By Frank Fortino
With the City Planning Commission’s final approval of the Greater East Midtown Rezoning proposal on August 9, 2017, other rezonings were also applied to certain blocks in the neighborhood. As a result, these areas have since received the E-Designation, also known as a “little ‘e.’” An E-Designation on the zoning map indicates the presence of an environmental requirement.
If your property received this new classification, nothing changes—unless you have plans for new construction or a change in land use. Then, the Office of Emergency Remediation (OER) gets involved. For properties with E-Designations and/or Restricted Declarations, OER reviews all demolition and construction filings to ensure that new development meets the environmental requirements established during the land rezoning process. These requirements pertain to hazardous materials, air quality, and noise, and specific requirements for your property can be found in Appendix C of the Zoning Resolution, listed by E-Number. Sprinkler and fire alarm scopes do not require OER approval.
Minor alteration construction projects may apply for a Notice Of No Objection (NNO). For example, building permit applications for the following types of projects may qualify for an NNO:
- No soil disturbance/excavation
- No changes to windows or façade
- No changes to stack location, boilers and HVAC systems, or fuel types
- No change of use, occupancy, or egress
NNO applications may be submitted manually or electronically. The OER reviews the applications and proposed work types. For each NNO submitted to the Department of Buildings (DOB), applicants must pay a $375 fee.
More extensive development projects require a phased review from the OER, in which the agency issues an initial “Notice to Proceed,” followed by a “Notice of Satisfaction.” Each phase review performed by OER will result in a $1,050 fee.
Examples of these project types include the following:
- New buildings
- Changes that disturb the soil
- Changes to windows or façade
- Changes to stack location, boilers and HVAC systems, or fuel types
- Change of use, occupancy, or egress
For both minor alterations and projects requiring phased review, applicants should not submit fee payments until OER issues a formal fee payment request, including an assigned project number.
If you have questions about how these new E-Designations affect your projects, call Metropolis Group at 212.233.6344.