Some broader topics identified for attention by communities such as transportation or infrastructure improvements, job access or building code enforcement, do not lend themselves to a formal plan or report but are more appropriate for a concerted action strategy. These subjects might best be dealt with through a task force made up of representatives of appropriate agencies, community groups and elected officials. Successful outcomes achieved in recent years have included active leadership and cooperation of the Mayor’s Office, city agencies and elected officials in conjunction with active participation and commitment of local stakeholders.
Examples of highly successful task forces formed in recent years to develop solutions to pressing local issues include:
- The Hunts Point Vision Plan, developed in cooperation with business and community leaders, elected officials and multiple City agencies, is a comprehensive initiative aimed at promoting a competitive business environment and sustainable community on the Hunts Point Peninsula in the South Bronx. Following the Vision Plan’s recommendations, the Department initiated zoning measures, adopted by the City Council in July 2008, to encourage the growth of the food industry sector and create a buffer between the manufacturing district and the adjacent residential neighborhood.
- In response to the broad range of concerns expressed by participants about the future of 125th Street in Harlem, the Mayor formed the 125th Street Interagency Working Group. In addition to DCP, the team consisted of representatives from the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and several other city agencies including the Departments of Cultural Affairs, Transportation, Small Business Services, and Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). The team worked together with the Advisory Committee to identify solutions for issues raised during the planning process. A rezoning proposal was adopted by the City Council in April 2008; follow-up measures were adopted in November, 2008 and June 2011.
- The redevelopment plan for Stapleton in Staten Island, including the former Navy Homeport, with construction of an almost mile-long esplanade along New York Harbor, stems from recommendations made in 2004 by the Task Force on Homeport Redevelopment. An RFP by the City's Economic Development Corporation will foster development of 350 residential units, a banquet hall and waterfront restaurant, sports complex, ground-floor retail and farmers market, and a major economic use such as a movie studio or office space. In June, 2013, ground was broken on the New Stapleton Waterfront Development Plan for which the City is committing $32 million toward infrastructure improvements and the construction of a new waterfront esplanade that will provide the public with waterfront access.
- The Staten Island Growth Management Task Force, convened with the support of the Mayor’s Office in 2003 in response to overdevelopment in the borough, made recommendations that have resulted in significant zoning changes and enforcement improvements. Following these measures, new construction conformed to more desirable patterns and the number of new permits was reduced to a rate compatible with Staten Island neighborhoods. Other recommendations have emerged from the Task Force, including comprehensive studies of the West and North Shores of the Island, which have been completed.
- An outgrowth of the Mayor's Staten Island Growth Management Task Force was a Transportation Task Force to address one of the Island's most serious concerns. It was comprised of elected officials, City agencies, State transportation agencies, Community Board chairs and the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce. The Task Force worked at the Mayor's directive over the course of three months in 2006, to produce a short term action plan, and medium and long term recommendations that were presented to address transportation issues focusing on development patterns, roadways and highways, bridges and mass transit. Significant progress has been and continues to be made by the task force.
- During public review of the comprehensive redevelopment plan for Jamaica, the City convened a number of agency commissioners to at community meetings in Jamaica to develop strategies about longstanding local service needs and infrastructure issues much like the Staten Island task forces which tackled similar problems. The rezoning was adopted in September 2007 and subsequently the City has invested more than $200 million in various projects in and around downtown Jamaica, including two new schools (PS/IS 48 and PS/IS 277), distinctive street lighting along Jamaica Avenue, streetscape improvements on Hillside Avenue and upgrades to area parks.