Implementation of Paperless Filing

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Comment By: 
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf): 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule

Chapter 8 of The New York City Charter and Title 62 of the Rules of the City of New York (the “Rules”) provide for the submission, review and approval of land use applications and their related environmental review materials.  Historically, such applications were received by the Department of City Planning (“DCP”) in hardcopy and, more recently, digitally via email. Review of such applications is conducted by DCP, community boards, borough president’s offices and other public entities, and the results of such reviews are transmitted, both to applicants and other stakeholders, via paper copies and email. 

To improve the efficiency and reduce the cost of the application process, DCP is developing a paperless filing system (PFS) that will provide an electronic platform for the application process and enable the submission of applications and related communications without the use of paper and, for the most part, email. Facilitating collaboration, the PFS will enable DCP staff, applicants and their representatives, and governmental entities to access the system via a web-based interface, and those entities who make, modify or review applications to more smoothly exchange materials, comments, and ideas.  PFS will also allow members of the public to more easily access applications and related materials and understand the timeline for public review. 

The Rules currently contain certain terms and phrases which, if construed literally, would either not allow aspects of the PFS to be implemented or require methods of communication in addition to those proposed to be employed by the PFS.

To facilitate the full implementation of the PFS, DCP is proposing some minor changes to Chapters 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, & 10 of the Rules to ensure that the PFS will operate as intended without violating the Rules.  The proposed revisions would not substantively modify the Rules in that they would still require forms of notice and document delivery (including applications) between DCP, applicants, and stakeholders but would remove references to certain methods and modes of communication that would conflict with the efficiencies enabled by the PFS. The proposed changes are also intended to be generic enough to allow for further evolution in communication that may develop in the future.    

Specifically, to allow use of the PFS, the proposed rule changes would clarify, where necessary, that land use application or environmental review materials may be filed and sent among the stakeholders via media other than paper. Comments on such applications could be submitted to DCP via the PFS from a community board or borough president’s office with access to the PFS via DCP’s website.  As the PFS would allow payment of application fees via methods other than by check, the current land use and CEQR fee rules would be modified to remove the requirement for payment to be attached to the application at the time of an application (although payment would be required for an application to be deemed “filed”). On a more basic level the proposed modifications would also remove references to the DCP’s and City Planning Commission’s former address at 22 Reade Street. With a similar purpose of updating and clarifying, the proposed rule change would also make the relevant ULURP rule for notice of (E) designations consistent with related Section 11-15 of the Zoning Resolution and incorporate reference to DCP’s website to reduce paper.

DCP’s authority for these rules is found in sections 1043 and 191(b)(2) of the New York City Charter.

Public Hearing


Public Hearing Date: 
Wednesday, January 17, 2018 - 10:00am

Dominick Answini

Department of City Planning
120 Broadway
New York, NY 10271