Learn more about who is making the decisions regarding the development and planning of your community. Find out when and where public meetings are being held, contact your local government representatives, ask questions, and demand answers.
How do I find out what is happening in my local community?
Attend monthly Community Board meetings to find out the latest on what’s being planned for your neighborhood. Community Boards help advise city officials on local matters such as land use and zoning, city budget recommendations, housing problems, and other issues affecting the welfare of the community.
To find out which is your local Community Board as well as when and where local board meetings are being held, visit: http://www.nyc.gov/html/cau/html/cb/directorys.html
Who makes the final decisions regarding the welfare and development of my community?
The City Council is responsible for the approval of land use, development, zoning, community development decisions and the city budget.
To find out who your City Council representative is and learn when public hearings are taking place visit:http://council.nyc.gov/html/home/homes.html
Department of Buildings
Where can I find information concerning complaints/violations of specific buildings in my neighborhood?
The NYC Dept of Buildings is in charge of maintaining the safety and lawful use of city buildings. If you have concerns about construction, housing conditions, and other quality of life issues affecting buildings in your neighborhood or to view past and present complaints and violations, inspection records, work permits and legal use of structure visit:
Department of City Planning
Where can I find information regarding proposals for rezoning in my neighborhood?
The Department of City Planning reviews applications for zoning changes of individual neighborhoods and business districts and also organizes plans for future city developments. To find out what projects and rezoning proposals are planned for your community, visit:
How can I become active in the Harlem community?
Contact the following Harlem-based organizations, featured in Rezoning Harlem, to get involved in making positive change in the community.
Coalition to Save Harlem
The Coalition to Save Harlem was formed by a progressive group of individuals and organizations in November of 2007 in response to Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal to rezone 125th Street from river to river. CSH works towards preserving and protecting Harlem in the best interest of its residents and small business owners.
Harlem Tenants Council
Founded in 1994, The Harlem Tenants Council is a tenant led grassroots organization helping to provide poor and working class families in Central Harlem with eviction intervention services and to encourage Harlem residents to become key players in the decisions affecting their community.
VOTE People (Voices of the Everyday People)
VOTE People was originally formed in response to the city’s rezoning plans for 125th Street and are working towards giving a voice to residents of communities impacted by economic, political, and legal reform.
How can I be involved in the planning of my community?
Get in touch with organizations that empower New Yorkers to play an active role in the planning and development of their communities.
The Campaign for Community Based Planning
Comprised of community, environmental and professional groups, The Campaign for Community Based planning was founded on the belief that the people who work and live in a neighborhood have the best understanding of the needs of the community and are most equipped for planning its future. They are currently making policy recommendations to City Council for community-based planning initiatives.
The Pratt Center encourages and provides information for communities to develop their own idea of what their city should look like. They bring together residents, business owners, and community organizations to work with urban planners to develop ideas and create plans for the preservation and strengthening of New York City neighborhoods. http://prattcenter.net/
How can I work to protect and strengthen the small and local businesses in my neighborhood?
Harlem Business Alliance
The Harlem Business Alliance is an organization serving as an advocate for the preservation and proliferation of local and small businesses in Harlem. The HBA aims to help businesses adversely affected by the 125th Street rezoning by providing them with loans, incentives, and other programs and services aiming to protect and strengthen the local business community. http://www.hbany.org/about
How can I take part in protecting the historic resources in my neighborhood?
Learn how you can to apply to designate a historic site or area in your area as a landmark.
Historic Districts Council
The Historic Districts Council advocates on behalf of New Yorkers and works with community groups seeking to protect their neighborhood via historic designation or zoning.
Landmarks Preservation Commission
The Landmarks Preservation Commission is the New York City agency that is responsible for identifying and designating the City's landmarks and the buildings in the City's historic districts.