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Development Coordinator Initiative

New York City Bar


Land Use, Planning & Zoning Committee
December 22, 2009

Confidential - For Discussion Purposes Only


Background
Developers, contractors and other licensed professionals must obtain
numerous signoffs and approvals from various City agencies, which sometimes
result in conflicting directives. The Development Coordinator Initiative is
intended to provide clarity and resolution on private developments.

“We are going to do everything possible to make it easier to do


business with the City... We’ll bring together all the City agencies that
work with housing and commercial developers - and hold them
accountable for avoiding delays.”

-Mayor Bloomberg
State of the City Address 2009

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Confidential - For Discussion Purposes Only
Purpose
• The Development Coordinator seeks to reduce the time and
cost of private development through two primary functions:

1. Provide a forum for agency leadership to resolve inter-agency policy and


jurisdictional conflicts on a case by case basis
2. Work with agencies and developers to identify systemic conflicts and
recommend process improvements

• The Development Coordinator is invested with significant authority


to facilitate decision-making and achieve resolution.

• Future functions may include:


1. Facilitate inter-agency review of all new agency proposals for development
related rules
2. Develop a framework to anticipate conflicts relating to upcoming development
projects
3. Implement an interactive version of DOB’s Required Items Guide to improve
transparency before the approval process begins

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Confidential - For Discussion Purposes Only
Staff and Organizational Structure

• The Development Coordinator works within the Mayor’s Office of


Operations.

• Agencies have appointed leadership who serve as “Development


Coordinator Representatives” and work with the Coordinator to
achieve case by case resolution.
– The following agencies have been identified as critical to the
Initiative’s success:
• CJC, DCP, DDC, Design Commission, DEP, DOB, DOF, DOT, DPR,
EDC, FDNY, HPD, LPC, SBS

• The Coordinator also seeks to facilitate resolution between City


agencies and entities outside the City’s authority—including State
agencies, public authorities, and utility companies.

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Confidential - For Discussion Purposes Only
Intake Process
• Developers, contractors, engineers, architects, plumbers or other individuals
involved in a private project in Brooklyn or Queens that has been delayed
because of specific conflicting City policies may apply for review and
resolution by the Development Coordinator. The application may be
accessed at: www.nyc.gov/devcoordinator

• Once an application is submitted, the Coordinator staff interview the


applicant within 48 hours to get any necessary further details.

• The Coordinator reaches out to the relevant agency staff to confirm the
accuracy of the application.

• If the Coordinator determines that an interagency or intraagency conflict


does in fact exist, the application will be presented at meetings for review
and resolution.

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Confidential - For Discussion Purposes Only
Pilot Results
• Development Coordinator was launched with the following pilot:

– Start Date: June 1, 2009 in Brooklyn; August 31, 2009 in Queens

– Scope: Inter-agency conflicts relating to new buildings and major


alterations in Brooklyn and Queens

– 33 applications received to date ( of which are pending)


– 7 cases: substantive inter-agency issues involving DOB, DCP, DOT, DPR,
EDC, HPD, DOF, Law Department, NYCTransit; multiple meetings and
communications, complex negotiations
– 13 cases: Ops provided substantive guidance that may not have existed
through another channel or was inaccessible to public
– 7 cases: informational
– 6 cases: pending or applicant has dropped matter/failed to respond to
Ops inquiry

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Confidential - For Discussion Purposes Only
Addressing Systemic Problems
• Development Coordinator outreach sessions and applications are
also intended to “surface” systemic development issues in need of
resolution.

• Example: Citywide Tree Planting Issues

– In conjunction with DPR, implemented Brooklyn developers’


requests for a Refundable Tree Payment Alternative (available as
of August)

– Working with DPR and DOB to:


1. Improve coordination between Builder’s Pavement Plan
approvals and tree planting regulations; and
2. Increase transparency and clarify expectations at outset for
developers, contractors and licensed professionals

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Confidential - For Discussion Purposes Only
Next Steps
Identify:

1. Persistent inter-agency conflicts impacting development


– Where are there bottlenecks?
– Which inter-agency issues come up frequently?

2. Outreach opportunities

3. Specific projects which could benefit from the Initiative

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Confidential - For Discussion Purposes Only