Neighborhood groups would get an earlier jump on city development plans under a proposal being advanced by Councilman Antonio Reynoso, who organized a Friday convening of about 100 planners, housing group leaders, community board members and others.
The Bushwick councilman and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer want to build in a community engagement process before the city's formal land-use review process to give the public a stronger hand in determining the details of local real estate projects. Such a change would require a modification of the City Charter, Reynoso said.
This would give neighborhoods a chance to account for new infrastructure needs, according to the borough president.
"The old model, wherein there's no pre-discussion, ends with community stakeholders just chipping away at the impacts of a project or worse, accepting concessions that have little to do with the project's impact. That's why we need to be smart and start early," she said.
Meeting attendees decried what they consider superficial community engagement processes and the city's project-by-project approach to development.