Advice & Instructions

Advice & Instructions

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Tips on Preparing Forms and Documents

The forms and documents you prepare for your waterfront permitting application will vary, depending on which agencies you are submitting to. Make sure you know which agencies require permits or reviews for your project.

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Submit the Appropriate Forms and Materials for Each Agency

Make sure you fill all of the following forms completely:

Tip #2

Identify Ownership and Obtain Permissions to Build

Landowner’s permission

  • If applicant is not the owner of the land for which the application is submitted, the  landowner must sign the Joint Application

Adjacent (upland) properties

  • Double-check who owns a specific property using NYC Department of Building’s Zoning and Land Use tool: ZOLA
  • Identify abutting properties on the Existing Site Conditions Map
  • The NYS DEC also requires a Letter of Permission from a adjacent owner if project or its construction involves work on that property.

Lands Under Water

  • If your project includes work on, in or over water in coastal and tidal areas (including dredging, catwalks, docks, piers, and bulkhead projects), you must identify who owns these lands under water and then get permissions from the appropriate agencies or parties, which may be: New York State, New York City, or a private owner.
  • Contact: NYS Office of General Services to establish ownership of lands under water, and apply for any necessary grants or easements.

Tip #3

Provide a Detailed Project Description

For projects that fully comply with NYS DEC regulations (including those identified by the DEC for Standard Activity Permit review), provide a full project description. Where a project exceeds thresholds of compatibility, or requires a waiver, you should include in your project narrative detailed descriptions of more than one way you can complete your project, including ways you can:

  • avoid the impact altogether by not doing certain activities or relocating the project away from the water.
  • minimize the impact by limiting the project size and scope.
  • repair, rehabilitate, or restore the affected area.

Tip #4

Include Analysis Attachments, Where Needed

When your project exceeds compatible thresholds of land use regulations, or when you are seeking a waiver, additional project documentation is required. Providing the detailed explanations and analysis with your application helps agencies understand how your project fits in with their own policies and requirements.

Alternatives analysis

Alternatives analysis is an explanation of the potential alternatives to your initial proposal, including the use of other sites, modified project dimensions, and different materials. The alternatives analysis includes different ways to avoid or minimize the impact of your project on the environment.

  • Include in your submission to: All agencies

Analysis of consistency with specific NYC Waterfront Revitalization Program (WRP) policies

For any “Advance” or “Hinder” response in the “Policy” section of the NYC WRP Consistency Assessment Form, attach a separate page assessing how your project impacts the referenced policy.

For example, if your project is within a Special Natural Waterfront Area, you should explain on a separate attachment how it is (or is not) consistent with Policy 4.1: “Protect and restore the ecological quality and component habitats and resources of the Special Natural Waterfront Areas.” Describe how you will avoid activities that contribute to permanent adverse changes to ecological systems. Answer questions such as: will your project avoid fragmenting natural ecological communities? Will it avoid the use of invasive plants?

  • Include in your submission to: NYS DOS, NYS DEC, NYC DCP

Tip #5

Include Other Requested Information and Fees

Additional information and fees to include in your application:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

  • Individual permits require NYS DEC and NYS DOS authorizations prior to Army Corps review via the Joint Application.
  • Fees are required for: Individual Permits, Letters of Permission, and some Nationwide Permits, but not at the time of application

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

NYS Department of State

  • Include copies of supporting documentation sent to Army Corps or other federal agencies
  • Requires copies of forms, applications, and correspondence submitted to any other NYS agencies
  • No fees are required

NYC Department of City Planning

  • On the WRP Consistency Assessment Form, include a full listing of other agency approvals required, including any local actions
  • Include copies of forms, applications, and correspondence submitted to any other NYS agencies (such as the NYS DEC)
  • Include copies of supporting documentation sent to Army Corps or other federal agencies
  • No fees are required beyond those applicable for a Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) or a City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR).