Curriculum

New York City Zoning and Land Use Controls

Credits: 2.00
Faculty: Leonard Wasserman

This course will seek to explore the New York City Zoning Resolution from the point of view of the services a zoning and land use attorney performs for a client in order to achieve a client?s objectives in connection with a real estate development or redevelopment project. The course will study particularized basic zoning matters such, as the Zoning Resolution as a "Well-Considered Plan," the fundamental phenomenon of the "zoning lot" as the foundation for analyzing any issue raised by the Zoning Resolution, the transfer of development rights phenomenon-- including the "remote vesting" of development rights, the impact of historic properties on zoning and other real estate development issues, height and set-back restraints and calculations, the treatment of streets and parkland and their impact on development projects, open space requirements, floor area "bonuses" for plazas and other amenities and for "Inclusionary Housing" initiatives, the intersection of zoning and transit oriented development projects, how special purpose districts work, and the phenomenon of the ?large scale? project. In addition, the role of the Board of Standards and Appeals will be treated as a separate aspect of zoning practice. Challenges to zoning decisions will also be a subject of inquiry, including challenges based upon the adequacy of environmental review in connection with any discretionary zoning action. Each class will be conducted by a presenter who will be an experienced attorney recruited from the zoning and land use bar. While the Zoning Resolutions fundamentals will be studied as particularized subjects, they will, nevertheless be considered by the presenters in the context of discrete zoning and land use actions with respect to which a presenter actually represented a client. Accordingly, the course will be grounded in the "real world" of zoning and land use practice. The course will require regular readings in the law of Zoning and Land Use as well as documentary materials derived from particular matters with respect to which the presenters represented clients.

Grading and Method of Evaluation

The student grade for the course will be based upon a term paper to be prepared by each student taking the course for credit which paper will require the student to fashion an imaginary real estate development or redevelopment project to be created by the student based upon the student's accumulated learning in the course. Creativity of the term paper using the tools of the Zoning and Land Use lawyer will be the principle criterion for measuring the student?s performance.