Land Use and Planning During the State of Emergency: ULURP Freeze
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced late yesterday Emergency Executive Order No. 100, which will, among other things, temporarily suspend (1) the requirement that the City Council hold two stated meetings every month, (2) the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (“ULURP”), (3) the landmark designation process, and (4) cancel the special election for Queens Borough President.
Effective as of Monday, March 16, 2020, ULURP has been suspended. Time limitations on public hearings, certification, submission of recommendations, required or necessary voting, and the taking of final actions are suspended and tolled for the duration of the State of Emergency. This means that community board meetings, borough president hearings, and City Planning Commission and City Council hearings and review will not take place during the State of Emergency in order to help curb the spread of COVID-19 by avoiding in-person gatherings and practicing social distancing.
Emergency Executive Order No. 100 also directs the Department of Buildings, along with other agencies, to “take all appropriate and necessary steps to preserve public safety and the health of their employees.”
As of this morning, we have received guidance from the Department of City Planning reiterating these suspensions and tolling. We have also received specific guidance from other agencies including the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the Board of Standards and Appeals, and the Department of Buildings.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission has canceled all public hearings for the remainder of March. All staff are telecommuting and working remotely. The agency is accepting applications electronically during this time.
The Board of Standards and Appeals will be holding public hearings via teleconference, which can be viewed from its website. Members of the public and the applicant can submit testimony electronically. The agency also strongly encourages applicants to submit all applications electronically, and is not requiring hard copies of application materials to be submitted.
The Department of Buildings has issued guidance to limit the walk-in traffic, encouraging everyone to use the electronic filing systems available.
Understandably, the situation is very fluid, and we will continue to provide information as we receive it in real time. Please check back for updates, and feel free to reach out to the Stroock Land Use and Environmental Team with any questions you have.
Stay safe and healthy.
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