It is important to understand this process, so we know where we are at.
- Request: A request (by a person, community group, community board, land owner etc) is put into the City to rezone or change an are
- Information Meetings: City Planning meets with all interested parties and gathers consensus about what changes are to take place and where etc.. (We are currently at this stage and this is where we need to change the request from mix- commercial and residential back to commercial on Empire Blvd.!)
- Pre-Application Presented. Community Board 9 presents to the City a pre-application based upon information gathered at the 2 step.
- The City receives the application and if an Environmental Study is required, will allocate funds to complete this study. – (Now this rezoning request is in the hands of the City, which means it is in the hands of the Developers!!!!)
- Environmental Analysis: An Environmental Review and possibly an Environmental study is conducted based upon the application’s parameters and goals. All along changes will be made to the original application based upon the facts received, community input, city planning goals and the politician’s goals. (This is where the switch will happen, if we allow residential to go on the table, where the 6 story buildings will become 20 stories as they find out developers can’t make a profit and the city wants affordable housing!)
- Certified Application. Once all this information is gathered a certified application is Completed and sent to the various political entities for approval (Called the ULURP Process) and finally the City Council to allow it to be passed into law,
We have simplified this process to make it easier to understand, without all the legal jargon etc.., but it is the process. Here is the link of City Planning PDF file. http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/ap/dcpprocessmap.pdf
Please note that all along the way there will be opportunities for the public to be heard, hearings conducted etc…, but don’t be fooled! The developers own city planning and they have the politicians in their back pockets. How else did the City approve “Jim Crow Laws in 2014 in NYC!”
The smartest thing for us to do is recognize our power and limitations. We are powerful at the community level and no further! Even more affluent neighborhoods haven’t been able to negotiate with developers. We can’t give this to them! That is our power!
Residential should not be on the table for them to study, what would be the point? If that isn’t what we want at the community level! That is because it will now be in their hands and they will make decisions based upon the interest of developers and not us, as they have been doing all over New York City!