The City Planning Commission, established by the 1936 City Charter, began operating in 1938 with seven members appointed by the Mayor. The 1989 Charter expanded the Commission to thirteen members. The Mayor appoints the Chair who is also the Director of City Planning. The Mayor also appoints six other members, each Borough President appoints one member, and the Public Advocate appoints one member. The Chair serves at the Mayor's pleasure while the other 12 commissioners each serve for staggered terms of 5 years.
The Commission is responsible for the conduct of planning relating to the orderly growth and development of the City, including adequate and appropriate resources for the housing, business, industry, transportation, distribution, recreation, culture, comfort, convenience, health and welfare of its population. The Commission meets regularly to hold hearings and vote on applications, as described above, concerning the use, development and improvement of real property subject to City regulation. Its consideration of these applications includes an assessment of their environmental impacts where required by law.
City Planning Commissio Recommendations on General Project Plans - Provisions of the New York State Urban Development Corporation Act require that any General Project Plan (GPP) to be implemented through the override of local regulation or which involves the acquisition of real property by condemnation be referred to the City Planning Commission.
Public meetings of the City Planning Commission are featured on NYC TV, the official television network of New York City. The meetings are cablecast on Channel 74's program "Shaping the City with City Planning Commission." Programming schedules are available from NYC TV.
Dan Garodnick, appointed by Mayor Eric L. Adams, began serving as Director of the New York City Department of City Planning and Chair of the City Planning Commission in February 2022.
Since then, Garodnick has advanced key mayoral priorities, including three “City of Yes” zoning text amendments aimed at making our city greener, creating and supporting businesses and jobs, and incentivizing the creation of 500,000 new homes across the five boroughs to help bring down rents.Garodnick served in the New York City Council for 12 years, representing the East Side of Manhattan, and was known as one of New York's most independent voices and effective legislators. Garodnick chaired the City Council’s Planning and Economic Development Committees and served as a member of the Land Use Committee.
Garodnick, a lawyer who has also served as a not-for-profit executive, is best known for his skill in negotiating complicated land use matters, such as the rezoning of 80 blocks of East Midtown and the Vanderbilt Corridor. This rezoning – approved unanimously by the City Council – not only has already spurred new growth in a key commercial district but is expected to deliver nearly a billion dollars in improvements to subways and public spaces in Midtown over the next 20 years. Garodnick also negotiated the largest affordable housing preservation deal in New York City's history – 5,000 middle-class housing units in Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village. He wrote a book on that subject, Saving Stuyvesant Town, which Amazon called one of the best nonfiction books of 2021.
During his time in the City Council, Garodnick authored and passed 60 bills, which included relief for small businesses from the Commercial Rent Tax, a right for tenants to sue a landlord for harassment, a biotech tax credit, transparency in the use of economic development incentives, the City's first "green" energy code, and various good government reforms.
Immediately before he took the helm at the City Planning Commission and the Department of City Planning, Garodnick was President and CEO of the Riverside Park Conservancy, a not-for-profit organization advocating for a six-mile park on Manhattan's West Side.
Prior to his public service, Garodnick was a litigator at the New York law firm of Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP. He has a B.A. from Dartmouth College, and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he served as the Editor-in-Chief of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. He lives with his wife and two sons in Manhattan.
Kenneth J. Knuckles is a prominent business and civic leader from the Bronx who has distinguished himself over the past two decades as an attorney and public servant. Mr. Knuckles was appointed Vice Chair of the City Planning Commission in February 2002 and in December of 2011 was reappointed as Vice Chair by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Mr. Knuckles is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation (UMEZ), a position he has held since January 2003. Previously, he had served on the UMEZ Board of Directors. Prior to joining UMEZ, Mr. Knuckles spent seven years at Columbia University where he was the Vice President of Support Services, the university’s Chief Procurement Officer.
From 1990 through 1993, during the David N. Dinkins mayoral administration, he was Commissioner of the New York City Department of General Services. From 1987 through 1990, Mr. Knuckles served as Deputy Bronx Borough President during the first term of former Borough President Fernando Ferrer. He has also served as an Assistant Housing Commissioner, as well as legal counsel to several city agencies.
A graduate of the University of Michigan with a B.S. degree in architecture, Mr. Knuckles also holds a Juris Doctorate degree from the Howard University School of Law and is a member of the New York State Bar. He is the 2005 recipient of the Harvey Picker Award for distinguished public service, from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and is a Board Trustee of Continuum Health Group and NYC Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Mr. Knuckles was recently appointed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to be a member of the New York City Regional Economic Development Council.
Gail worked on land use matters for 36 years, and was the Director of the New York City Council Land Use Division for 25 years before she retired. In that capacity, she provided advice, analysis, and expertise to the Speaker of the Council, the chairs of the Land Use Committee and Subcommittee, and the 51 members of the Council. She oversaw the council’s approval of New York University’s 2012 expansion, the rezoning of Hudson Yards, and a housing project at the site of the Domino Sugar factory in Brooklyn.
