Press Release Archive

Press Release

Press Release # 7
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Matthew Gorton (212) 442-1500


Land Use is the fifth topic to be considered by the Commission during its month-long series of Issue Forums held in the five boroughs

The New York City Charter Revision Commission will hold the last of its series of “Issue Forums” this Thursday in Queens, focusing on issues related to land use. Addressing the Commission will be five experts: Tom Angotti, Hunter College; Paul Selver, partner at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP; Vishaan Chakrabarti, Columbia University; Christopher Collins, Vice-Chair of the New York City Board of Standards and Appeals; and David Karnovsky, General Counsel to the New York City Department of City Planning.

  • TOPIC: Land Use
  • PLACE: Flushing Branch Auditorium, Queens Borough Public Library, 41-17 Main Street, Flushing Queens
  • DATE: June 24, 2010 – 6 p.m.

At Thursday’s forum, the Commission will invite testimony from the expert panel and will accept public comment on the issue. Those wishing to testify may begin signing up one half-hour prior to the start of the forum. Anyone wishing to testify will be given the opportunity to do so regardless of arrival time.

The forum is open to the public and will be streamed live via webcast through the Commission's website. Comments to the Commission can be submitted through the Commission website by selecting “Contact the Commission” or by emailing the Commission.

Tom Angotti

Professor of Urban Affairs and Planning, Hunter College and Graduate Center, CUNY & Director of the Hunter College Center for Community Planning and Development

Tom Angotti is a professor of urban affairs and planning at Hunter College and at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York. He is also Director of the Hunter College Center for Community Planning and Development. He chaired the graduate urban planning program at the Pratt Institute and was a senior planner at the New York City Department of City Planning and in Massachusetts. His recent book, New York For Sale: Community Planning Confronts Global Real Estate, was published by MIT Press in 2008 and won the Paul Davidoff Award.

Angotti writes on land use issues for Gotham Gazette, is the co-editor of Progressive Planning Magazine, and an editor for the journal Local Environment. He recently served as a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Bangalore, India; Hanoi, Vietnam; and Catania, Sicily. Angotti is a founding member of the New York City Task Force on Community-Based Planning.

Paul D. Selver

Partner, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP

Paul Selver is a partner at Kramer Levin, where he is co-chair of its Land Use department. A New York City-based attorney in private practice since 1972, his legal work encompasses all aspects of land use and development law, with a special emphasis on environmental, zoning and historic preservation. Over the past 15 years, he has coordinated the public approval and environmental review process for more than three million square feet of office space, more than 7,500 apartments, hundreds of thousands of square feet of retail and entertainment space, hundreds of hotel rooms, and new institutional buildings. Among his current projects are four large-scale, mixed-use developments on the waterfront in Queens and Brooklyn, and zoning changes around Manhattan for residential development. Additionally, Selver has advised public sector clients including: the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; New Jersey Transit; the Battery Park City Authority; the Empire State Development Corporation; and the Long Island communities of Garden City and Lawrence.

Selver is the co-author of the New York Practice Guide: Real Property, Volume II: Land Use Regulation (Matthew Bender & Co., 1986). He has also contributed articles to the New York Times, the National Law Journal, and the New York Law Journal. He has been a Lecturer of Law at Columbia University Law School and was formerly an Adjunct Associate Professor of Urban Planning at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.

Vishaan Chakrabarti

Marc Holliday Professor of Real Estate & Director of the Real Estate Development program, Columbia University

Vishaan Chakrabarti is the Marc Holliday Professor of Real Estate Development and the Director of the Real Estate Development program in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University. Chakrabarti was named the Jaquelin T. Robertson Visiting Professor in Architecture at the University of Virginia from 2009 to 2010. Chakrabarti is the founding principal of VCDC, an urban design firm based in Manhattan.

Formerly an Executive Vice President of Related Companies, Chakrabarti ran the design operations for the firm's development portfolio, including Moynihan Station. From 2002 to 2005, he served as the Director of the Manhattan Office for the New York Department of City Planning. Prior to this, Chakrabarti was an Associate Partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. He holds a Masters in Architecture from Berkeley, a Masters degree in City Planning from MIT, and dual Bachelors’ degrees in Art History and Engineering from Cornell.

Christopher Collins

Vice-Chair, New York City Board of Standards & Appeals

Christopher Collins is the Vice-Chair of the New York City Board of Standards & Appeals (BSA), a five-member body that hears and decides zoning variance cases, certain special permits, and administrative appeals from decisions by other city agencies.

Prior to his work at the BSA, Collins was Counsel to the New York City Council’s Land Use Committee. In that capacity he advised Council Members on all aspects of land use law including zoning changes, the designation of landmarks, the acquisition and disposition of real property, site selection for municipal facilities, and housing and urban renewals plans.

Collins served as General Counsel at the City’s Department of Telecommunications & Energy and Counsel to the Bureau of Franchises. From 1990 to 1992, he was chair of Manhattan Community Board 8.

A graduate of Saint Francis University and Duquesne University School of Law, Chris has been a member of the New York State bar since 1980. He served on the Law Committee of the Municipal Art Society, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and has lectured on land use and government affairs at several universities and law schools. He is a founding board member of Friends of the High Line.

David Karnovsky

GeneralCounsel, New York City Department of City Planning

David Karnovsky is General Counsel to the New York City Department of City Planning (DCP). Prior to joining DCP, Karnovsky served as Special Counsel to the Deputy Mayor for Operations and as Chief of the Legal Counsel Division of the New York City Law Department. He is a 1982 graduate of the Harvard Law School.