New York City Adopts Pathbreaking POPS Law
In 2017, the New York City Council passed a new law about privately owned public space (POPS) requiring (1) annual reporting by the Department of City Planning to the Mayor and Speaker about all POPS, the posting of POPS information on the Department’s website including an interactive map and a mechanism for electronically filing complaints, (2) proactive inspections of all POPS every three years and an annual report to the mayor and speaker about POPS complaints and enforcement actions by a city department (presumably the Department of Buildings), and (3) the posting of signs with information about POPS at every POPS in the city. The City Council passed the bill on June 21, 2017, following a June 29, 2016 public hearing held by the Council’s Land Use Committee, chaired by Council Member David Greenfield, to examine City oversight of POPS. Sixteen members of the Council, including Barron, Chin, Cohen, Dickens, Garodnick, Gentile, Kallos, Koo, Lander, Levin, Mendez, Reynoso, Rose, Torres, and Williams attended the hearing. Witnesses who testified included Edith Hsu-Chen, Director of the Manhattan Office in the Department of City Planning, Anita Laremont, General Counsel of the City Planning Commission, Patrick Wehle, Assistant Commissioner for External Affairs in the Department of Buildings, Joseph Ventour, Chief of Special Operations in the Buildings Department, Harvard professor and Advocates for Privately Owned Public Space founder Jerold S. Kayden, and representatives of various civic groups interested in POPS. Information about the hearing, including a video of the hearing and a transcript, can be found at the City Council’s website here..