Civic News

City Council moves to establish online applications for permits

Much of the paper-based permitting process is silly and labyrinthine, according to a City Council report.

Scantron, anyone? (Photo by Attribution Engine user Cocoen Daily Photos, used under a Creative Commons license)

City Council passed a bill last week to establish a team to review the feasibility of making all New York City forms and permits which are still applied for by paper to be moved online.

The bill, which passed the council unanimously, now goes to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s desk.

According to the bill, 564-2014, the mayor will work with the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications to complete the review and make suggestions for going forward. The bill would go into effect immediately and the deadline for the review and suggestions would be June 1, 2018.

The Committee on Technology’s report included a few examples of agencies using paper applications where it is possible that an online application would be more efficient.

“Farmers market permits, metal detector permits, and boating & marina permits do not have an online application option,” according to the committee’s report. “A film shoot request can be filed online for any park, including six of the seven conservancy parks through their own separate processes, but not for Battery Park in Manhattan, which seemingly requires that a pdf be printed out and mailed. And, while a ‘Special Event’ permit request can be filed online, if the event includes amplified sound then a New York Police Department (NYPD) ‘Sound Permit Application’ would be required and if it involves the sale of food or merchandise then a ‘Temporary Use Authorization’ from DPR’s Revenue Division would be required, neither of which can be applied for online.”

You get the idea.

According to the bill’s fiscal impact statement, this project would cost $0, as the research and review would be carried out by people already employed by the city. (You can see more details about the bill on Councilmatic, which arrived in New York earlier this year.)

Series: Brooklyn

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