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Official Website of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation

Building Plan Review

This page is for projects pre-filed with the NYC Department of Buildings on or after May 3, 2010. If you have a project pre-filed with DOB before May 3, 2010, please visit the Planting Requirements page.

Our Building Plan Review is a multi-step design review process that we administer jointly with the Department of Buildings (DOB) to help the building community more easily receive the proper permits for the protection of existing trees and the planting of new trees.

About Building Plan Reviews

After you submit an application for a DOB New Building, Alt-1, or Alt-2 permit, you may be required to have your building plan examined by NYC Parks in order to receive a DOB Certificate of Occupancy.  

During this process, we examine site plans that were filed with DOB, and evaluate the location of street trees and local site conditions. We also review any proposed tree removals during this process, and ensure that trees of our existing urban forest are managed and appropriately protected during construction. The Building Plan Review greatly reduces the chances that changes to tree bed size and tree species will be required after construction is complete, which will help expedite your Street Tree Planting Permit Sign-Off and the issuance of your Certificate of Occupancy.

Beginning Tree Work

The Building Plan Review is not a permit to start tree-related work. Once the review is complete, you will then have to submit a new Tree Work Permit request before work can begin. Planting permits should not be requested until construction is either finished or very close to completion. We will check our records to confirm that the design has already been approved, and will issue the permit based on the approved design.

To complete the Building Plan Review, please follow the step-by-step directions below.

Building Plan Review: Step-by-Step

Step 1: Examine Your Site Plan Against Parks' Building Plan Review Checklist

To kick off your Building Plan Review, you must include a building site plan, with 11”x17” architectural drawings. Before you submit your plan, reference the Building Plan Review Checklist to make sure your site plan possess all necessary information required by our Forestry offices.

You must also include one photo of each side of street frontage and one photo of each sidewalk view parallel to the street. Photos must include all trees within 50 feet of the property, and must be clear, in color, and labelled. Images from Google or a satellite service are not acceptable.

If any information is missing, please revise your site plan accordingly. Failure to complete this step will delay the rest of your Plan Review process.

All site plans with existing trees will require tree protection notes and details included in submitted plan with critical root zones labeled. If you would like your design review expedited, you may also include a Certified Arborist Report.

Download the Tree Preservation Best Practices and Protocol for Permits and Plan Review

Before you proceed, review our Tree Protection Details guide. You can also review our Tree Planting Standards and our List of Approved Species.

Step 2: Fill out the Tree Work Permit Application

Once you have all appropriate documentation, you may submit a Tree Work Permit application. You may submit this application before or after you begin an application for a DOB New Building, Alt. 1 or Alt. 2 Permit, but DOB will not issue a permit until you have submitted a Tree Work Permit application to NYC Parks.

Step 3: Parks Issues Acceptance Letter (P-R)

If all of the necessary minimum documentation is received, Parks will issue a sealed Plan Review acceptance letter, known as a P-R.

If you have a DOB tracking number, known as a BIS number, we will submit the P-R to DOB and issue you a hard copy. If you do not know your BIS number, please visit DOB’s Building Information Search  page to find it. If your BIS number is not yet available, you must take your P-R to DOB to prove that your site plan has been accepted for review.

This submission to DOB demonstrates the applicant’s awareness of the requirement for Parks review and approval of all tree planting removals, new tree locations as well as the protection plan for existing trees during the construction process.

The P-R will also inform you of any additional documentation/information needed before the Plan Review can begin. The P-R does not mean that you can start tree-related work. You MUST be issued an official Tree Work Permit before work can begin.

Step 4: DOB issues Construction Permits

Once the P-R is received by DOB, construction permits can be issued. You only need to have a receipt from Parks stating that you have submitted the plans for review in order to receive NB /Alteration permits from the Department of Buildings. However, you cannot get the Builder’s Pavement Plan (BPP) or authorization for a Department of Transportation permit (Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan only) without a Parks-approved site plan.

Step 5: Parks Plan Review Proceeds

The approval process will take some time. Our examination of your site plan and all requests will begin within 20-30 business days of receipt of the design.

If you kept to our standards, there may be no objections and the approval could happen quickly. If there are objections preventing a plan from being approved upon initial review, we will issue you a letter detailing the required corrections. Once those corrections are made, we will review the revised submission. Each correspondence exchange requiring the review of a plan submission will be reviewed within 20-30 business days.

Our site plan examinations may include:

  • Consideration of tree removal requests
  • Review of tree protection plans
  • Review of the correct placement, species, and tree bed sizes of new trees. All new plantings must conform to City regulations and avoid conflict with surrounding infrastructure.

Step 6: Getting Parks’ Sealed Approval to DOB

Bronx, Manhattan and Brooklyn

Once we approve your final site plan, take the sealed plan to DOB for authorization of your Builder’s Pavement Plan (BPP). DOB will not authorize a BPP until they receive a stamped site plan from Parks, proving that the location for the new tree(s) has been approved. The NYC Parks-approved site plan must match the one on file at DOB.

Queens and Staten Island

Once we approve your final site plan, take the sealed plan to DOB. DOB will not issue a Certificate of Occupancy without an approved site plan with an embossed seal from Parks.

While the sealed site plan can be brought to DOB any time before the DOB’s final Certificate of Occupancy inspection takes place, we strongly encourage you to submit the sealed plan to DOB as soon as possible to avoid any complications. The NYC Parks-approved site plan must match the one on file at DOB.

If New Tree Planting is Required

You may be required to plant new trees in order to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy from DOB. If new tree planting is required, please refer to the Planting Requirements for New Buildings.

If Working Near Parkland

If you are working on parkland or property under the jurisdiction or control of NYC Parks, you may need a NYC Parks Construction Permit. Please visit our Parks Construction Permit page for more information.

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