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NYC approves changes to city’s land use review process in decisive vote

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All five ballot measures passed in New York’s general election

Max Touhey

It’s official: Modest changes are coming to the city’s land use review process.

New Yorkers voted to pass Ballot Question No. 5, which will extend the review period for projects going through the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), in yesterday’s general election. It passed by a very wide margin, with just about 76 percent of voters casting a ballot for the proposal.

The ballot measure will change the ULURP process—which you can read about here—in two crucial ways. It will give community boards extra time—an additional 15 to 30 days—to review a land use application, but only for those filed in June and July. And it will require the Department of City Planning (which approves ULURP applications) to provide an in-depth summary of any projects that are in the pre-certification phase to the relevant community board and borough president at least 30 days before the application is complete.

The proposal is one of five that came out of the city’s Charter Revision Commission, which reviews the city’s governing document (its Constitution, essentially) and makes recommendations for amendments. All five of those measures ended up getting the green light from voters yesterday; the other four will implement ranked choice voting in primary elections, add more members to the board that oversees police misconduct, extend a ban on lobbying for former elected officials, and create a “rainy day fund” in the city’s budget.

In other election news, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams held on to his seat, winning 78 percent of the vote. And in Queens, former borough president Melinda Katz was elected district attorney.