Jeffrey LeFrancois, Co-Chair
Kerry Keenan, Co-Chair
Pamela Wolff, Public Member
Maarten de Kadt
1) What Is the Function of This Committee?
Any application for a change or variance from the zoning Resolution must come before the Community Board for its review. The Board’s position must be considered in the final determination of these applications. The Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) applies to all applications for zoning text changes, changes to the zoning map and special permits.
Community Boards may also initiate their own plans for the growth and the well being of the community. Under section 197 (a) of the City Charter, a Community Board may submit land use plans for its neighborhoods for adoption by the City Council. Community Board 4 (CB4) has prepared one such plan, The Chelsea Plan, to provide for orderly growth and preservation in the Chelsea neighborhood.
Community Boards must be consulted on the placement of most municipal facilities in the community and on many other land use issues involving city-owned property. CB4 has an opportunity to comment and proposed alternatives through the ULURP.
Enclosed Sidewalk cafes are reviewed by the Land Use Committee
Actions Requiring ULURP
Section 197-c, subsection a of the City Charter makes the following actions subject to ULURP:
- Changes to the City Map. The City Map is the official adopted map of the city. It shows the location, dimension and grades of streets, parks, public places and certain public easements. The Director of City Planning is the custodian of the City Map.
- Mapping of subdivisions or platting of land into streets, avenues or Public Places. This section has not been used since 1976.
- Designation or change of zoning districts. The Zoning Resolution guides the development of the city and includes regulations dealing with use, bulk and parking. Zoning districts and boundaries are shown on the zoning maps and identify the permitted use, density, height, setback, yard and other bulk regulations and parking requirements for development on individual sites.
- Changes to the zoning maps, including district designations and boundaries are subject to ULURP. Amendments to the Zoning Resolution are not subject to ULURP but go through a similar public review process.
- Special Permits within the Zoning Resolution requiring approval of the City Planning Commission (CPC). Special permits are discretionary approvals that can modify zoning controls such as use, bulk and parking. (Note: CPC authorizations pursuant to the Zoning Resolution are not subject to ULURP. Variances and Special Permits reviewed by the Board of Standards and Appeals are also not subject to ULURP.)
- Site selection for capital projects. This includes the selection of sites for new city facilities such as sanitation garages, fire houses, libraries and sewage treatment plants. A capital project is the construction or acquisition of a public improvement classified as a capital asset of the City.
- Revocable consents, requests for proposals and other solicitations or franchises, and major concessions. A franchise is a grant by an agency of a right to occupy or use the inalienable property of the city to provide a public service such as a private bus line or bus stop shelters. A revocable consent is a grant by the city, revocable at will, for private use on, over or under city property such as bridges over streets or street furniture. Revocable consents that the Department of City Planning has determined do not have land use impacts or implications are not subject to ULURP. (Note: sidewalk cafes are revocable consents that are reviewed pursuant to a process established in the city’s Administrative Code. The City Planning Commission does not review such applications). A major concession is a grant made by an agency for the private use of city-owned property, and which has significant land use impacts and implications or which requires the preparation of an environmental impact statement. The City Planning Commission has established rules for determining if a concession is major and requires ULURP review.
- Improvements in real property the costs of which are payable other than by the City. Applications for such non-city improvements are rarely made.
- Housing and urban renewal plans and project pursuant to city, state and federal laws. Urban Renewal Plans developed pursuant to the General Municipal Law (Article 15) are required to be reviewed by the Charter and State Law.
- Sanitary or waterfront landfills.
- Disposition of city owned property. This includes sale, lease or exchange of real property.
Acquisition of real property by the city. Office space acquisition is excluded and subject to a separate review pursuant to Section 195 of the City Charter.
2) When and Where Does This Committee Meet?
The Committee regularly meets on the third Monday of each month, beginning at 6:30 PM. Consult the calendar and committee agenda for most up to date information.
3) What City or State Agencies Work With This Committee?
- NYC Departments of City Planning (DCP)
- NYC Department of Buildings (DOB)
- Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA)
- Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC)
4) How Should an Applicant Present His Project?
Items will be put on the agenda of the committee provided the board was notified more than two weeks in advance of the meeting. This allows time for proper notification of the community. It is recommended to schedule informational sessions with the committee at the same time informational sessions are being held with the City Planning. For all applications to LPC, applicants must complete the MCB4 LPC Checklist.
5) What Is The Best Way to Prepare Before This Committee?
- Outreach: canvass the block and obtain the support of all neighbors (residential and businesses) and of transient pedestrians. Obtain the support of the block association. Obtaining a list of the names address contact number and signatures of people in support of the application is very helpful.
- Things to bring: Photographs, movies, drawings of current and proposed configurations or regulations and list of surrounding land use.
6) Notice and Posting
CB4 requests that applicants with pending DCP, BSA, and Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) applications post notices that identify the application will be on the upcoming agenda of a CB4 Land Use Committee meeting. CB4 further requests that notices will be posted a week in advance of the Community Board meeting on the building or lot affected by the proposed action as well as the street corners where the lot is located. Once the CB4 District Office receives the application it will provide the notice and instructions to the applicant. Any questions please contact the District Office.
Goals & Accomplishments
Land Use Projects in Manhattan Community Board 4
Visit the Department of City Planning’s Zoning Application Portal (“ZAP”). The Zoning Application Portal offers the ability to search for specific land use applications 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 databases (i.e.Automated City Register Information System (ACRIS), Building Information System (BISweb) , New York City’s Zoning & Land Use Map (ZoLa).
City Planning has a multitude of digital planning tools. View a full catalog of City Planning’s digital tools