Fast Tracks Text Amendment by Chin & BP Brewer to Subject Out-of-Scale 2 Bridges Proposals to ULURP

CITY HALL – At a Stated Meeting held yesterday afternoon, New York City Council unanimously passed Council Member Margaret S. Chin’s legislation that would serve as a vital tool to strengthen residents’ efforts to fight against overdevelopment in their neighborhoods, without having to jump through bureaucratic hoops.  Intro 1685 would enable the Mayor, Borough President or the City Council Land Use Committee to exempt themselves from Pre-Application requirements, allowing complete applications to be certified more expediently for review by City Planning.

“Vulnerable neighborhoods across the City are under threat by overdevelopment, and our fight in Two Bridges is no exception,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. “By allowing the City Council and Borough President to submit complete land use applications without having to undergo the time consuming Pre-Application process, this legislation would give residents a real chance to fight back.  As a result, elected officials would be more responsive to immediate land issues that arise, and better create a pathway for residents to take back control and shape the future of their neighborhoods.”

“Our text amendment for Two Bridges is straightforward, it deals with issues that have been thoroughly discussed, and we are advancing it in our capacity as this neighborhood’s elected representatives,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “Applications like this one shouldn’t be tied up in red tape, and clarifying the rules to make sure they get the timely consideration they deserve is the right thing to do.”

At a Council Land Use hearing last Thursday, Council Member Chin faced off with a REBNY representative who testified against the legislation, referring to it as “a threat to as-of-right development.” In response, Council Member Chin lauded the legislation as a tool “to level the playing field.”

In 2016, Council Member Chin joined Manhattan Borough President Brewer and other area elected officials on a letter to demand that the Department of City Planning initiate a full public review process for three proposed luxury developments in the Two Bridges LSRD. After City Planning rejected this request, Council Member Chin stood with community advocates and tenant leaders to push for a full Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) process.

With elected officials and advocates moving to block the construction of the mega towers, the passage of Intro 1685 marks an important milestone in the community’s efforts to initiate a transparent and comprehensive public review process.

Today’s legislation would fast track specific land use applications to public review, including a rare text amendment filed this month by Council Member Chin and Borough President Brewer that would subject the proposed Two Bridges mega towers to ULURP.

As the elected representative of neighborhoods under threat from overdevelopment, Council Member Chin is determined to change the institutionalized top-down process that shuts the community out of important land use decisions. This legislation would serve as a pivotal tool in the efforts to subject the proposed out-of-scale Two Bridges developments to transparent public review, and will empower residents across the City to work with their elected officials to protect their neighborhoods.

Intro 1685 was also approved unanimously by all Members present at yesterday’s Land Use hearing.