City Planning names new chief lawyer

Susan Amron will work on key rezonings, ULURPs and legal challenges

120 Broadway and Susan Amron (Credit: Google Maps)
120 Broadway and Susan Amron (Credit: Google Maps)

The Department of City Planning has tapped land use and environmental law expert Susan Amron as its new general counsel.

Amron, who most recently headed the environmental division of the city’s Law Department, starts on Tuesday, city officials told The Real Deal. She replaces Anita Laremont, who back in August was named the agency’s executive director, the No. 2 position at the department.

Laremont had been promoted to replace former executive director Purnima Kapur, who left for a consulting job at Harvard.

Amron’s worked with the Law Department for more than three decade and has served as a division head since 2010. She led the legal team that fought challenges to the creation of Brooklyn Bridge Park, and in 2009, helped win a $105 million judgement against Exxon Mobil, which was accused of contaminating the city’s groundwater.

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As City Planning’s general counsel, she’ll handle all legal work related to the agency and will work on major developments and rezonings (anything that goes through the uniform land use review process, ULURP). Potential rezonings on the horizon include Gowanus and Soho. She’ll also focus on zoning changes related to climate change and resiliency.

DCP is also fending off a lawsuit filed in December by the City Council and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer over the department’s approval of new residential towers in Two Bridges.

“I was here during Sandy, saw the devastation of Sandy,” she said. “I think if New York City is going to continue being the great city it is, resiliency has to be a part of how it plans for the future.”