Council also votes on legislation to protect New Yorkers against lead exposure, create Office of the Homeowner Advocate, support striking actors and writers’ fight for fair contracts, reduce barriers to building environmentally friendly homes, develop a map of bicycle infrastructure, and call for state law to eliminate legacy admissions preferences at colleges in New York
City Hall, NY – Today, the New York City Council voted to establish a newly revised permanent outdoor dining program under local law that incorporates lessons from the emergency pandemic outdoor restaurants program. It helps make the permanent program accessible and inclusive to more restaurants, similar to the temporary emergency program, while addressing concerns with more orderly and uniform regulation. The program allows for year-round outdoor dining options: 12 months of sidewalk dining, similar to the pre-pandemic program, and for the first time will allow permanent roadway dining for the warmer 8 months of the year, from April through November. The legislation eases the application process and lowers the cost of participation for restaurants, compared to the pre-pandemic program. As legal authorization of the emergency open restaurants program was determined to be expired, the Council’s approval of the permanent program assures restaurants will be able to continue with outdoor dining uninterrupted.
In addition, the Council voted on legislation that protects New Yorkers against lead contamination, creates the Office of the Homeowner Advocate, supports the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) in calling for fair contracts, reduces barriers to building environmentally friendly homes, develops a map of bicycle infrastructure conditions, and calls for passage and enactment of State Law to prohibit legacy admissions preferences at colleges.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, outdoor dining became a lifeline for small businesses and New Yorkers seeking socialization and normalcy,” said Speaker Adrienne Adams. “As we move from an emergency program to one under local law, this legislation strikes the right balance for restaurants, neighborhoods, and all New Yorkers. It allows a greater number of restaurants to continue participating, while easing the bureaucratic barriers, making the licensing costs affordable, and providing orderly and uniform regulations that were missing from the temporary program. This permanent program will serve and support our neighborhoods, restaurants, residents and city for years to come.”
Establishing a Permanent Outdoor Dining Program in New York City
Introduction 31-C, sponsored by Council Member Marjorie Velázquez, will establish a permanent outdoor dining program that incorporates benefits and lessons from the emergency pandemic-era outdoor dining program. The legislation will make it less bureaucratically prohibitive and more affordable for restaurants to participate in outdoor dining than the previous sidewalk café licensing scheme that existed before the COVID-19 pandemic. It will also create more orderly and uniform regulation of outdoor dining that provides reliable consistency for restaurants and neighborhoods alike.
Introduction 31-C will:
- Allow sidewalk cafés to operate year-round, and for the first time permanently allow roadway cafés to operate most of the year, specifically the warmer 8 months of April through November.
- Make the costs for restaurants to participate in the outdoor dining program more affordable and lower, compared to the pre-pandemic outdoor dining licensing and revocable consent process.
- Reduce the required processes and timelines for restaurants to receive approval from city agencies and entities.
- In conjunction with zoning changes approved by the Council in 2022, permit more neighborhoods and restaurants within them to be eligible for participation in outdoor dining than the previous pre-pandemic sidewalk café program.
- Allow restaurants to continue their outdoor dining operations, even after this local law takes effect, as long as they apply for a license and submit a petition for a revocable consent on or before the date set forth by the Department of Transportation (DOT), which cannot be less than three months after the rules go into effect.
- Establish DOT as the agency to administer licensing of both sidewalk and roadway cafes and enforce rules pertaining to their operation, in continued coordination with other city agencies.
- Sheds, or any structure that does not comply with rules set by DOT, must be taken down no later than 30 days after the determination by DOT to grant or deny a revocable consent to operate a sidewalk or roadway cafe, or by November 1, 2024, whichever comes first.
“Outdoor dining helped buoy New York City’s economy during the COVID lockdowns, and has been embraced as a creative solution to address the post-pandemic economic crisis. We have spent the past year negotiating and modifying the bill to be as inclusive and equitable as possible, meeting the needs of the different types of restaurants and eateries across our city. This was not a one-size-fits-all bill, and that’s the beauty of it. I am proud to have advocated for our small businesses throughout this process and look forward to seeing them thrive,” said Council Member Marjorie Velázquez. “I would like to thank Mayor Adams and Speaker Adams for their support throughout this process; City Council’s Legislative Division for their dedication in drafting a bill that will meet the needs of all parties, delivering to New Yorkers by presenting legislation that makes outdoor dining a reality for all. Special thanks to Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez and his team for taking on this incredible project; my colleagues at the New York City Council for their sponsorship of this bill, and the countless advocates for being a part of this moment in history.”
Protecting New Yorkers from Lead Exposure
Introduction 5-A, sponsored by Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala, would require building owners to produce records of lead-based hazard inspections and investigations and any remediation measures taken whenever an owner is issued a lead-based paint violation.
Introduction 6-A, sponsored by Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala, would expand the current lead-based hazard remediation requirement for buildings at turnover to all units where a child under 6 years old lives prior to turnover of that unit and require owners to conduct this remediation work by July 1, 2027.
Introduction 750-A, sponsored by Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala, would require the Departments of Housing Preservation and Development and Health and Mental Hygiene to annually identify and inspect buildings where children live and where there might be a risk of exposure to lead-based hazards. This would move the city’s inspection process for lead-based paint hazards to a proactive one rather than simply a complaint driven process.
“Through this legislative package, we will not only be protecting current residents from the dangers of lead exposure but also safeguarding future generations,” said Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala. “Our children deserve to grow up in homes free from harmful substances, and it is our duty to create an environment where their health and safety are paramount. As public servants, it is our ethical and moral obligation to protect the health and well-being of our fellow citizens. By taking action today, we demonstrate our dedication to the principles of public health and the fundamental rights of every New Yorker. Together, we can create a safer, healthier, and more resilient city for all.”
Creating the Office of the Homeowner Advocate
Introduction 384-A, sponsored by Council Member Selvena Brooks-Powers, would create an office of the Homeowner Advocate within the Department of Housing Preservation and Development to provide information, resources and assistance to homeowners.
“Homeownership has long been a vehicle for Americans to build wealth. But for low-income New Yorkers and New Yorkers of color, investing in a home – and keeping it, such that a family can build equity over generations – has scarcely been harder than it is today,” said Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks-Powers. “We need to invest in homeownership, such that New Yorkers know the City has their back. That is why I’m proud to sponsor Introduction 384 to create the Office of the Homeowner Advocate to provide support and resources to homeowners and create public awareness campaigns about their rights and responsibilities. I look forward to working with the administration to expand resources for homeowners in communities like mine – and making the American Dream more accessible here in New York City.”
Supporting Fair Contracts for the Writers Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists Unions
Resolution 694-A, sponsored by Council Member Carmen De La Rosa, would recognize the Writers Guild of America’s strike and call for the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers to engage in good-faith negotiations to provide a fair contract.
Resolution 729-A, sponsored by Council Members Amanda Farias and Carmen De La Rosa, would express support for the Screen Actors Guild strike in pursuit of a fair contract, recognizing the role of the film and television industry in New York City’s culture and economy.
“New York City is proudly a union town and a home to creators of all kinds,” said Council Member Carmen De La Rosa. “As inflation and the cost of living continues to soar, it is important that our workforce can sustain a life of dignity in our city. Wages, however, have remained stagnant. Large companies have made profits off of the backs of our entertainment workers for far too long, shamelessly making millions and threatening the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people. We expect the AMPTP to engage in good faith — New York City is depending on it.”
“I am proud to continue to show unwavering support and solidarity for the SAG-AFTRA and WGA labor unions as they fight for a fair and just contract for their members and all workers,” said Council Member Amanda Farías. “The strike we are witnessing now is the Film and TV industry’s first industry wide shutdown in 63 years. An industry that has changed over the decades, including how we consume TV and film, but the demands for a fair and just workplace have not. This is why this City Council is standing in solidarity. Many of us know and appreciate the value having a thriving TV, film, and production community for any city and this is why myself, Chair De La Rosa, and my council colleagues, made it a priority to introduce two important resolutions that solidify this Council’s support for members of SAG-AFTRA and the WGA in New York City and nationwide.”
Reducing Barriers to Environmentally Friendly Homes
Introduction 689-A, sponsored by Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, would eliminate the Department of Building permit, inspection or other service fees related to certain green building projects for one to three family homes.
