Lobbying Law Update to Impact Architects

When you present a client’s projects to New York City government review entities, your testimony may be “lobbying” and subject to the NYC Lobbying Law.

Lobbying is the attempt to influence decisions made by city government officials and is governed by a series of local laws, dating to 1987 and revised in 2013, that include requirements for architects to register as lobbyists. The City Clerk has prepared a pamphlet with additional information on the registration requirements for architects and other professionals.

The City wants to enforce the law. Fines and penalties may be imposed on architects who fail to comply with the lobbying registration and reporting requirements. AIANY has sought relief from the most onerous provisions of the law, and there is now an amnesty program in effect until 06.30.16. If you have registered as a lobbyist in the past, you are not eligible for amnesty.

Compliance training sessions are held at the City Clerk’s office every Wednesday from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm. These sessions are open to anyone who has questions about the lobbying law, the amnesty program, or those who require assistance in filing the application. To learn more, contact the Lobbying Bureau at 212-669-8171 or lobbyist_helpdesk@cityclerk.nyc.gov, or visit the Lobbying Bureau website at www.cityclerk.nyc.gov.

AIANY recommends that you or your counsel attend a training session. Carefully examine the NYC Lobbying Law and Rules to determine whether you engage in reportable lobbying. If in doubt, consult your attorney.

AIANY is working on additional programming to clarify and present this legislation to the membership. Until those sessions are developed, we recommend that all members become familiar with the requirements of the law and take advantage of the amnesty offered.

Pulse Points

  • The NYC Economic Development Corporation released an RFP to bring a mixed-use development to two city-owned sites along the Long Island City waterfront. The sites have a combined 1.2 million square feet of buildable space.
  • The City Council Committee on Zoning and Franchises held a public hearing on the NYC Department of City Planning’s East New York Community Plan.
  • On 03.09.16 at the Center for Architecture, the NYC Department of Design and Construction Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora and Chief Architect Margaret Castillo, FAIA, presented the Design and Construction Excellence 2.0 Guiding Principles, a framework that encourages its architects, engineers, landscape architects, and related professionals to use a performance-based approach to engage issues of equity, sustainability, resiliency, and healthy living.
  • The New York City Council passed two laws that amend the city’s current LEED law. Most City-owned new construction and major retrofits will need to achieve LEED Gold and cut energy use in half. AIANY worked with Urban Green Council and other partners on pushing this legislation forward. Laurie Kerr, AIANY’s Director for Sustainability and Director of Policy and Urban Green Council wrote more about the changes on the Urban Green Council blog.