ready to enter the public review process, but those applications will not be certified until at least September 14th. 

During the August 3rd review session, Chair Marisa Lago began by acknowledging many global changes that had occurred since the Commission last met. Citing the thousands of lives lost to COVID-19, the death of George Floyd, and the recent loss of Representative John Lewis, Chair Lago led a moment of silence before proceeding with the meeting. 

At the review session, the Commission reviewed two applications for future certification. The first, the 214-32 Hillside Avenue Rezoning in Queens, would facilitate the building of a new drug store on the site of an old auto repair shop. The second, for the Cort Theater in Manhattan, is an application for a special permit to create a proposed annex expansion and renovations for the theater. Chair Lago highlighted the Hillside Avenue project, stating that this is “the type of project we welcome to have come forward as part of our economic recovery supporting a small business owner and particularly one that is in a health-related field.”

The Commission also heard the pre-public hearing presentation for the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s designation of the Manida Street Historic District. City Planning reviews historic district designations to determine any impacts the designation may have on zoning, public improvements and other City development plans. 

On Wednesday, August 5th, the City Planning Commission attempted to hold its first public hearing since March but technical difficulties resulted in a postponement. 

CityLand is continuing to cover the City’s reopening and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more coverage, click here.

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)


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