The Zoning Resolution is the blueprint for the development of the City and the City Planning Commission is chief architect. The Commission, which is staffed by the Department of City Planning, is responsible for zoning amendments and the issuance of discretionary land use approvals such as special permits and authorizations. The Commission occupies the central role in the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), a Charter mandated process for the review and approval of major discretionary land use actions. Representative City Planning projects include the following:
- Rezoning and special permits for a large-scale residential development in Cooper Square on the Lower East Side (Avalon Bay).
- Mapping and waterfront approvals for large-scale residential development in Long Island City (Vernon Associates).
- Special permit for a "big box" retail center in East New York (Bermuda Realty).
- Rezoning for a large-scale residential project in Prospect Gardens, Brooklyn (ESP).
- Representation of coop owners in connection with proposed development on shared zoning lot (Lincoln Towers Owners Corporation).
- Representation of condo owners in negotiating changes to the Fordham University Master Plan (Fordham Neighbors United).
- Representation of condominium in connection with sale of land to the City of New York (Southbridge Towers).
- Special permits for supportive housing projects (Common Ground).
- Rezoning and disposition of City owner property for affordable housing project in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn (L&M Equity).
Board of Standards and Appeals:
The BSA hears and decides applications for variances to the Zoning Resolution based on hardship, special permits for certain uses, and appeals of Department of Buildings final determinations. Representative projects include the following:
- Variance for a large mixed-use project in Long Island City including a market-rate residential and a dormitory for the City University of New York Graduate Center (O'Connor Capital).
- Variance for a 23-story residential building above a subway tunnel on East Houston Street (Edison Properties).
- Variance to convert a large vacant manufacturing building to residential use on Water Street in DUMBO (GDC Properties).
- Variance to convert a large vacant warehouse to residential use on Imlay Street in Red Hook (Industry City Associates).
- Variances for the enlargement of private schools on the Upper East Side (The Chapin School and York Preparatory School).
- Variance for the development of an assisted living facility in Manhattan (Cabrini Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation).
Landmarks Preservation Commission:
The LPC is responsible for the designation of individual landmarks and historic districts. Once a building or district is designated, LPC approvals are required for work affecting the exterior of existing buildings and the construction of new buildings or enlargements. Representative projects include the following:
- Certificate of No Effect for the conversion of large manufacturing building on Water Street in Brooklyn (GDC).
- Certificate of No Effect for 19-story enlargement of RKO Keith's theater in Flushing, Queens (Boymelgreen).
- Certificate of Appropriateness for conversion of Church to residential use in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn (Triangle Equities).
- Section 74-711 special permits for change of use of properties in SoHo (DCD Capital, Stillwater).
- Representation of neighborhood group opposed to proposed enlargement of the Parke-Bernet building in Upper East Side Historic District (New Yorkers for Responsible Development).
- Representation of restaurant in major enforcement proceeding by LPC (Sushi Samba).
- Representation of brokerage and management company in connection with landmarks violations in Manhattan (Brown Harris Stevens).
- Representation of artist Chuck Close in connection with adjacent development in the NoHo Historic District.
Green Zoning and Sustainable Development:
Efforts are increasingly underway by the City and State to encourage environmentally sound development. GoldmanHarris is deeply involved in those efforts, as follows:
- Leader in NYC Bar Association efforts to amend the Zoning Resolution to encourage sustainable development.
- Drafter of State legislation to provide tax credits for green roofs.