Community boards of New York City
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The community boards of New York City are the appointed advisory groups from various districts throughout each of the five boroughs of New York City. Each board is composed of 50 volunteer members, each appointed by the local Borough President. Half of the members are nominated by the community district's City Council members. There are currently 59 community districts, including twelve in Manhattan, twelve in the Bronx, eighteen in Brooklyn, fourteen in Queens, and three in Staten Island.
Community boards act in an advisory capacity, wielding no official authority to make or enforce laws. Community boards deal with a range of matters, including land use and zoning, identifying community needs as part of the City’s budget process, and working with government agencies to improve the local delivery of services. More broadly, all community boards are concerned with any other matter relating to the welfare of the district and its residents.
Land use and zoning
Community boards must be consulted on most land use and development proposals that involve City land or facilities, special permits, changes or variances to zoning, and the use of public street and sidewalks. The board's recommendation on such proposals must be considered by authorizing City agencies (usually the City Planning Commission or the Board of Standards and Appeals) in the final determination of these applications. Projects that are “as-of-right” (i.e. the City has no discretion) are not subject to community review. The City Charter allows community boards to initiate their own plans for the growth and the well being of their communities.
Community boards assess the needs of their own neighborhoods, meet with city agencies and make recommendations in the City's budget process to address them.
Other community concerns
Any problem which affects part or all of the community, from a traffic problem to deteriorating housing, is a proper concern of a community board.
The community board and its office staff serve as advocates and service coordinators for the community and its residents, and are usually successful in resolving the problems they address. But, they cannot order any city agency or official to perform any task.
Board members are selected from among active, involved people of each community, with an effort made to assure that every neighborhood is represented. Board members must reside, work or have some other significant interest in the community. Appointments to the board are usually made each Spring.
- Neighborhoods in New York City for a description of each CB
- "About Community Boards". NYC Mayor's Community Affairs Unit. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
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