Developing a Map of Bicycle Infrastructure Conditions
Introduction 289-A, sponsored by Council Member Carlina Rivera, would require the Department of Transportation to create a searchable map that shows all of the City’s bike lanes with information about obstructions caused by street construction, maintenance, or repairs, and the location of temporary bicycle lanes. The map will also have information about the location of open streets, bicycle parking infrastructure, micromobility share programs and stations, and information on how to report bicycle lane issues.
“Daily biking rates over East River bridges have increased from under 5,000 trips a day in 2002 to over 24,000 a day in 2022. As more New Yorkers embrace cycling as a sustainable and efficient mode of transportation City leadership must make the appropriate investments to support a seamless and safe bike lane network. Far too many bikers are put at risk unnecessarily each day, and we cannot continue to accept a status quo that prioritizes car drivers over everyone else. High-quality and comprehensive bike infrastructure, including online information on routes and detours, that protects cyclists from hazards is critical to improving public safety and quality of life for all New Yorkers,” said Council Member Carlina Rivera.
Calling for Enactment of State Law to Prohibit Legacy Admissions Preferences at Colleges
Resolution 237-A, sponsored by Council Member Eric Dinowitz, calls on the New York State Legislature to pass, and the Governor to sign, the Fair College Admissions Act, which would prohibit legacy admissions preferences at undergraduate institutions in New York State and declare such policies as inequitable and discriminatory.
“I am honored to spearhead this resolution urging New York State to ban the practice of legacy admissions,” said Council Member Eric Dinowitz. “We must address this issue head-on and ensure educational, economic, and social equity for all New Yorkers who seek access to a college education. Legacy admissions is a relic of the past that has long favored white and wealthy families at the cost of applicants of color and other disadvantaged groups. I stand by State Senator Andrew Gounardes and Assemblywoman Latrice Walker in their efforts to secure fairness and meritocracy in our educational institutions, rather than family connections or background.”
Ocean Crest Rezoning – The Community Builders Beach Channel Drive Limited seeks a Zoning Map Amendment to change an existing R4-1 zoning district to R6A. This action will facilitate a 100% affordable homeownership project with 89 units, in Majority Whip Selvena Brooks-Powers’ district.
7120 New Utrecht Rezoning – 7120 New Utrecht LLC seeks a Zoning Map Amendment to change an existing R5/C2-2 zoning district to C4-4L and a related Zoning Text Amendment to map the rezoning area as a Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) area, Options 1 and 2. These actions will facilitate a new mixed-used eight-story building. It will include approximately 88 housing units, including 26 affordable units, 35 accessory off street parking spaces and 52 bicycle parking spaces, in Council Member Justin Brannan’s district.
1160 Flushing Avenue – 1160 Flushing Ave LLC seeks a zoning map amendment to change an existing M1-1 zoning district to M1-5 to rezone a portion of a block in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn. The Council is modifying the rezoning area to remove additional properties along Wyckoff Avenue where there is no agreement or commitment in place to provide industrial space, in line with recommendations from Brooklyn Community Board 4 and the Brooklyn Borough President, in Council Member Jennifer Gutiérrez’s district.
56 William Avenue – The Estate of Clement Marotte is applying for a zoning text amendment to remove a portion of “Designated Open Space” within the Special South Richmond Development District to facilitate the development of one two-family home in the Great Kills neighborhood of Staten Island, in Minority Leader Joseph Borelli’s district.
696 Seat Primary School Facility– The New York City School Construction Authority (NYCSCA),proposed site selection for property located at120-08 Jamaica Avenue in the Richmond Hill neighborhood of Queens. These actions will facilitate the construction of a new primary school with approximately 696 seats which will serve Community School District 27, in Council Member Lynn Schulman’s district.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission’s designation of Linden Street Historic District – a remarkably cohesive and distinctive block of 32 row houses, built in the late 1800s in the Queen Anne, neo-Grec, and Renaissance/Romanesque Revival styles in the Bushwick neighborhood in Brooklyn, in Council Member Gutiérrez’s district.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission’s designation of Former Colored School No. 4 – the mid – block building located at 128 West 17th Street, in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. The City’s Public-School Society in the late 1840’s built the schoolhouse to serve Black children exclusively until the public school system closed segregated schools in 1894, in Council Member Bottcher’s district.
Transparency Resolution: Approving new designations and changes of certain organizations receiving funding in the Expense Budget.