In order to perform construction work on parkland or in or near areas under our jurisdiction, you must first obtain a NYC Parks construction permit.
We evaluate construction permit application requests along several criteria, including the length of time of the project, the impact of the project upon the area; and the restoration of the area after the project's completion. These permits will only be granted under limited and appropriate circumstances.
The permit can only be issued for land under NYC Parks’ jurisdiction or control and for a limited amount of time, which in most instances cannot exceed two years, and the area must be restored to NYC Parks' satisfaction at the conclusion of the construction period.
When Construction Permits are Needed
Permits are required for any project that affects assets under the jurisdiction or control of NYC Parks, which may include natural areas, adjacent sidewalks and roadways, greenstreets, monuments, concessions, and more. Work can include:
- Construction, including any excavation
- Installation of No-Access Fall Zones or overhead protection (sidewalk shed, scaffolding, etc.)
- Staging and materials storage
- Exploratory work such as surveys, soil boring, and test pits
- Access through parkland for workers, materials, or equipment
Applications that include requests for contractor staging on parkland are generally only reviewed and approved if the work zone is on or adjacent to parkland, or if the impact to parkland is otherwise unavoidable.
Please email our Interagency Coordination office at Interagency@parks.nyc.gov if you have any questions about whether your proposed project area affects assets under our jurisdiction or control. This account is not for queries regarding work on or near street trees.
Who Must Apply For a Construction Permit
If you are with an entity (government agency, utility, public authority, public benefit corporation, private developer/contractor, or otherwise) that seeks to perform work or secure access through property under our jurisdiction or control, you must formally apply for a construction permit. Property owners adjacent to park assets and contractors working for them also need to apply.
If you are proposing work on property under our jurisdiction or control, you are required to submit the scope and design of the project for approval. If approved, you must apply for and obtain a construction permit from us prior to the start of construction. A tree work permit may also be required and must be obtained before the construction permit may be issued.
Submit Your Project Scope
If you aren’t sure whether your project requires an NYC Parks construction permit, we offer and encourage review of projects in their scoping phase (even before any plans or drawings have been developed). The scoping phase is the best and most cost-effective time to determine if your work is likely to affect Parks assets and require permits from us.
To begin collaborating with a project manager here, please email our Interagency Coordination office at Interagency@parks.nyc.gov and include:
- A cc to the project sponsor (usually the public or private owner of the work)
- If available: The ID# or code that the sponsor uses to distinguish the project
- If available: scoping documents, preliminary designs or maps indicating the location and scope of work. At minimum, you should be able to explain the location and purpose of work in plain language.
If your project may affect a tree under Parks jurisdiction, you may need a tree work permit in addition to a construction permit. In a case where both permits apply, if your project is near a Parks-owned tree, we will not issue a construction permit until you have first obtained a tree work permit. Visit our Working On Or Near Trees page for more information on how to obtain a tree work permit.
Additional Permit Requirements
In addition to the construction permit, other permits, including permits from NYC Department of Transportation or the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, may also be needed before your project can begin. You will also be responsible to satisfy any relevant environmental review requirements (e.g. CEQR, SEQRA, or NEPA) before proceeding. Please review all local, state, and federal regulations related to your project.
The Construction Permit Process
If you need an NYC Parks Construction Permit, you must submit a complete permit application. All work to complete the permit application will be at the applicant’s expense. Before you submit the application, please review the following checklist to make sure that you have all the items that you need.
Permit Application Checklist
- Contact information for your lead project person.
- A written description that states who will perform the work, the scope and purpose of work, and the duration and location of the project. Request a length of time that will cover the duration of your work, including any restoration of the site to acceptable conditions. View or Download a sample request letter.
- The cost estimate of your project.
- A map of the physical work location
- A dimensioned site plan that shows the work zone, staging area, storage area, access as well as landscape and tree protection. View or Download a sample site plan.
- The location of all trees in the area. A tree survey prepared by a certified arborist may be required. View or Download a sample tree survey.
- Pictures or video of the current condition of the entire site (to be used as the basis of the Restoration Inspection). View or Download sample photos of current conditions.
- Identification of all subcontractors that may be working under this permit.
- Bond in an amount to be determined by NYC Parks by filling out the bond form. Original bonds must be submitted to Parks. Copies, including digital, will not be accepted.
- A certificate of insurance. Review the Insurance Requirements.
If you have a relevant easement, environmental review, or other supporting documentation, then you may also attach those files to your application.
Once you have electronic documents for each item on the permit application checklist ready, you may proceed to the form.
In general, it takes up to six weeks upon receipt of a complete permit application to review the permit. We review projects that range in scope from a one-page plan, such as private homeowners landscaping next to a park, to thousand-page plans of long-term projects by large municipal entities. The larger your job and its park impacts, the more complex and lengthy its permit review.
Once our review is complete, we will reach out to you with our determination. If you have an emergency project that requires immediate action, please call our 24-hour Central Communications line at (888) NY-PARKS or 646-613-1200.
Construction permits will be issued for the duration of your project, not to exceed two years. If you need to make changes to the scope of work, the construction permit allows for amendments after a review by NYC Parks. Please make an amendment request as soon as the scope or limits of work changes.
We hold a wide-range of public events in our parks every year, ranging from local events to large-scale music and food events. These events may result in embargo periods when all construction must be temporarily stopped. Since most NYC parks have their own event schedules, embargo days are on a park by park basis. Please email our Interagency Coordination office at Interagency@parks.nyc.gov if you are looking for specific information.
All entities who need authorization to perform work must be covered by required insurances. In the case of a prime contractor with subcontractors, the prime applies and must either cover subs under the prime’s insurance, or all subs must also have separate Parks permits with their own insurance requirements.
More Resources For Contractors
All work affecting our assets or properties must adhere to our standard specifications for landscaping, equipment, benches, pavement and other components unless we state otherwise. NYC Parks design standards for typical site furnishings and landscape items are available as standard specifications and details.
If you are looking for historic or topographic maps of a public park or parkland in support of design work within parklands, the NYC Parks project manager that you are working with can pull these for you. If you are not yet working with a PM within Parks, see instructions under “Submit Your Project Scope” to begin the process of collaborating with us.
Capital Projects and Contractor Forms
If you are looking to work with our department on a Parks-led capital project, please visit our Capital Projects page for more information on how to work with us. Visit our Contractor Forms page to find commonly needed forms if you are working on a current capital project.