Capital New York:
The City Council's newly formed Economic and Community Development Division will provide "resources and support to council members," Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said Wednesday, describing how it could affect the governing body's land use process.
The division will work with the Department of City Planning to hammer out deals with developers who want to build in the city. Mark-Vivertio said it will be a collaborative body that will be more proactive.
"I think the land use unit we have now, obviously we are very proud of it and their work, but it really responds to applications that are coming before us for a vote," Mark-Viverito said.
"We may be looking at projects that even city planning hasn't been looking at," she said. "We may be looking at areas that could use possible development that are not even on the radar of city planning right now, that are not on the radar of the administration."
Typically, developers go before the Department of City Planning before presenting their project to the Council. The planning department operates under the direction of the mayor.
Creation of the new unit appears to help cement the role the Council plays in approving or opposing land use applications. Although the Council does not automatically review all proposed developments, it must review changes to zoning laws often required when big projects are proposed.