New York City Council to Require 'Racial Equity Reports' for Many Land Use Applications

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP

The New York City Council on June 17 approved legislation that would mandate a “racial equity report” in connection with many rezonings, special permits and other land use applications submitted on or after June 1, 2022. The report will be required not only for upzonings and special permits that increase permitted floor area, but also for certain downzonings and historic district designations. The legislation (Intro. No. 1572-B) also requires the Department of City Planning (DCP) and Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to develop a new “equitable development data tool” with current and historical data regarding neighborhood demographics, housing affordability and other factors.

This report will not be required as part of the environmental review for a land use application but will be a separate component, although for private applicants the report would presumably be prepared by the applicant’s environmental consultant. It remains to be seen how this report will influence the land use process and what effect the information will have. For historic district designations, in particular, this type of information is not typically considered in designation determinations. 

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