NY — Mayor de Blasio Issues Executive Order Tolling New York City’s Land Use Review Process

March 18, 2020Alerts

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has effectively suspended the city's land use review process.

Mayor de Blasio issued Emergency Executive Order No. 98 on March 12, 2020, declaring a state of emergency in the City of New York due to the deepening crisis surrounding the spread of COVID-19, followed by Emergency Executive Order No. 100 on March 16, 2020, which effectively suspends the land use review process.

Specifically, Section 2 of the mayor’s order calls for a tolling of the timeline for review of land use applications pursuant to the City’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), which sets forth specific, individual lengths of time for review of such applications by the local community board, borough president, City Planning Commission, and City Council. According to the mayor’s order, the tolling of the ULURP timeline for applications in the midst of the process is to remain in effect for the duration of the state of emergency. Additionally, the mayor’s order suspends all processes relating to the designation of landmarks within the city, as well as other processes and procedures of the City Planning Commission with statutorily-imposed time limitations until the state of emergency is lifted.

The tolling of the City’s timeline for ULURP brings greater uncertainty to a process already wrought with variability, and will likely delay the start of many development projects currently in the ULURP pipeline. As the city continues to grapple with the need for construction of more affordable housing, the suspension of ULURP due to the COVID-19 crisis will further impede the creation of much-needed affordable units throughout the city in the near future. We will continue to monitor the effects of the mayor’s order on the city’s land use processes as the state of emergency remains.