Prior to her time at the Council, Gail served as Co-Director of the City Environmental Review Procedure and as a Representative to the now-defunct NYC Board of Estimate. She continues to be actively involved in land use and serves on several committees and boards.
Leila Bozorg is the Chief of Strategy and Policy at NYC Kids RISE, a nonprofit working with public, private, and community partners to provide every NYC public school student with the opportunity to build assets for higher education and receive reinforcing messages of support from within and across their NYC communities, starting in kindergarten. Prior to joining NYC Kids RISE, Leila served in multiple roles at the NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development from 2014 to 2020, including as Chief of Staff to the Commissioner, and later as the Deputy Commissioner for Neighborhood Strategies. She was the 2019 recipient of the Citizen Housing and Planning Commission’s Ibo Balton Award for Community Planning for her leadership in the creation of the City’s fair housing plan, Where We Live NYC. Previous to her work at HPD, Leila served at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), first as a Presidential Management Fellow, and later as a Senior Policy Advisor (2010-2014). The daughter of Iranian immigrants, Leila holds a BA in Government Studies from Wesleyan University and a Master of City Planning from MIT.
Juan Camilo Osorio Botero is an Assistant Professor at Pratt Institute’s Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment. He was appointed to the City Planning Commission by the Brooklyn Borough President, Antonio Reynoso, to leverage 16 years of professional experience working as an architect and urban planner in collaboration with grassroots leaders across New York City. His work explores the tension between cities and the political economy of climate action and disaster recovery, where socio-economic and environmental inequality exacerbate each other at all stages of the planning process. This includes research, policy design, technical assistance and advocacy campaigns on community-based planning, environmental justice and climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Before joining Pratt Institute as a full-time faculty member, he served as Research Affiliate and Co-Investigator at the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative, Director of Research at the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance, and Senior GIS Analyst and Planner at the Municipal Art Society Planning Center. In addition, he has been appointed to serve in many advisory capacities including the NYC Offshore Wind Advisory Council convened by the NYC Deputy Mayor for Economic & Workforce Development; the Land Use and Local Government Advisory Panel convened by the NYS Governor to inform the implementation of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA); and the Community Resiliency in Environmental Justice Industrial Waterfront Communities Work Group convened by the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (NEJAC). He holds a professional degree in architecture from the National University of Colombia, a masters in Regional Planning from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, and he is a doctoral candidate in Urban Studies and Planning at MIT.
Alfred C. Cerullo, III was first appointed to the New York City Planning Commission in September 2004. Mr. Cerullo has broad experience in public service, having worked in city government since 1986 where he began as a legislative counsel. From 1990 to 1994, as City Council Minority Leader and Council Member from Staten Island, he served on the City Council Land Use Committee. From 1994 until this appointment he served as Commissioner of the Department Consumer Affairs, Commissioner of the Department of Finance and as a Member of the New York City Campaign Finance Board. In 1999, he became President/CEO of the Grand Central Partnership one of the world’s largest business improvement districts providing supplemental public safety, sanitation, capital improvement, horticultural, and visitor services to 70-square-blocks of the Midtown Manhattan area surrounding Grand Central Terminal.
Mr. Cerullo received Bachelor’s Degrees in English and American Studies as well as his law degree from St. John’s University and is a member of the bar in New York, New Jersey, California, and Washington, D.C.
Anthony W. Crowell is Dean and President of New York Law School, and a Professor of Law. His areas of expertise are in state and local government law and civic engagement. He was appointed to the City Planning Commission by Mayor Eric Adams. Dean Crowell has worked with the NYLS faculty over the past decade to implement a new curriculum and programs to advance social justice and economic opportunity for the people of New York City and beyond. This has included offering a broad range of community-based legal clinics to help meet the vast needs of New York’s underrepresented and marginalized communities.
Before joining NYLS, he was Counselor to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, and served as a senior management and policy advisor, as well as general counsel to the Office of the Mayor for more than a decade. He managed a broad portfolio of legal, regulatory, legislative, governance, economic development, administrative, and operational matters focused on enhancing New York City’s performance, competitiveness, accountability, and public integrity. He worked on numerous civil rights and government-access initiatives, and served as the Mayor’s liaison to the LGBTQIA+ community. He also served as executive director, counsel, or commissioner for six city Charter Revision Commissions.
From 1997 to 2002, Crowell served as an Assistant Corporation Counsel in the New York City Law Department’s Real Property Tax & Condemnation Division, as well as the Legal Counsel Division. In 2001, he served as counsel to the city’s Family Assistance Center, aiding families’ of 9/11 victims and directed the City's World Trade Center Death Certificate Program. He later worked on issues related to 9/11 recovery and rebuilding.
