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Chelsea Land Use Committee



  • Paul Devlin, Co-Chair
  • Betty Mackintosh, Co-Chair
  • Pamela Wolff, Public Member
  • Viren Brahmbhatt
  • T. Elzora Cleveland
  • Maarten de Kadt
  • Tina DiFeliciantonio
  • David Holowka
  • Burt Lazarin
  • Michael Noble
  • Brad Pascarella
  • Thuy Pham
  • Kit Tollerson
  • Hector Vazquez

1) What is the function of this committee?

Any application for a change or variance from the zoning Resolution must come before the Community Board for its review.  The Board’s position must be considered in the final determination of these applications.  The Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) applies to all applications for zoning text changes, changes to the zoning map and special permits.

Community Boards may also initiate their own plans for the growth and the well being of the community.  Under section 197 (a) of the City Charter, a Community Board may submit land use plans for its neighborhoods for adoption by the City Council.  CB4 has prepared one such plan, The Chelsea Plan, to provide for orderly growth and preservation in the Chelsea neighborhood.

Community Boards must be consulted on the placement of most municipal facilities in the community and on many other land use issues involving city-owned property.  CB4 has an opportunity to comment and proposed alternatives through the ULURP.

Enclosed Sidewalk cafes are reviewed by the Land Use Committee.

Actions Requiring ULURP

Section 197-c, subsection a of the City Charter makes the following actions subject to ULURP:

  • Changes to the City Map. The City Map is the official adopted map of the city. It shows the location, dimension and grades of streets, parks, public places and certain public easements. The Director of City Planning is the custodian of the City Map.
  • Mapping of subdivisions or platting of land into streets, avenues or Public Places. This section has not been used since 1976.
  • Designation or change of zoning districts. The Zoning Resolution guides the development of the city and includes regulations dealing with use, bulk and parking. Zoning districts and boundaries are shown on the zoning maps and identify the permitted use, density, height, setback, yard and other bulk regulations and parking requirements for development on individual sites.
  • Changes to the zoning maps, including district designations and boundaries are subject to ULURP. Amendments to the Zoning Resolution are not subject to ULURP but go through a similar public review process.
  • Special Permits within the Zoning Resolution requiring approval of the City Planning Commission (CPC). Special permits are discretionary approvals that can modify zoning controls such as use, bulk and parking. (Note: CPC authorizations pursuant to the Zoning Resolution are not subject to ULURP. Variances and Special Permits reviewed by the Board of Standards and Appeals are also not subject to ULURP.)
  • Site selection for capital projects. This includes the selection of sites for new city facilities such as sanitation garages, fire houses, libraries and sewage treatment plants. A capital project is the construction or acquisition of a public improvement classified as a capital asset of the City.
  • Revocable consents, requests for proposals and other solicitations or franchises, and major concessions. A franchise is a grant by an agency of a right to occupy or use the inalienable property of the city to provide a public service such as a private bus line or bus stop shelters. A revocable consent is a grant by the city, revocable at will, for private use on, over or under city property such as bridges over streets or street furniture. Revocable consents that the Department of City Planning has determined do not have land use impacts or implications are not subject to ULURP. (Note: sidewalk cafes are revocable consents that are reviewed pursuant to a process established in the city's Administrative Code. The City Planning Commission does not review such applications.)

    A major concession is a grant made by an agency for the private use of city-owned property, and which has significant land use impacts and implications or which requires the preparation of an environmental impact statement. The City Planning Commission has established rules for determining if a concession is major and requires ULURP review.
  • Improvements in real property the costs of which are payable other than by the City. Applications for such non-city improvements are rarely made.
  • Housing and urban renewal plans and project pursuant to city, state and federal laws. Urban Renewal Plans developed pursuant to the General Municipal Law (Article 15) are required to be reviewed by the Charter and State Law.
  • Sanitary or waterfront landfills.
  • Disposition of city owned property. This includes sale, lease or exchange of real property.

Acquisition of real property by the city. Office space acquisition is excluded and subject to a separate review pursuant to Section 195 of the City Charter.

2) When and where does this committee meet?

The Committee regularly meets on the third Monday of each month, beginning at 6:30 PM. Consult the calendar and committee agenda for most up to date information.

3) What city or state agencies work with this committee?

NYC Departments of City Planning, NYC Department of Buildings, Board of Standards and Appeals.

4) How should an applicant present his project?

Items will be put on the agenda of the committee provided the board was notified more than two weeks in advance of the meeting. This allows time for proper notification of the community. It is recommended to schedule informational sessions with the committee at the same time informational sessions are being held with the City Planning.

5) What is the best way to prepare for coming before this committee?

Outreach: canvass the block and obtain the support of all neighbors (residential and businesses) and of transient pedestrians. Obtain the support of the block association (see list). Obtaining a list of the names address contact number and signatures of people in support of the application is very helpful.

Things to bring: Photographs, movies, drawings of current and proposed configurations or regulations and list of surrounding land use.

6) Notice and Posting

CB4 requests that applicants with pending DCP, BSA, and LPC applications post notices that identify the application will be on the upcoming agenda of a CB4 Land Use Committee meeting. CB4 further requests that notices will be posted a week in advance of the Community Board meeting on the building or lot affected by the proposed action as well as the street corners where the lot is located. Once the CB4 District Office receives the application it will provide the notice and instructions to the applicant. Any questions please contact the District Office by clicking here.

