City Council

June 12, 2024

What to know about the NYC broker fee bill

Broker fees are once again up for debate in the New York City Council. A seven-hour public hearing on Wednesday brought hundreds of tenant advocates and real estate professionals to City Hall over Intro 360, or the Fairness in Apartment Renal Expenses (FARE) Act. The legislation, sponsored by Council Member Chi A. Ossé, calls for shifting the payment of broker fees to the party who hired the broker, often the landlord or management company. Agents argue landlords would bake the fees into the monthly rent, threatening their livelihood and increasing the financial burden for renters.
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May 15, 2024

Park Slope development with 305 new apartments approved by City Council

Park Slope will soon see the addition of two high-rise rentals, bringing more than 300 new apartments to the neighborhood. The City Council last month approved a rezoning application from Stellar Management to construct two new buildings at 341 10th Street, in addition to the existing apartment building on the site the developer already owns. The project includes new 17- and 19-story buildings that would wrap around the subway covering where the F and G trains go below ground, as The Real Deal reported. The project adds 305 new apartments, 162 of which will be income-restricted, bringing the total number of units from 154 to 459 at the property.
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April 11, 2024

City Council approves NYC’s first-ever pro soccer stadium in Queens

New York City's first-ever professional soccer stadium in Queens is moving forward. The City Council on Thursday voted to approve a sweeping 23-acre mixed-use development in Willets Point that will bring a seven-story soccer stadium for the NYC Football Club (NYCFC), 2,500 affordable housing units, a school, and a hotel to the neighborhood, once known for its junkyards and landfills. The 25,000-seat stadium is slated for completion just in time for the 2027 season.
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March 11, 2024

NYC officials seek $2 billion for permanent affordable housing

A group of progressive New York City officials on Monday launched a campaign advocating for permanent affordable housing. Members of the City Council's Progressive Caucus announced the "Homes Now, Homes for Generations" campaign, calling for $2 billion in capital funding over four years to support two Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) programs that expand multi-family homeownership and preserve rent-stabilized apartments, as first reported by Politico.
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February 21, 2024

Mayor Adams sued over failure to enact housing voucher laws

The New York City Council on Wednesday filed a motion to join a class-action lawsuit against Mayor Eric Adams for failing to comply with new laws regarding housing vouchers that should have taken effect on January 9. The Legal Aid Society filed the suit last week on behalf of four plaintiffs who are unable to access housing vouchers they are entitled to under laws passed by the City Council last year, according to Gothamist.
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September 12, 2023

City Planning approves zoning changes to make it easier for NYC to go green

New York City is taking steps to accelerate climate-friendly projects. The City Planning Commission on Monday voted to approve the City of Yes for Carbon Neutrality, a set of 17 citywide zoning changes that will help the five boroughs reach carbon neutrality goals by removing barriers to greener energy, transportation, buildings, and water and waste systems. The changes will help NYC reach its target of reducing carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050.
August 29, 2023

NYC Council approves five-year permit for Madison Square Garden

Madison Square Garden will remain above Penn Station, but for not as long as its owners want. Two New York City Council committees on Monday voted to renew the arena's special permit for five years, which would be the shortest operating permit given to the Garden if approved by the full Council next month. MSG owner James Dolan had hoped to secure a permanent extension of the operating permit which expired earlier this year.
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June 23, 2023

Adams vetoes NYC Council bills expanding rental assistance

Mayor Eric Adams has vetoed four City Council bills that would expand access to New York City's housing voucher program. Adams on Friday vetoed bills Intro. 229, Intro. 878, Intro. 893, and Intro. 894, claiming the legislation package, which was passed by the council last month, would cost the city an exorbitant amount of money and "make it harder" for homeless New Yorkers to find housing. The Council passed the legislation package late last month with a vote of 41 to 7, enough support to override the veto.
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May 26, 2023

NYC Council passes legislation expanding rental assistance

The New York City Council on Thursday passed a set of bills that will help house more New Yorkers and free up shelter space for asylum seekers. The legislation ends a rule requiring unhoused people spend at least 90 days in shelter before qualifying for a rental assistance voucher, known as CityFHEPS, and expands the number of people eligible for the vouchers. Mayor Eric Adams, who may attempt to veto the bill, said the legislation will cost the city billions over the next five years.
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May 12, 2023

