New York Launches Program to Speed Up Approvals

Announced this week by Deputy Mayor Robert Steel, a new program being launched by the Department of City Planning on July 2 will seek to dramatically improve the time it takes a project to traverse the city's land use approval process.
June 22, 2012, 11am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Apparently, Los Angeles isn't the only city aiming to streamline its development approvals process. It's unlikely that the timing of these reform efforts is coincidental, as both planning departments respond to developer frustrations with increasing processing times necessitated by complex public processes (and strained planning departments), and pressures from development-friendly mayors to speed up the approval of projects that can bring jobs and increased revenues to city coffers.

Adam Fusfeld provides the details on New York's new Business Process Reform, or BluePRint, program, which promises to expedite by 50% the time it takes to go through the pre-certification process prior to entering the formal public review stage, known as Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP).

"During the pre-application process, City Planning works with developers to formulate land use proposals and conduct an environmental analysis ahead of ULURP. Steel said streamlining that process would save developers some $100 million annually, and help the agency work through the 500 applications it receives annually at a faster pace," writes Fusfeld.

"By the time all the planned upgrades are fully implemented in 2015, City Planning promises there will be a system for electronic applications that will allow developers, and the public, to track the certification."

"Revamping the pre-certification process for land use review took $2 million and 18 months to develop. It follows a separate program launched in April that aimed to help speed the approval process for new Department of Building applications through three-dimensional, electronic submissions."

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Published on Thursday, June 21, 2012 in The Real Deal
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