Application Process Overview

Application Process Overview

This section provides information to prospective applicants on City Planning’s review of land use and environmental applications. Most development in New York City is as-of-right, meaning that a proposed development complies with the Zoning Resolution and qualifies for a building permit administered by the Department of Buildings. However, projects that require special review or approvals, or modifications to existing zoning regulations are required to be reviewed by the Department and the City Planning Commission.

Prior to the start of the formal public review of an application, known as the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure or ULURP, City Planning reviews an application for completeness. This time period between an applicant's first contact with DCP to the start of ULURP is called the Pre-Certification process. The pre-certification process involves two parallel reviews: a land use review of the application to ensure that the application is complete and technically accurate and an environmental review whose purpose is to disclose and analyze potential impacts that the development proposal may trigger. Once these two concurrent reviews are complete, the application can begin the public review process.

Getting Started

This page provides an overview of the steps in the Application process.

Step 1: Understanding What's Allowed on Your Property

Access City Planning’s resources to understand what is allowed on your property.

Step 2: Begin the Pre-certification Process

Once you have determined that the existing zoning does not allow your development proposal, you are ready to begin the pre-certification process.

Step 3: Preparation of Land Use and Environmental Applications

Once the land use actions and level of environmental review have been determined, you can begin to prepare the land use and environmental applications. Before they are filed, City Planning will review and comment on the draft applications.

Step 4: Filing of Application & Paying Fees

Once the application has been reviewed and the associated fees paid, it can be formally filed with City Planning.

Step 5: ULURP Process

To be approved, a number of applications will have to go through New York City’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, which codifies the public review process. For the application to enter the ULURP process, City Planning needs to certify that it is complete. For non-ULURP applications, review and approval by the Department of City Planning or the Chair of the Commission are required.

Process Flow Chart
PDF Document Download the Pre-certification Process Flow Chart

This flow chart provides a simplified overview of the application process and may not cover the process steps required for more complex applications.

Fast Track
PDF Document Download the Fast Track Process Diagram

Fast Track is an expedited version of our standard Pre-Cert process for simple common applications. Find out if you qualify.

More Resources
Office of Environmental Coordination
Board of Standards and Appeals
Dept. of Buildings
Landmarks Commission
Dept. of Transportation
Dept. of Environmental Protection
Center for New York City Law