"With nearly one-third of the city rezoned under the current administration, what's left to do?" asks Matt Chaban. "A lot, it turns out."
The massive Domino Sugar refinery redevelopment, a 63-story Ferris wheel on Staten Island, and the Mayor's own push the rezone Midtown East are among the dozens of projects hoping to advance through the approvals process before the Bloomberg administration leaves office at the end of the year.
"The reason for the frenzy is simple: The planning commission, along with the City Council, has the final say on the shape of all land-use projects," explains Chaban. "Without City Planning's approval now, dozens of projects will need to start from square one with a commission headed by the new mayor's appointees—seven of the 13 members—a prospect that will add great uncertainty, and potentially months or even years of work."
"In an effort to meet its titanic obligations, the [planning] department recently added four temporary planners at its Manhattan headquarters," he adds.
“Mayor Bloomberg has asked all city agencies to get as much done as they possibly can in the next 134 days, and the Department of City Planning is working hard to do just that,” said a spokesman for the department.