Goals & Accomplishments

Initiative to Investigate the Landmarks Preservation Committee
  • The Chelsea Land Use Committee (CLU) reviewed and made recommendations on multiple applications to the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC). Despite pleas from CB4, elected officials and community organizations, LPC permitted the virtual demolition of the oldest house in Chelsea. As a result, the CLU initiated an effort to investigate reforming the Landmarks Preservation Commission to improve LPC’s transparency and accountability. CLU will seek to enlist the support of other community boards in this effort. In response to multiple illegal demolitions in CD4 special districts the CLU in collaboration with Clinton/HK, Transportation, and Housing Committees, initiated measures to reform DOB and HPD review of permit procedures to prevent illegal demolition of residential buildings. The goal of these efforts is to stem the loss of affordable housing in CD4’s special districts.
Port Authority Comprehensive Transportation Study
  • CLU, in conjunction with other CB4 committees, has been monitoring and making recommendations on major state infrastructure projects in CD4, including
    • Moynihan Station
    • Penn Station
    • Javits
    • Hudson River Tunnel Project
  • CB4 has been advocating for the Port Authority (PA) to conduct a comprehensive transportation study which would include these major infrastructure projects so that the PA’s proposal for a replacement bus terminal at its Eighth Avenue site in Hell’s Kitchen would take into consideration these major projects and coordinate with other transportation agencies.
Block 675 – Between Eleventh and Twelve Avenues, West 29th and West 30th Streets
  • CLU reviewed and commented on three developers’ major proposals for Block 675. The Department of City Planning (DCP) declined to rezone Block 675 as part of the committee’s efforts to expand the Special West Chelsea District to include all of the blocks originally envisioned, but eventually agreed to develop a Framework for the block. CLU has met twice with DCP regarding the framework and will continue to work to prevent the oversized buildings of the Eastern Railyards from metastasizing to Block 675.
  • Block 675, Lot 12 - CB4 Proposed EMS Station Presentation
Women’s Building, 550 West 20th Street
  • CLU met multiple times with the developers of the Women’s Building at 550 West 20th Street and reviewed fifteen zoning overrides for the development of the property. Recommendations included modification of the proposed building height for part of the site, rooftop uses, lighting, and sign regulations. The proposal was modified in response to a number of CB4 comments.
Fulton House
  • CLU worked with Council Member Johnson and Fulton House’s tenant leadership on outdoor space improvements in conjunction with Fulton House’s site for a new affordable housing building. Groundbreaking for a renovated play area with new equipment and a redesigned basketball court with new benches is scheduled for May 2017.
West 23rd Street Fitness Ghetto
  • CLU reviewed and made recommendations on multiple BSA applications for permits for physical culture establishments in Chelsea’s developing West 23rd Street Fitness Ghetto (Gulch).

On Going Projects
West Side Railyards / Hudson Yards Rezoning

Moynihan Station Redevelopment

West Chelsea Rezoning

The New York City Council approved the West Chelsea/High Line rezoningin June, 2005. The Board was actively involved in the rezoning process. The final text of the rezoning and related map changes can be foundon the Department of City Planning's website.

  • West Chelsea Rezoning - Follow-up Text Amendments>
  • West Chelsea Rezoning - Overall Response
  • CB4 Testimony Before CPC on West Chelsea Rezoning
  • Response to West Chelsea Rezoning Environmental Impact Statement
  • Proposed Maps of West Chelsea Rezoning

Proposed Chelsea Market Expansion

For the draft Environmental Assessment Statement, the draft application, and a PowerPoint Presentation from Chelsea Market click here.

For MCB4's Chelsea Market Presentation click here.


West Chelsea Rezoning

The New York City Council approved the West Chelsea/High Line rezoning in June, 2005. The Board was actively involved in the rezoning process. The final text of the rezoning and related map changes can be gound on the Department of City Planning's website.

West Chelsea Rezoning - Follow-up Text Amendments (in PDF) (63 kb)
West Chelsea Rezoning - Overall Response (in PDF) (1.1 mb)
CB4 Testimony Before City Planning Commission on West Chelsea Rezoning (in PDF) (142 kb)
Response to West Chelsea Rezoning Environmental Impact Statement (in PDF) (261 kb)
Proposed Maps of West Chelsea Rezoning (in PDF) (1.1 mb)

West Chelsea Rezoning Points of Agreement 

General Theological Seminary Plans

The General Theological Seminary (GTS), located between West 20th-21st Street and 9th and 10th Avenue, forms an important part of Chelsea's historic heritage and character. These buildings share the brick and brownstone materials and the low horizontal scale typical of the Chelsea Historic District. The Seminary faced severe financial pressures that included the cost of remedying the effects of long deferred maintenance of its historic buildings. Click below to see Manhattan Community Board 4's (CB4) letters and other background documents regarding GTS construction plans.

April 2007

February 2007

December 2006

January 2006

November 2005

Land Use Projects in Manhattan Community Board 4

Visit the Department of City Planning's Zoning Application Portal ("ZAP"). The Zoning Application Portal offers the ability to search for specific land use applications through a variety of filters and features.

On the ZAP platform, in addition to public hearing and Community Board and Borough President Recommendations, there are direct links to City Planning tools and other databases (i.e. ACRIS, BISweb, ZoLa).

City Planning has a multitude of digital planning tools. A full catalogue of City Planning's digital tools can be found here.

Useful Links

Department of City Planning (DCP)

City Planning Commission Calendar and Agenda

Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA)

Department of Buildings (DOB)

Department of Finance (ACRIS)


Update: On July 25, 2012, the City Planning Commission will hear public testimony regarding the proposed Chelsea Market Expansion. 22 Reade Street, NY, NY, 10:00 a.m.

June 6, 2012, Manhattan Community Board Resolution to DCP re Chelsea Market
Click here

Environmental Assessment Statement CEQR 11DCP120M 
Click here

For the draft Environmental Assessment Statement, the draft application, and a PowerPoint Presentation from Chelsea Market.
Click here

For MCB4's Chelsea Market Presentation
Click Here 

Chelsea Market Zoning Analysis
Click here


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