On Monday, May 3, 2021, the New York City Planning Commission (CPC) “referred” the Department of City Planning’s (DCP) proposed zoning text that would mandate a Special Permit for all new hotels in New York City, beginning the City’s public review process for approval of the proposed text. This proposed Hotel Special Permit will be applicable to all new hotel developments, changes of use, conversions or enlargements to a hotel use in a building that did not previously contain a hotel use, or an enlargement of an existing hotel use that increases the existing floor area by 20% or more. The Special Permit will not be applicable to:
The only finding required by the proposed Hotel Special Permit is that the proposed hotel use would not impair the future use or development of the surrounding area. This proposed Hotel Special Permit covers proposed hotels in all Special Districts and removes any existing findings for hotel special permits in a Special District.
At today’s referral, the CPC Commissioners questioned the rationale behind the proposal, its far-reaching implications, and whether its current timing, while the City’s tourism industry is still recovering from the pandemic, is appropriate. These questions will likely be explored further during the City’s public review process, where the proposal will be reviewed by the City’s Community Boards, Borough Boards, Borough Presidents, the CPC, and ultimately, the City Council. The public review process for the proposed Hotel Special Permit is expected to be complete by Fall of 2021, at which time, if the zoning text is approved, the Special Permit will take effect. We will continue to monitor the process and advise on any updates. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions about the proposed Hotel Special Permit.