On May 22 nd, 2017, Rosenberg & Estis, P.C. recently was honored to welcome City Councilman David G. Greenfield to address members of the firm on issues related to development in New York City. Greenfield represents the 44 th District in Brooklyn’s Bensonhurst, Borough Park, Midwood and Ocean Parkway neighborhoods. He is chair of the city’s Land Use Committee, overseeing zoning, landmarks, sidewalk cafes and city land and public facilities.
Speaking at R&E, Councilman Greenfield addressed the current development landscape in New York City, highlighting the de Blasio administration’s focus on affordable housing as its primary consideration with respect to citywide development. Greenfield explained the dynamics of the current approval process and said that while there is now a greater level of public scrutiny of discretionary land use actions than in the past, many projects can still proceed as-of-right.
With regard to affordable housing, the Councilman said that in addition to expanding housing opportunities for very low-income families, attention must also be paid to creating more affordable housing for moderate and middle income families.
Councilman Greenfield highlighted the success of the city in clearing up the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s calendar backlog of nearly 100 properties, some of which had sat on the calendar, unacted upon for 50 years. He also highlighted recent legislation that he had sponsored to require the Landmarks Commission to act on properties within a year of being calendared to ensure that such a backlog doesn’t reoccur.
Other land use topics discussed by the Councilman, both in his formal remarks and in the Q&A session afterward, included the zoning proposal for East Midtown currently in public review, which will allow the area’s landmarked properties greater latitude for transferring unused air rights in exchange for paying into a development fund to finance transportation improvements in and around Grand Central; the recent renewal of the hotel conversion moratorium, originally passed by the Council in 2015; and currently pending legislation at the Council that will place tighter restrictions and requirements on variance applications before the Board of Standards and Appeals.
Please click here to see more photos from this event on our Facebook page.