City Council speaker Corey Johnson is facing an uphill battle on getting approval for his proposed overhaul of the city’s land use process, especially now that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration has come out against the proposal.
City Hall officials, including Department of City Planning head Marisa Lago, will testify against the bill during a Council hearing later today, the New York Daily News reported. The reason? It’s too expensive.
According to estimates from the Office of Management and Budget, the bill would cost the city close to $500 million per decade, with much of that going toward carrying out environmental impact assessments for different development scenarios. Johnson’s proposal calls for having stakeholders weigh in on three land-use scenarios for each community district when a change is proposed, each of which would require its own assessment.
The bill, which Johnson introduced in December, lays out a 10-year planning cycle that incorporates more opportunities for community members to weigh in on land use decisions in their neighborhoods.
But it has already faced pushback from the usual sources outside of City Hall. A coalition of community groups, including Soho Alliance (which opposes the rezoning of Soho and Noho) and Voices of Gowanus (which opposes the rezoning of that Brooklyn neighborhood), have joined forces against the legislation.
Land use attorneys also see issues with the plan. “The idea of additional community input into each of these aspects raises two questions, the most important of which is, how do you balance citywide needs with local concerns? That is a fundamental conundrum,” Kenneth Fisher, an attorney with Cozen O’Connor and a former City Council member, told The Real Deal in December.
The Council hearing on the bill will begin at 10 a.m. [NYDN] — Amy Plitt