The Real Deal New York

Filing for DOB permits is not lobbying: city officials

The Office of the Clerk opinion clarifies an earlier lobbying law
October 25, 2016 03:55PM

NYC City Hall

NYC City Hall

A 2013 update to the city’s lobbying laws had some developers, engineers and architects, who regularly file for permits from the Department of Buildings, wondering if they counted as lobbyists.

The Office of the City Clerk, which regulates lobbying activities in the city, issued an opinion Monday clarifying that participating in the DOB filing process for matters “relating to the issue of permits, approvals or other construction related documents” does not constitute lobbying, Crain’s reported.

The American Council of Engineering of New York, a trade organization representing engineers, had asked the city to clarify the language in the spring.

However, the opinion doesn’t address other confusing areas of the 2013 update, designed to ensure more transparency and disclosure around who is attempting to influence government.

It remains unclear whether engineers, architects and developers involved in larger projects that require extensive negotiating with the city — say projects that require rezoning or environmental impact reviews, and that need to go through the city’s review process — are counted as lobbyists.

The Office of the City Clerk has not yet weighed in. [Crain’s]Chava Gourarie