He began his career at the International City/County Management Association in Washington, D.C., where he engaged in substantial policy work on environmental, land use, and community and economic development issues impacting municipalities. He also served as a law clerk at the State and Local Legal Center, assisting in the preparation of amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court, including in cases involving regulatory takings and development rights.
He is a recognized civic leader in New York City and is a member of the City Bar Association’s New York City Affairs Committee, the Citizens Union Foundation, as well as the Board of Trustees of the Brooklyn Public Library. He previously served as a member of the Board of Directors of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, and as a mayoral appointee to the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board. In addition, he is a leader in American legal education. He is the Founding President of the National Association of Standalone Graduate Schools and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities in New York.
Dean Crowell received a B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied urban policy and planning. He received a J.D., cum laude, from American University.
Joseph Douek is a businessman and philanthropist with over 25 years of experience. He currently serves as the Chairman and CEO of Viceroy Equities, an investment and hedge fund management firm based in Brooklyn. Among other initiatives, Viceroy Equities has invested in Opportunity Zones, with the goal of spurring development in several areas throughout Brooklyn. Mr. Douek was appointed to the City Planning Commission in 2012 by the Brooklyn Borough President to represent Brooklyn, and was reappointed in 2017.
In May 2020, Mr. Douek was appointed by the President of the United States to serve as a Commissioner on the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad.
Mr. Douek got his start selling wholesale photography supplies, and went on to become the owner and CEO of Willoughby’s, New York’s oldest photography retailer. Mr. Douek has also served on the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors for the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC), as well as the Board of Directors for the NYC Industrial Development Agency. Mr. Douek has served on the Board of Trustees for several non-profit entities, including the Brooklyn Public Library, and the Jewish Children’s Museum. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
David Gold is a Partner at AdvisIRy Partners Group, a consulting firm providing strategic, investor relations and capital markets advisory services to senior management of publicly held companies. David is a Chartered Financial Analyst and an attorney licensed in New York.
Prior to founding AdvisIRy Partners, David was an equity analyst at a Wall Street firm. David sits on the board of directors of Metropolitan Commercial Bank (NYSE:MCB), a New York Stock Exchange listed company with nearly $7 billion of assets. David is a member of the CFA Institute and the National Association of Corporate Directors. David holds a B.S. in Finance from NYU’s Stern School of Business and a J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. He also was awarded a CERT Certificate in Cyber Oversight from the Software Engineering Institute of Carnegie Mellon University. In addition, David is a graduate of the Marine Corps Executive Forum.
David has been a non-profit board member for over two decades and is currently the Vice-Chairman of the Centurion Foundation, a non-profit focused on public safety. In recognition of his community service, David was awarded the FBI Director's Community Leadership Award in Washington, D.C.
Leah Goodridge was appointed to the City Planning Commission in December 2021 by Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. Commissioner Goodridge has spent the last decade in the tenant movement, both locally and nationally. As Managing Attorney for Housing Policy at Mobilization for Justice, she has prevented hundreds of tenant evictions through the Right to Counsel initiative. Several of Commissioner Goodridge’s favorable court decisions have been published in the New York Law Journal. She also authored an amicus brief in a case which challenged ableism in housing and won at the New York State Court of Appeals.
As a lawyer, she fights against gentrification, displacement and systemic racism for low-income New Yorkers impacted by the housing crisis.
Commissioner Goodridge has also been a vital part of shaping housing policy in NYC. Prior to joining the Commission, she spent nearly four years on the NYC Rent Guidelines Board – appointed by former Mayor Bill de Blasio – advocating for rent decreases for rent stabilized tenants.
In 2022, Commissioner Goodridge published "Professionalism as a Racial Construct" in UCLA Law Review which challenged the double standards of professionalism. Two of the largest bar associations in New York City have awarded Commissioner Goodridge for her impact on the legal field: the 2022 Firestarter award by the NYC Bar Association and the 2019 Public Service award by the New York County Lawyers Association. In 2022, Met Council on Housing also recognized Commissioner Goodridge with the Jane Jacobs award for tirelessly fighting for tenants. Her work has been profiled in Forbes magazine, Law360, Dame magazine, Teen Vogue and many more. Commissioner Goodridge graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Law School and Vassar College. She is a proud native of Brownsville, Brooklyn and lives by its motto: “never ran, never will.”
Rasmia Kirmani-Frye is the Interim Executive Director at Hester Street, appointed in November 2021. Hester Street is an urban planning, design and community engagement non-profit that believes that neighborhoods are shaped by the people who live there. She is an independent consultant focusing on urban problem solving, housing, movement building, governance design, non-profit management, narrative development, and strategic planning.
