As-of-Right Development

As-of-right development refers to any proposed construction or enlargements that comply with all the zoning regulations in a given lot. As long as no rezoning is necessary - for example a proposed residential development in a residence district - and all bulk regulations are met, the development will not require any discretionary action by the City Planning Commission or the Board of Standards and Appeals. However, a proposed development must still be approved by the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB). (, 2019)

The majority of development in New York City is as-of-right. It streamlines the process for developers and stimulates investment in projects throughout the city because it lowers the risk of a given project being blocked or delayed due to lengthy appeals processes. (, 2017)

The downside of this streamlined process often means that the communities where the developments occur do not have much of a voice to protest or add insight to a proposal that will affect their day-to-day built environment. This behind-closed-doors approach can also lead to exclusionary zoning practices that take advantage of more marginalized communities. (, 2003)

There have been increasing numbers of instances where community boards have been successfully challenging proposed developments across NYC that would push prices up past the median household incomes of residents in the affected areas. Two recent cases include the Two Bridges and Bushwick neighborhoods, where developments were halted and ULURP procedures started after appeals to the state supreme court. (New York Times, 2020)

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