City Planning Begins Review of Hotel Special Permit for M1 Zones

April 23, 2018 – Public review launched today for a new City Planning Commission (CPC) Special Permit that would be required to construct new hotels and motels in M1 light manufacturing districts. A CPC Special Permit would allow for the consideration, on a site-specific basis, of the appropriateness of hotel development in these areas.

These light manufacturing districts provide some of the greatest opportunities to support the needs of the City’s growing economy and population. However, the rules regulating development and land use in many M1 districts have changed little since 1961. Accordingly, it is important to examine whether and how hotels in these areas support an evolving economy.

Proposing this mechanism for a case-by-case review of hotels in M1 districts in our core industrial areas fulfills a mayoral commitment announced with the City Council in 2015 as part of a 10-point Industrial Action Plan. In addition to introducing the Special Permit requirement for hotels seeking to locate in Industrial Business Zones (IBZs) as promised in 2015, the proposed applicability of the Special Permit was expanded to M1 zones throughout the city.

The rapid increase in the numbers of tourist hotels in M1 districts, particularly near transit, has raised concerns in part because of the competition for scarce buildable land in New York City. Tourism remains an important sector of the city’s economy and the City believes it is appropriate that hotels are permitted to locate as-of-right in many other zoning districts throughout the city. However, by occupying vacant or underdeveloped sites that could have been available to other light industrial uses in M1 districts, hotels may directly or indirectly limit opportunities for job-generating businesses and services that have few siting opportunities outside of manufacturing areas, or rely on these locations to serve the needs of nearby residents and workers. In addition, hotel development in M1 districts has sometimes introduced unanticipated land use conflicts with adjacent uses or accelerated changes in neighborhood character.

The Special Permit would require that a proposal for hotel development go through the City’s formal land use public review (ULURP) process. The areas in which a Special Permit would be required are shown on an interactive map.

The 59 community boards and the five borough presidents will have 60 days to review the proposal for a Special Permit, after which the proposal returns to the City Planning Commission for a hearing and subsequent vote, followed by City Council review. For more information on the proposed Special Permit or the public review process, see the DCP web page.



Department of City Planning

The Department of City Planning (DCP) plans for the strategic growth and development of the City through ground-up planning with communities, the development of land use policies and zoning regulations applicable citywide, and its contribution to the preparation of the City’s 10-year Capital Strategy. DCP promotes housing production and affordability, fosters economic development and coordinated investments in infrastructure and services, and supports resilient, sustainable communities across the five boroughs for a more equitable New York City.

In addition, DCP supports the City Planning Commission in its annual review of approximately 450 land use applications for a variety of discretionary approvals. The Department also assists both government agencies and the public by advising on strategic and capital planning and providing policy analysis, technical assistance and data relating to housing, transportation, community facilities, demography, zoning, urban design, waterfront areas and public open space.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *