By David Brand
The Zoning Advisory Council met Wednesday to honor a cohort of leaders who have helped pave the way for new development and city planning.
The honorees included Joseph Mattone, the chief executive officer of the Mattone Group and the founder of the Mattone Family Institute for Real Estate Law at St. John’s Law School.
Mattone, a Douglaston resident whose office is headquartered in Whitestone, spoke with the Eagle while sitting next to State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. Mattone said he asked DiNapoli to introduce him at the event because of strong relationship, both personal and professional.
“‘Joe Mattone’ is like a magic word around the city because so many people know him and respect him,” DiNapoli said.
ZAC President Sheldon Lobel delivered the opening remarks and praised the attendees as “the people who make the city work.”
In his opening remarks, Department of City Planning Queens Office Director John Young cited the Queens leaders in attendance, including Mattone, Councilmember Rory Lancman and Department of Buildings Queens Commissioner Derek Lee.
“Queens is New York City’s future,” Young said. “And that is embodied in the slogan ‘Visit Queens, See the World’ [and] I encourage you to go out and see the area for yourself.”
The ZAC was first organized in 1961 by architects, engineers, lawyers and others involved in the zoning and land use process in order to facilitate strong relationship among New York City agencies involved in the planning and development process. That year, the city issued the first major changes to the zoning resolution.
Over the past 57 years, the ZAC has held seminars and meetings with its members and City land use agency officials to present suggestions to the Department of Buildings, Board of Standards and Appeals, Department of City Planning and other involved agencies.
In addition to Mattone and Lee, this year’s award ceremony honored former Department of City Planning Executive Director Purnima Kapur, Design 2147 CEO Sisto Martello and Bronx Council Member Rafael Salamanca, Jr., chair of the council’s Land Use Committee.