From Inwood to Bushwick, zoning changes and an increase in new construction have had communities on edge. How can you possibly have an opinion on whether the changes coming to your neighborhood are good or bad if you don’t even know what those changes are? Luckily, a number of websites – some from the Department of Buildings (DOB), many from other branches of city government – can help a conscientious
board stay informed.
Before you can keep track of your neighborhood, you have to know where you are. The Geographic Online Address Translator (https://on.nyc.gov/2S2zN64) lets you enter your geographic information, such as an address or intersection, and then learn the cross streets, side of street, tax block and lot, ZIP code, census tract and block, police precinct, community district, and City Council district. Once you have that information, you can check on your Community District here: https://on.nyc.gov/2S1VgfE
After you’ve checked out your district, you can look up projects under consideration in your area and click through to your Community Board site, where you can view a calendar of meetings and events, look through the minutes of previous meetings, and even apply to become a board member. (Different Community Board websites have different capabilities.)
The DOB’s Building on My Block website can give you more information about a specific project happening in your neighborhood. You can check the status of new buildings, major alterations, minor enlargements and full demolitions here: https://on.nyc.gov/385adD5
If you’re more of a visual learner, the DOB has two dashboards breaking down construction information via interactive maps and graphs. The first, the Active Major Construction dashboard (https://on.nyc.gov/2UC5pRE), provides an automated daily update of all currently active new building and building enlargement permits. You can sort the information by cost, square footage and number of proposed units. The NYC Construction dashboard, updated quarterly, takes that same information and compares it to historic data (https://on.nyc.gov/2OzBZA5).
For more general information, boards can check the NYC Planning Commission website for forthcoming initiatives, news, public meetings
and events, at https://on.nyc.gov/2H1TuVu.
And if rezoning is your biggest concern, get involved with the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, or ULURP. Community Board and City Planning Commission hearings on ULURP applications are open to the public; you can read more about the process online at https://on.nyc.gov/2ONyqXd.