Press Releases

For Immediate Release
April 25, 2019

Rachaele Raynoff, Joe Marvilli – (212) 720-3471


The video will be shown on Car Free Earth Day Saturday

NEW YORK – Department of City Planning (DCP) Director Marisa Lago today announced that “Staten Island and Bronx Special Districts Update,” a video on a proposal to update and strengthen rules for natural resources, will be shown during Car Free Earth Day. The video will be on display Saturday, April 27th, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Broadway between West 25th and West 26th Streets.

“Whether walking or biking, and regardless of which borough you call home, please stop by to check out the Department of City Planning’s lush video about the spectacular natural beauty of Staten Island and Bronx communities – and how we’re working to ensure that they stay that way,” said DCP Director Marisa Lago.
The five-minute video shows the natural resource regulations that exist in the two boroughs today and DCP’s proposed update to streamline and strengthen them. Through a mixture of graphics, maps, photos and video of natural environments in our city, it creates an eye-catching, easy-to-follow rundown to help New Yorkers understand what the proposed changes are and why they are needed.

Building on more than 40 years of experience protecting these districts, DCP learned that the current rules in these two boroughs were due for a refresh. Right now, they have a one-size-fits-all approach that treats small alterations for a single-family home the same as a multi-acre development. Plus, the current rules focus only on protecting individual natural features without considering the broader effect on the wider natural environment. These outdated rules have been applied inconsistently and have sometimes resulted in unpredictable outcomes for the community. In addition, they require homeowners to invest significant time and cost for even the smallest renovation, with no discernable additional protection for natural resources.

To make sure our natural resources are preserved and kept intact for decades to come, the Staten Island/Bronx Special Districts Update will:

  • Establish comprehensive wetland regulations across all special districts, and expand protection to smaller wetlands not currently regulated by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC);
  • Continue to require City Planning Commission public review for developments larger than one acre or sites less than one acre with sensitive ecological features;
  • Allow small home projects to go directly to the Department of Buildings (DOB), with clear rules that will ensure preservation of trees, topography and a certain level of planting and permeability on every site;
  • Require that natural features, such as trees, be added to the project details that are posted online for the community to review, significantly assisting in enforcement

The Staten Island/Bronx Special Districts Update is expected to enter the formal public review process this Spring.
Car Free Earth Day is a free event that opens thirty blocks of Broadway from Times Square to Union Square for people to explore on foot and to enjoy environmental programming offered by City agencies and nonprofit organizations.