New York City is divided into 59 geographic Community Districts, each with its own Community Board. The Community Boards are municipal bodies of up to 50 representative Board Members. Board Members are appointed by their respective Borough President, half of them at the recommendation of their local City Council Member. They serve in a voluntary capacity for two year staggered terms. Board Members are your neighbors - people who live, work, own a business, or have some other significant interest in the Community District.
Boards meet once each month. At these meetings, members address items of concern to the community. Board meetings are open to the public, and a portion of each meeting is reserved for the Board to hear from members of the public. In addition, Boards regularly conduct public hearings - on the City’s budget, on land use matters, and other major issues - to give the people of the community the opportunity to express their opinions.
Board committees do most of the planning and work on the issues that are acted on at Board meetings. Each Board establishes the committee structure and procedures it feels will best meet the needs of its district. Non-Board members may apply to join or work on Board committees.
The community board has an important advisory role in dealing with land use, zoning, the budget process, and other issues. For instance, under the Uniformed Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), the matter must come before the community board at a public hearing where residents within and outside the community can present testimony. The agency applying for consideration under the ULURP procedure must also attend the hearing to respond to community concerns/questions. The community board votes and makes recommendation to the Department of City Planning.
For Zoning issues, individuals wishing to construct premises contrary to the zoning regulations must apply for a variance to the Board of Standards and Appeals. These applications also come before the board for public hearing. A recommendation regarding the application is submitted to the Board of Standards and Appeals.
For Capital and Expense Budgets, the process begins with consultations at the district level and moves on to consultations at the borough level; public hearings scheduled by the board, the borough president and the city council before the budget is adopted. Members of the public are encouraged to attend these hearings and to testify.
Of course, community boards provide much needed information and coordination to their neighborhood residents. We invite you to participate in our meetings and get involved in local government.
HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?
First, attend a meeting of the Community Board. Call the District Office and ask to be put on our mailing list to get a monthly meeting notice. Additionally, anyone can speak at a general board meeting by signing up prior to the meeting for the public session. All speakers are limited to a maximum of three minutes unless otherwise acknowledged by the board chair.
Second, join one or more of our committees. By attending and participating in a committee meeting, you get firsthand exposure to how the committees function and the types of issues they routinely discuss. You can apply to be a non-board member of a committee by inquiring at the District Office for details.
Finally, apply for membership to the Community Board. Many non-Board Members who join committees eventually are interested in applying for Board membership. You may do so by contacting the Bronx Borough President's Office at (718) 590-6001.
WHAT DOES THE DISTRICT OFFICE DO?
The Bronx CB 7 District Office has two primary functions; process citizen complaints and requests for services, and provides administrative support for the Community Board. The District Office maintains all the public records of the activities of the Community Board and is responsible for setting up and preparing notices of all Community Board meetings and functions. Additionally, the District Office processes Street Activity Permits for Block Party street closures, monitors the delivery of municipal services and, in general, acts as a one stop shopping point for information and referrals pertaining to all City government matters. The District Office is a professional, non-partisan office and there are no fees for any services provided. We are a little city hall, right here in your community.
WHAT KIND OF COMPLAINTS DOES THE DISTRICT OFFICE HANDLE?
Just about any complaint that involves a municipal service can be called in to the District Office. This includes such items as, but is not limited to:
> Reporting graffiti or other quality of life issues
> Missing or damaged street signs
> Malfunctioning street light
> Trees that needs pruning or requests for tree plantings
> Clogged catch basin
> Missed garbage collection
These are some examples of the more common complaints that are called in to the District Office. By reporting these and other issues to the Community Board, you contribute to improving the quality of life in your neighborhood. The biggest mistake people make is that they assume that someone else will report a problem. Many problems go unreported because of this. You have the power to make a positive change in your community with via a phone call, stopping by our office, or visiting us on the web!
HOW DO I REPORT A COMPLAINT?
Call the District Office at (718) 933-5650, Monday thru Friday during regular business hours. Additionally, you choose to either visit us in person or on the web at www.BronxCB7.info. Please note all pertinent information (e.g., exact location or street address, cross streets, etc.) related to the complaint you are reporting. We suggest that you try to have as much information as possible available at the time that you call. Although it is optional, we ask that you provide us with your contact information so that we can reach out to you if the office or responding agency needs additional information. Remember, in order for us to help resolve your complaint, you must help us by accurately identifying the problem.