Building and Land Use Approval Streamlining Taskforce (BLAST)

The Building and Land Use Approval Streamlining Taskforce (BLAST) seeks to reduce regulations and inefficiencies and speed up the creation of affordable housing, drive economic growth, and build stronger communities.

BLAST includes 25 City agencies involved in the planning and development process including the NYC Department of City Planning (NYC Planning). The taskforce has identified more than 100 ways the City can streamline development and businesses processes and modernize the relationship between the responsibilities of government and the needs of the public.

The taskforce’s “Get Stuff Built” report categorizes improvements into three processes: the building permitting process, land use application review process, and City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR).

NYC Planning administers the land use application review process and CEQR for proposed land use changes. The application review process ensures that the application material is complete and accurate, and the CEQR process discloses what, if any, effects a land use action may have on the environment.

Improvements to land use application review process will:

  • Improve the public’s opportunity for meaningful participation, for example by allowing anyone to subscribe to automatic notices for relevant alerts in their neighborhood
  • Simplify the requirements, findings, and rules in the Zoning Resolution
  • Minimize rounds of review between NYC Planning and applicants

Improvements to City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR) will:

  • Facilitate better coordination between agencies that review land use applications
  • Make environmental review documents clearer and more accessible to enhance public participation
  • Improve data inputs
  • Remove redundant analysis

Read the full report here.