New York City (NYC) Rezoning Commitments Tracker

What is the NYC Rezoning Commitments Tracker tool and how can it be used?

The New York City (NYC) Rezoning Commitments Tracker (Tracker) is an online tool that enables city residents to monitor the city’s progress in implementing several neighborhood-level comprehensive plans.1 The neighborhood plans, referred to generally as “rezonings,” include zoning code changes as well as city commitments to specific capital and programmatic investments. The Tracker serves as a resource to catalogue the city’s specific commitments in each of the rezoning neighborhoods, view the progress on each commitment, and identify the agency leading each project or action item.

The tool can be used to both inform the city’s internal coordination and project management as well as provide external transparency for community members. The Tracker also serves to help users understand how zoning changes will manifest in tangible projects, translating the technical information from neighborhood rezoning plans into specific initiatives. Other local governments could consider developing and maintaining similar online tools to support and implement community-led decisionmaking processes including for adaptation and resilience. 

 

Why was the Tracker tool developed?

In 2015, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the initiative to rezone 15 neighborhoods as part of a city plan to create and preserve affordable housing.2 These rezoning plans will involve a review of current land uses and include new zoning designations as well as investments in five key project areas: Housing, Open Space, Community Resources, Transportation and Infrastructure, and Economic and Workforce Development. The city has since led the development of seven plans for seven neighborhoods, each with a set of commitments to capital and programmatic investments. The commitments are diverse in form, including housing development on public land, workforce and business development programs, school building and technology upgrades, and park revitalization. 

The city is required by local law to list each plan’s commitments and report progress on a yearly basis, and the Tracker was developed to serve this purpose.3 Because the effort to implement these rezonings is complex and involves multiple agencies, the Tracker was designed to offer a centralized online location for information on city commitments made pursuant to the rezonings.

 

How to use the NYC Rezoning Commitments Tracker

The Tracker is a storyboard website with a tab for each neighborhood with a rezoning plan. Each neighborhood’s tab includes projects that the city has committed to as part of that neighborhood’s rezoning process, listed side-by-side with an interactive map of the neighborhood that can help users visualize the location of those projects. 

Within each neighborhood’s tab, the projects are organized by policy area (Housing, Open Space, Community Resources, Transportation and Infrastructure, and Economic and Workforce Development), each including a description, status, timeline, and lead agency. The neighborhood map includes color-coded overlays corresponding to those areas’ current zoning designation (e.g., “Residential-Higher Density,” “Urban Renewal Area”). As users scroll through the list of commitments, the map automatically zooms to the location of each project, highlighting the specific site where applicable. 

For example, one of the tabs in the Tracker is for the 2017 Downtown Far Rockaway Roadmap for Action, the neighborhood’s rezoning plan, which includes goals to increase mixed-use and mixed-income housing.4 The first project featured in the tab for Downtown Far Rockaway under the Housing policy area is a mixed-use and mixed-income development on a city-owned lot that is expected to provide approximately 224 new homes when construction is completed in 2022.5 This project arises from the Downtown Far Rockaway Roadmap for Action, the neighborhood’s rezoning plan, which includes goals to increase mixed-use and mixed-income housing.6

In addition to housing and commercial development-related rezoning, the Open Space element of the plan includes proposals to enhance and increase public access to open spaces. To this end, the Tracker displays the city’s in-progress commitments to renovate and build new parks at three locations in the Downtown Far Rockaway project area.7

The Tracker can serve as a useful tool to allow residents to visualize the initiatives included in the neighborhoods’ rezoning plans and provide easily accessible information on their implementation progress.

Publication Date: June 30, 2021

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  • Progress report
  • Tool (general)

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