In NYC, all proposals for big land use changes have to go through a public review process called the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP). Part of that process is a review of all the ways the proposed changes might impact the neighborhood — from traffic, to building shadows, to affordability. This review is required by the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act. The City wrote a set of its own rules to help make sure that proposals to change things in New York City follow state law. The City's rules are called the City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR); the full rules are here.
Community members can have a say in what kinds of “impacts” are considered, which is an important way to be involved in local land use decisions.
ULURP is the process New York City uses to make sure elected officials and the public review big land-use decisions. This process is most often used when a developer or the City wants to change the zoning rules to build something more or different that what is currently allowed or when the City is selling public land. There are other times when this process is used, too. Read about them here on the NYC Department of City Planning website.
A key step is a Public Scoping Hearing. This Hearing is an opportunity for you and your neighbors to tell the people who are investigating impacts what matters to you. Click here for more information about the Scoping Hearing.