Housing targets in every NYC district would lead to more equitable development, City Council says

A new plan by the New York City Council aims to increase affordable housing production by setting development goals for each of the city's 59 community districts. Speaker Adrienne Adams on Thursday unveiled her "Fair Housing Framework" legislation, a plan reminiscent of Gov. Kathy Hochul's rejected proposal earlier this year that called for every locality in the state to meet home creation targets. Under Adams' plan, "high-opportunity," or wealthier, transit-rich neighborhoods in the city, would be required to produce more low-income affordable housing. According to the plan, the city's housing agencies would be responsible for setting targets for each district, which would be reevaluated every five years, starting in 2025.
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February 25, 2022

NYC Council approves zoning amendment in move toward permanent outdoor dining

The New York City Council on Thursday approved the Open Restaurants zoning text amendment to NYC’s Zoning Resolution, an important step in the path to making permanent outdoor dining a part of city life. The zoning amendment expands the areas where outdoor dining can be considered to all NYC neighborhoods. The amendment joins proposed legislative changes that would cut red tape for restaurant owners.
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December 10, 2020

13-tower project proposed for Flushing as part of rezoning gets City Council approval

Plans to rezone parts of the Flushing waterfront to make way for a 13-tower mixed-use development were approved by the New York City Council on Thursday. The approval of the zoning changes and the project, which calls for 1,725 units of housing, a hotel, offices, and retail space across 29 acres, came after elected officials reached an agreement this week with union groups SEIU 32BJ and the Hotels Trade Council to provide good-paying jobs for service workers, as well as hire public housing residents in the area.
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October 16, 2020

NYC makes outdoor dining permanent, lifts ban on propane heaters at restaurants

The New York City Council on Thursday voted to make outdoor dining permanent and year-round and lifted the ban on portable propane heaters. The legislation approved by the Council extends the city's current Open Restaurants program, in which more than 10,500 restaurants have enrolled since June, until September 30, 2021, and requires it to be replaced with a permanent program. Under the program, restaurants will also be able to use portable propane heaters, which were previously banned.
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September 25, 2020

NYC outdoor dining will be year-round and permanent

Outdoor dining will be a permanent, year-round feature for New York City restaurants, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Friday. The city's popular "Open Restaurants" program, which launched in June and allows restaurants to set up outdoor seating on sidewalks, patios, and on some streets closed to cars on weekends, was set to expire on October 31. During his weekly appearance on WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show, de Blasio said the program will be "part of the life of the city for years to come." The "Open Streets: Restaurants" program, which has closed roughly 87 streets to traffic for car-free dining on weekends, will also be made permanent, the mayor said.
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September 17, 2020

NYC restaurants can charge diners an extra 10 percent fee during COVID-19 pandemic

Restaurants in New York City can charge diners a fee of up to 10 percent of the total bill for in-person dining under new legislation passed by the City Council on Wednesday. The "COVID-19 Recovery Charge" aims to offset losses businesses have suffered since the start of the health crisis in March. The surcharge will be permitted until 90 days after full indoor dining resumes. Gov. Andrew Cuomo this month said indoor dining can reopen on September 30 at 25 percent capacity.
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August 28, 2020

NYC Council extends cap on food delivery fees until indoor dining resumes

The New York City Council on Thursday voted to extend the cap on commissions that restaurants are charged by third-party delivery services. The legislation, first enacted in May, restricts fees services like Grubhub and Uber Eats can charge to 20 percent per order during a state of emergency. The cap will now be in effect until restaurants are able to resume indoor dining at maximum occupancy and 90 days following. There is still no plan to bring back indoor dining, despite the city meeting the state's coronavirus metrics.
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August 27, 2020

Massive Two Bridges projects can move forward without City Council approval

Three projects that include the construction of four towers and the creation of nearly 3,000 housing units in Two Bridges meet all zoning requirements and can move forward without City Council approval, an appeals court ruled Thursday. The Appellate Division of State Supreme Court reversed a lower court's ruling that had stopped the Manhattan megaproject from going ahead.
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August 25, 2020

NYC cultural institutions would be allowed to put on performances outdoors, under proposed bill

A New York City Council member will introduce a bill this week that would allow cultural institutions to set up events and exhibits outdoor, the New York Daily News first reported. Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, who represents parts of Queens and is chair of the Cultural Affairs Committee, wants the city to give nonprofit groups space to perform on parking lots, streets, and parks. "The city of New York is the cultural capital of the world and right now it's a city that's a little sad," Van Bramer told the Daily News. "The city of New York without music and dance and theater is just not the same New York."
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August 18, 2020

Winning design proposal brings better mobility and biodiverse ‘microforests’ to the Brooklyn Bridge

Two proposals have been chosen as the winners of a design contest launched earlier this year that sought ways to improve pedestrian space on the crowded Brooklyn Bridge. The Van Alen Institute and the New York City Council on Monday announced that "Brooklyn Bridge Forest," a design that calls for lots of green space and an expanded wooden walkway, won the professional category. And "Do Look Down," which would add a glass surface above the girders and make space for community events and vendors, took the top prize in the young adult category.
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May 26, 2020

NYC Council urges mayor to open city beaches for swimming

The New York City Council on Saturday urged Mayor Bill de Blasio to open the city beaches this summer safely amid the coronavirus pandemic, including allowing swimming. Currently, swimming is not permitted, but local residents are allowed to walk or sit on the beach. A number of council members this weekend released 10-point beach reopening guidelines, which include limited capacity, social distancing markers, mask requirements, and increasing transit options to beach communities.
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December 11, 2019

New NYC buildings must be constructed with bird-friendly materials

The New York City Council approved on Tuesday a bill requiring new buildings to be constructed with bird-friendly materials. Considered the most extensive policy of its kind in the country, the initiative mandates new glass buildings, as well as projects undergoing a major renovation, to be equipped with materials that are easier for birds to see. Each year, between roughly 90,000 and 230,000 birds die each year in New York City from colliding with glass buildings, according to the NYC Audubon. 
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November 15, 2019

East River flood protection plan gets the green light from NYC Council

The $1.45 billion East Side Coastal Resiliency Project (ESCR), designed to protect a section of Manhattan's east side from flooding, was approved on Thursday in a full City Council vote. The vote is the final City Council approval of the project, which passed the city's land use committee earlier this week and is the culmination of a long and at-times controversial process. As 6sqft previously reported, the project was born in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and was designed to flood-proof over two miles of Manhattan’s east side between East 25th Street and Montgomery Street and improve waterfront access to waterfront space. According to the city, the ESCR project would protect over 110,000 New Yorkers.
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October 18, 2019

NYC Council approves plan to replace Rikers Island with four new jails

The New York City Council on Thursday approved a plan that would close the notorious Rikers Island complex and replace it with four smaller jails across the city. The nearly $9 billion proposal, released by Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2017, pledges to shutter Rikers in 10 years by dramatically reducing the city's jail population. It involves housing inmates in new facilities in Lower Manhattan, the South Bronx, Downtown Brooklyn, and Kew Gardens that are better integrated with the surrounding communities, as well as located closer to court systems.
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September 30, 2019

Report suggests looking to zoning to speed up subway accessibility; map shows which lines lag

Despite recent progress–and a federal lawsuit–only 23 percent of New York City's 493 subway and Staten Island Railway (SIR) stations are fully ADA-accessible, a statistic which puts the city dead last among the country’s 10 largest metro systems for accessibility of its transit stations. The MTA has made a commitment to funding accessibility in its much-discussed Capital Plan, but hundreds of stations are still without without plans for ADA access. On Friday Speaker Corey Johnson and the City Council released a report showing that the use of zoning tools to incentivize or require private development projects to address subway station access could speed up progress toward the goal of system-wide ADA access–and simultaneously cut public expense. The report, and an interactive map, show the current system, future plans and what the use of zoning tools could accomplish.
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July 24, 2019

NYC Council approves pilot program for air-conditioned ‘pet harbors’ outside of Brooklyn shops

Pets in Brooklyn may soon be able to wait more securely outside for their owners. The New York City Council on Tuesday approved a bill that asks the city to create a program for "pet harbors" on sidewalks next to commercial establishments. This will allow pet owners, for a fee, to leave animals in the climate-controlled, enclosed container, for no longer than an hour as they shop or get a cup of coffee.
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