Rasmia is working with the Ford Foundation on public housing transformation, most recently leading a resident-centered Working Group of 38-members that released a collective response to the impact of COVID-19 on public housing residents in New York City; and in partnership with Hester Street is developing a national social housing network. In partnership with Community Change and the Ford Foundation, Rasmia advised and contributed to New Deal for Housing Justice: A Housing Playbook for the New Administration, which was released in January 2021. Other partners and clients include: Center for Popular Democracy, NYC Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, Change Capital Donor Advised Fund, Community Voices Heard, and the NYC Economic Development Corporation. Until December 2018, Rasmia was Director at the Office of Public/Private Partnerships, New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), appointed to the executive team in 2015. There, she developed and managed NYCHA’s strategic relationships with external cross-sector entities. While at NYCHA, Rasmia founded The Fund for Public Housing in 2016 where she served as its first president. The Fund for Public Housing invests in the well-being of public housing residents and their communities by collaborating with partners to re-imagine and improve the way public housing in NYC works. Prior to that, Rasmia served as director of The Brownsville Partnership, a community-based organization focusing on collective impact working with community residents, governments and non-profit organizations.
Rasmia earned a Master of Science degree in Urban and Public Policy from The New School and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Studies from the College of Wooster in Ohio. She is a Trustee of the New York Foundation, serves on the board of the Center for Court Innovation, The OSS Project and Green City Force; and Chair of the Youth Design Center (formerly Made in Brownsville, Inc). In 2018, the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation named Rasmia a Sterling Network Fellow, New York City leaders from government, non-profit and business sectors working together to tackle the challenge of increasing economic mobility across the five boroughs. With Annika Sarin and Smita Vadakekalam, Rasmia is a co-founder of The Other Desi Girls, a creative narrative and multi- media project exploring the experiences, and definitions, of being South Asian. Rasmia is an adjunct Associate Professor at New York University’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service where she teaches in the urban planning and urban policy disciplines. Rasmia lives in Brooklyn with her family, where she has lived for 27 years.
Mr. Orlando Marín is currently employed with the Bluestone Organization, a private developer of affordable and market rate housing, located in Fresh Meadows New York. Mr. Marín has worked in the housing arena for the last twenty years where he has garnished a stellar reputation. Mr. Marín has also worked for such prestigious Organizations as the Empire State Development Corporation, the NYC Housing Partnership, Banana Kelly Community Improvement Association and was the Special Assistant to the City Engineer of Phoenix, Arizona.
Active in his community since his teens, Mr. Marín has played an instrumental role in the redevelopment of his immediate community. Today Mr. Marín continues to assist with the myriad of issues facing his Community as a member and Chairman of Bronx Community Board #2. Mr. Marín, an Architect with a background in Real Estate and Public Administration, won the American Institute of Architect’s Creative Design award for the development of the “Prototypical School” while employed with the nationally acclaimed office of Perkins & Will. While on Bronx Community Board #3, Bronx, Mr. Marín was instrumental in the creation of the Board’s 197A Comprehensive Plan entitled “Partnership for the Future”, which gained full support and accolades from the Bronx Borough President’s office.
As a graduate of the New York Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture, a graduate of New York University’s Continuing Education Program earning a Diploma in Real Estate with a concentration in Investment analysis, Mr. Marín adds to his credential the participation and successful completion of the National Urban Rural Fellows Program administered in tandem with Baruch College’s School of Public Affairs where he obtained his Master’s Degree in Public Administration.
Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, Mr. Marín has been guided and influenced by a wonderful family and cadre of friends and mentors who have contributed to the development of his values, integrity, positive self-image and who support his endeavors in the Affordable Housing Arena. Mr. Marin currently resides in the Longwood section of the Bronx.
Oudeshram Raj Rampershad, is a lifelong resident of Richmond Hill, Queens. He was appointed to the New York City Planning Commission in 2018 by Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.
Prior to his appointment, Raj was the chairperson of the Queens Community Board 9 for three years, from March 2015 to March 2018 and had served on the board since 2005. Throughout his time on the board he served on the Land Use Committee and as chair he oversaw the day to day operations of the board which involved working with multiple city agencies, local Civic groups, and residents. It was through that experience that he developed a deep appreciation for the importance of conducting city business in a transparent, respectful, consistent, and open-minded manner, both with fellow board members and the public.
Mr. Rampershad is currently a Senior Project Manager at the Gerald J. Caliendo architectural firm, based in Briarwood, Queens. Since 2001, his duties there have included managing multiple projects throughout New York City, as well as analyzing and applying building and zoning regulations to those projects. Prior to that he worked at a family owned business located in Ozone Park, Queens for over two decades. Raj is a graduate of Richmond Hill High School and has an Associates degrees in architectural Technology from New York City Technical College and received his bachelor's degree in Architecture from Pratt Institute.
Along with his work and community service Raj has also been apart of several programs such as the Citizens Police Academy and has been a member of the American Institute of Architects.