In a recent press release, New York City deputy mayor Robert Steel announced a new program that the City’s Planning Department will be launching July 2nd to remove some layers of bureaucracy and speed the pre-certification process for projects that involve land use review.
The new initiative, running under the name BluePRint (short for Business Process Reform), will in effect lend businesses and developers more clarity and predictability as they enter into the Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP) as well as complete the process on an expedited schedule.
After the program has been fully implemented it is estimated that current processing times will be cut in half, saving the applicants time and money all the while getting more projects completed and increasing tax revenues for the City.
“BluePRint will transform the way the land use process works for both private and public applications” said City Planning Director Amanda M. Burden in a recent press release. “BluePRint will enable projects to be realized faster, without sacrificing high standards and careful review.”
The final version of this program was created through a myriad of iterations between industry professionals and the public agencies, and it has already been successfully tested as a pilot program. Of the constituents who were involved with the program, the support for the program has been unanimous.
REBNY Chair Mary Ann Tighe said, “The pre-ULURP process has been the most problematic aspect of the public review process for real estate development. It has been time-consuming, costly and unpredictable. BluePRint is taming this unwieldy process bringing transparency, efficiency and greater certainty to this critical stage of a development project. We commend the city for reforming this integral component of economic development activity in New York.”
With added efficiency and certainty, development becomes much more predictable and when dealing with large investments like many developers and property owners do, predictability is the name of the game. Programs such as BluePRint will be essential in the furthering of sustainable development for this and many other reasons. By its nature, development is a speculative business and adding the premium that sustainable development requires only increases that risk. Any publically driven initiative to create more predictability and transparency as stakeholders navigate the development process is one that should be encouraged as we shoot to attain economies of scale within this sector.