Council plan would limit changing hotels into apartments

Not content with trying to decriminalize criminality, the City Council is poised to usurp ULURP — the imperfect but indispensable land-use review procedure that’s been the rule book for city real estate policy for decades.

The Council on Thursday is all but certain to approve a bill that would severely curb hotel owners’ right to convert guest rooms to condo apartments. Such rules are normally the prerogative of the City Planning Commission, which writes zoning law subject to review by ULURP, or Uniform Land Use Review Procedure.

Less technically, the legislation would screw up one of the city’s strongest economic sectors, the hotel industry, by dictating what owners can and can’t do with their property. It would chill the robust market for hotel development and sales, which have pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into the city treasury in recent years.

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