Office of the City Clerk Office of the City Clerk
Advisory Opinions

ADVISORY OPINION 1987-12
FACTS

Advisory Opinion 1987-7, (Community Boards), declares that efforts to influence the determinations, recommendations and opinions of Community Boards are lobbying. Advisory Opinion 1987-8, (BSA), declares that applications before the Board of Standards and Appeals for special permits and variances are adjudicatory in nature and not lobbying. Appearances before the Community Boards are one of the components of the special permit and variance procedure before the BSA.

ISSUE
Must persons who appear before Community Boards, or who in some manner seek to influence the determination, decision, recommendation or opinion of the Community Board in connection with a special permit or variance application before the BSA, register as lobbyists?


OPINION
Yes. The City Clerk has determined that the special permit and the variance proceedings before the Board of Standards and Appeals is adjudicatory in nature, (A.O.1987-8). This office has also determined that efforts to influence the outcome of a determination, opinion, decision or recommendation of a Community Board is Lobbying, (A.O. 1987-7).

Although the Community Board recommendation to the BSA, (see Charter Sections 668, 2800 subdiv.15) is "advisory" and but one component of the BSA special permit or variance procedure, it injects into this adjudicatory proceeding an element of lobbying.
After careful consideration and analysis, we declare that registration and reporting as a lobbyist pursuant to the Lobbying Law is required of persons who influence or attempt to influence the opinion, recommendation, decision or declaration of a Community Board in connection with a special permit or variance proceeding before the Board of Standards and Appeals.
In this situation, in filing lobbyist registration statements and periodic reports with the City Clerk, the lobbyist is required only to report and disclose information (as required by the Lobbying law) that pertains to their appearance before the Community Board in connection with the special permit or variance application.

CARLOS CUEVAS City Clerk and Clerk of the Council
KATHERINE E. TIMON Counsel
TIMOTHY MCFARLAND Assistant Counsel

Resources
> Online Forms
> Office Hours and Locations
> Legal Holidays
> NYCityMap
> NYC.gov
> City Council
> NYS Joint Commission on Public Ethics
> NYC CityStore