The City's rulemaking process, known as the City Administrative Procedure
Act ("CAPA"), is found in Chapter 45 of the New York City Charter. Under CAPA,
the Standard Rulemaking Procedure, which takes at least 60 days to complete, is
Standard Rulemaking Procedure (Three-Step Process)
- Notice of a Public Hearing. At least 30 days prior to a public hearing or (if earlier) a deadline for submission of written comments, the rulemaking agency must publish notice of the proposed rule change in The City Record. The notice must provide: the proposed rule change (deletions in brackets, new material in underlined or italics text), a brief description of the proposed rule change and the legal authority for issuing it (which together form the Statement of Basis and Purpose), and must also state the time and place of the public hearing on the proposed rule change.
In addition, no later than the time the rulemaking agency sends its notice to The City Record for publication, the rulemaking agency must electronically send the same notice to each City Council Member, each Community Board Chair, members of the news media, and civic organizations.
Lastly, under Mayoral Executive Order # 133 of 2010, NYC Rules will publish notice of the proposed rule change the same day as it appears in the City Record to further inform the public.
- The Public Hearing. Members of the public are allowed to provide written comments on the proposed rule change for at least 30 days after it is published in The City Record. They may do so by sending comments to the rulemaking agency (by mail or through NYC Rules). They may also comment on the proposed rule change at the agency's public hearing. Other City agencies may also submit comments on the proposed rule change. The rulemaking agency is required to consider, but not required to adopt, comments from the public and/or other City agencies.
- Notice of Adoption. After the public hearing, the rulemaking agency must publish its final rule in The City Record. The agency's final rule may (but need not) include changes that reflect the comments submitted by the public or by other City agencies. The final rule takes effect 30 days after its final publication in The City Record.
Sometimes particular circumstances compel an agency to adopt a rule on an expedited basis. To account for such circumstances, CAPA allows an agency to deviate from the Standard Rulemaking Procedure by employing either the Final 30-Day Waiver or the Emergency Rulemaking Procedure.
The Final 30-Day Waiver. The 30-day period between publication of the final rule in The City Record and the effective date of the rule change may be waived by the Mayor if: the agency head certifies that there is a "substantial need for the earlier implementation of a program or policy" that can be achieved through the rule change, and if a written statement of need for earlier implementation is signed by the agency head, countersigned by the Mayor and published in The City Record with the final rule. If this procedure is followed, the rule becomes effective immediately upon publication of the Notice of Adoption in The City Record.
Emergency Rulemaking. Sometimes a rule must be issued immediately, upon its initial publication in The City Record, in order to avert "an imminent threat to health, safety, property or a necessary service." Under such circumstances, an agency may engage in emergency rulemaking by preparing a written statement of imminent threat that is signed by the agency head, countersigned by the Mayor, and published in The City Record with the emergency rule. An emergency rule becomes effective upon publication, but expires after 120 days unless it is re-adopted before then by the standard rulemaking procedure.