Zoning protection of natural areas tightened

Grandfather clause that had allowed removal of slopes, trees and vegetation on large lots eliminated. The City Council approved an amendment to the 1974 Special Natural Area District text that will further protect significant natural features like steep slopes, trees and vegetation in three areas of the City: Riverdale in the Bronx, Fort Trotten in Queens, and Staten Island’s Greenbelt and Shore Acres. The Planning Commission initiated work on the text amendment in 1997 at … <Read More>

Community Facilities Text Amended

Universities, medical centers, museums, and religious buildings face tighter restrictions. The City Council approved amendments to 64 sections of the zoning text that control placement, size, and parking for community facilities. The Planning Department and the Council’s Land Use Committee conducted a joint study of existing zoning controls of community facilities. This is the first amendment to the relevant text since 1961.

The revision impacts community facilities such as universities, houses of worship, medical facilities, … <Read More>

COMPLETE VIDEO: 189th CityLaw Breakfast with City Planning Director Dan Garodnick, Friday 10/6

Today, October 6, 2023, Dan Garodnick, Director of the Department of City Planning and Chair of the City Planning Commission, spoke at the 189th CityLaw Breakfast on “Building a City of Yes.” Professor Ross Sandler, Director of the Center for New York City Law provided opening remarks. Dean and President of New York Law School Anthony W. Crowell also provided remarks. The event was sponsored by ConEdison, Verizon, and Greenberg Traurig LLP.

City Planning Commission Votes to Approve “City of Yes for Carbon Neutrality”

On September 11, 2023, the City Planning Commission voted to approve the City of Yes for Carbon Neutrality zoning text amendment. The amendment is the first of the City’s three proposed City of Yes zoning text amendments to pass the City Planning Commission. The City of Yes amendments aim to remove or change outdated parts of the zoning text that hinder the development of housing, economic growth, or the implementation of green technology and infrastructure. 

City Planning Holds Public Hearing for Permanent Open Restaurants Program, Launches Design Public Engagement Process

Many residents and community board members complained of quality of life issues, including noise, trash, cigarette smoke, and loss of parking. On October 6, 2021, the City Planning Commission held a public hearing for the Permanent Open Restaurants program. The Permanent Open Restaurants program will formalize a process for restaurants to operate sidewalk or roadway cafes in a shortened process. The proposed permanent program follows the popularity of the temporary open restaurants program, which was … <Read More>

Community Boards Share Many Concerns Over Permanent Open Restaurant Program

Community boards in support and against the application had concerns about quality of life issues and community board involvement in future reviews. Last year’s Open Restaurants program was established to allow restaurants to operate sidewalk or roadway cafes without the extensive approval process to provide safe outdoor dining options during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the program was enabled through an emergency executive order that temporarily suspended the sidewalk café application process, a permanent program would … <Read More>