It is now easier than ever for the public to weigh in on certain New Building and Alterations projects in NYC.
The Department of Buildings recently announced that zoning diagrams (ZD1) for accepted projects deemed eligible for public challenge will be available to access on the Public Portal of DOB NOW.
How to Access
To access the list, go to the DOB NOW homepage (link below) and scroll down to the sixth blue box, labeled “Zoning Approvals Eligible for Public Challenge”. Clicking it will expand into the full spreadsheet, which will have multiple toggles to organize the information how you like.
Listings include the ZD1, job number and type, location information, job status, and a listed Challenge Period End Date, marking the usual 45-day window for people to submit a challenge to the zoning approval.
A ZD1 “graphically summarizes the proposed zoning bulk, yards, and street plantings with detailed drawings, including site plans and projections describing vertical dimensions.” While ZD1s are required prior to approval with all initial filings for New Building and Alteration enlargement applications, only NBs or alterations that affect the exterior envelope of the building are open to public scrutiny.
About Public Review
This public review is done to increase transparency and ensure zoning compliance. A zoning approval may be contested on the basis of its affect on the neighborhood as a whole or on diverging from the normal zoning requirements for the area, among others.
After the 45-day window, any challenges filed will be provided to the applicant and the borough commissioner, which shall begin a review process. If a challenge is determined to be valid, appropriate enforcement action will be taken, including issuance of Stop Work Orders, revoking of permits, and so on.
An applicant can appeal the decision, and may need to amend the zoning approval in order to resolve objections. However, if amendments are made for reasons other than addressing zoning objections (also known as a Post-Approval Amendment), a new ZD1 will be required and the 45-day public challenge period will be triggered again.
New York City was the first city in the nation to put diagrams of proposed new buildings or major enlargements online back in 2009, to enable the public to view the size and scale of a proposed building before challenging the city’s zoning decisions. This move to DOB NOW marks a natural progression towards transparency that building developers should be aware of.
For assistance with navigating zoning laws, resolving violations, or any other building code matters, feel free to reach out to Outsource Consultants
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