Mayor Bill de Blasio has tapped Anita Laremont to take on two new roles: City Planning Commission chair and director of the Department of City Planning.
Laremont, who has served as executive director of the Department of City Planning since 2018, succeeds Marisa Lago, who earlier this month was nominated by President Biden for a position at the Department of Commerce. The chair is the top position at City Planning, and is always held in tandem with the director role. The department’s executive director, who is selected by the chair, oversees day-to-day operations and department staff. It has not yet been determined who will succeed Laremont as executive director.
Laremont first joined City Planning as general counsel in 2014 and played a key role in crafting the de Blasio administration’s signature Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program. Prior to that, she was a partner at Harris Beach, where she worked for the law firm’s real estate, land use and government agency practice. Starting in the early 1980s, she spent nearly 25 years in the legal department of Empire State Development, including 16 years as general counsel.
Laremont steps into the chair position with a little over three months left of the de Blasio administration, with several key land-use applications awaiting approval. On Wednesday, the commission approved the rezonings of Gowanus and the New York Blood Center on the Upper East Side. Other proposals at stake include the rezoning of Soho and Noho and a controversial plan to require special permits for new hotel construction.
Mitch Korbey, partner at Herrick and former director of the Department of City Planning’s Brooklyn office, said Laremont’s appointment ensures a level of continuity in leadership during the final months of the administration.
“There’s a lot left to do,” he added.