Fast Track

Fast Track Process

Fast Track is an expedited review process for certain, qualifying applications that do not require detailed environmental review. The goal of the Fast Track process is to move uncomplicated applications through the Department ("DCP") in less than 180 days. Fast Track has no impact on the post-Referral process (public review) of any project. Continue below to find out if your project can qualify for Fast Track.

Fast Track is an optional process available to applicants who have clearly-defined projects, can prepare a land use application within 30 days, and can respond to the Department with comments within 30 days. Applications must be classified as “Type II” for the purposes of City Environmental Quality Review. For its part, the Department will guarantee a review and comments delivered in writing and discussed in a meeting within 40 days. All applications within Fast Track require the same PDF Document application requirements and must meet the same standards as non-Fast Track applications.

Applications can be removed from Fast Track if they do not adhere to the timelines required or if the Department’s comments are not addressed. Projects removed from the Fast Track return to the step related to their most recent submission in the general Pre-Certification process.
Significant differences from the standard Pre-Certification process include:

  • No PAS required; instead a Draft Land Use application is prepared;
  • New ‘Fast Track Type II Request’ form expedites environmental review;
  • Reviews are shorter, and comments are returned on-schedule;
  • An Interdivisional Meeting occurs after the review of the Draft Land Use Application, and comments are delivered in the meeting;
  • The Department will not accept or review revisions of a Draft Land Use Application;
  • Dedicated technical planners provide a streamlined review

If the particular, requested zoning action requires that a Fast Track project be referred to the Community Board for a specific number of days before it is completed, the project will be referred to the Community Board when it is Filed. 

Fast Track aims to reduce the time required to proceed through Pre-Certification for simple, common applications. The goal of this process is to give Applicants more certainty over the timeline of their applications by streamlining DCP’s review and increasing the role of the Applicant in the process.

Projects appropriate for Fast Track are generally less complicated with fewer applications per project. They should be common application types that both DCP and the Applicant are familiar with preparing and reviewing. Applicants with experience in moving projects through DCP’s standard Pre-Certification process and working on simple projects will save time through Fast Track.

Specific qualifications for Fast Track include:

  • CEQR Type II (certifications; ministerial actions; etc.);
  • Common applications types;
  • Actions finalized at or immediately following the informational meeting;
  • Applicant identify their Type II qualification.

Exceptions to this list that disqualify applications from Fast Track:

  • Waterfront Certifications with visual corridor drawings;
  • Plaza/POPs application with design intense diagrams;
  • Uncommon actions or unusual circumstances unlike any previously approved by the City Planning Commission.
  • Actions subject to ULURP.

Examples of some projects that qualify for Fast Track include but are not limited to: FRESH Certifications, Greenhouse Certifications, Houses of Worship Certifications, Hudson Yards Certifications, Special Natural Area, Hillsides and South Richmond “Type II” applications.

If you have any questions about whether your project qualifies for Fast Track, you can contact your Borough Office or proceed to schedule an Informational Meeting.

Fast Track is an optional, expedited process for the review of simple Type II applications that meet specific criteria. The goal of this process is to streamline our standard Pre-Certification process for qualifying projects.

Identifying Projects that Qualify
The DCP Lead Planner will work with the Applicant to identify a Fast Track project at the earliest stages in the application process. This should occur before any documents are submitted to the Department. Since this process is optional, both the Department and the Applicant must agree to proceed under this process. 

Info Meeting Follow-Up and Timeline Expectations
Following the Informational Meeting, the DCP Lead Planner shares the project schedule with the Applicant for the review of the Applicant’s Land Use Application. Fast Track operates on an expedited timeline where DCP commits to review applications more quickly on the condition that Applicants submit their documents within the timeline set up at the beginning of the process. To remain in Fast Track, the Applicant must submit their deliverables according to timeframes outlined in the process diagram.

Draft Land Use Application and the Interdivisional Meeting
Once the Applicant has received confirmation from the DCP Lead Planner that they qualify for Fast Track, they should prepare a Draft Land Use Application along with the standard PDF Document Land Use Application attachments.  One new attachment to the Draft Land Use Package will be the Fast Track Type II Request where the Applicant explains why their project is exempt from SEQR/CEQR Environmental Review.

Interdivisional Meeting (“IDM”)
After the Draft Land Use submission, the Lead DCP Planner will set up an Interdivisional Meeting (“IDM”) to be held between the Applicant and the DCP Project Team within 40 days of the submission. DCP will complete its internal review and return comments approximately two business days prior to the IDM. This is to enable a productive conversation at the Interdivisional Meeting focused on any required changes that should be made to the Filed Application.

Direct to File and End of Pre-Certification
Immediately following the IDM, the DCP Lead Planner communicates a clear set of required Application revisions to the Applicant Team and instructs the Applicant to file their application within 30 days (per the process diagram) following the same filing instructions and fee payments as required by the standard Pre-Certification Process.

The DCP Lead Planner will review the Filed Application within 15 days of filing and will contact the Applicant to provide final instructions on Public Review (including referral guidance) and end-of-process steps.

Applications that are required to be referred at the time of filing may have their projected timelines disrupted near the end of the Fast Track process. Please confirm with your DCP Lead Planner about what these requirements are and the impact to the project’ timeline.

DCP reserves the rights to remove projects from Fast Track at any point during the process. Reasons for removal include, but are not limited to:

  • Submission a “fatally flawed” Draft or Filed Land Use Application
    • For the Draft Land Use Application:
      • Missing critical components;
      • illegible materials.
    • For Filed Land Use Applications:
      • Missing critical components
      • Application does not substantially address required comments from the Department.
  • Late submission of application materials
  • Submission of a revised Draft Land Use Application
  • Substantial project changes:
    • Additional actions
    • New lots added.