On May 9, 2019, CHPC testified before the 2019 New York City Charter Revision Commission regarding its Preliminary Staff Report.

The Commission received over 300 publicly submitted Charter revision proposals, which it spent months reviewing and soliciting input on from subject area experts. The Commission staff incorporated this extensive feedback into its recommendations for which proposals to pursue, as published in the Preliminary Staff Report. CHPC weighed in on the report’s land use and planning components.

Jessica Katz, Executive Director at CHPC: “CHPC is in full support of requiring Community Boards to be notified of ULURP applications prior to their certification. Building discourse and trust early on is beneficial for both applicants and communities. Local stakeholders will have more time to prepare for ULURP to begin.

However, duplicating a ULURP comment period will only add opacity, confusion, and conflict. Certification precedes ULURP so that applications reach technical compliance before undergoing public review.  A community that spends time and energy commenting on an uncertified application will only encounter more frustration if it is then significantly revised to satisfy DCP feedback, especially if changes conflict with community wishes. And since residents will have only very little time to engage and participate before comments begin, the pool of voices contributing to the process will become narrower and more exclusive.

Pre-certification is different for every project. It needs to remain fluid so that the subsequent ULURP itself is clear and transparent.

In this spirit, we support an extension of the Community Board comment period from 60 to 75 days throughout the entire calendar year. Coupled with early notification, the extension will give Community Boards more time to host multiple meetings or hearings, diversifying who gets to participate and how.

How to participate- this is the critical question…”

Full testimony below.

CHPC's testimony, Jessica Katz, May 9, 2019
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