Department of Buildings

Policy

Image courtesy of Billie Grace Ward on Flickr

Temporary sidewalk sheds are legally required to be installed at any construction site to protect pedestrians from falling debris. While they are seen as a safety necessity, the structures are eyesores that block sunlight and slow foot traffic. In New York City, the total number of sidewalk sheds has tripled over the past two decades, a new report released this week by the Independent Budget Office found. Looking at data from the Department of Buildings, the report found Manhattan was home to the most sidewalk sheds but noted the outer boroughs are starting to catch up.

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New Developments, Policy, Upper West Side 

Rendering courtesy of Binyan Studios

Construction resumed last week at a condo project on the Upper West Side two weeks after its developer halted all work in response to the state-ordered ban on non-essential projects in March. The city’s Department of Buildings granted SJP Properties construction permits for the tower at 200 Amsterdam Avenue for emergency work, as THE CITY first reported, much to the frustration of some local residents and officials.

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Policy

729 Seventh Avenue; Map data © 2019 Google

The city’s Department of Buildings is enhancing its facade inspection process nearly two weeks after a pedestrian was killed by a falling piece of terra cotta in Midtown. The agency announced on Monday plans to hire 12 new staff for its facade inspection team as well as increase the number of proactive re-inspections and field examinations. “New Yorkers should know that we are out in force holding owners feet to the fire, so they get repair work done as quickly as possible while still protecting the public,” DOB Commissioner Melanie La Rocca said. “With our enhanced inspection protocols and expanded staff, owners who choose to skirt their obligations will face swift consequences.”

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City Living, maps, Policy

Photo by Doug Davey via Flickr cc

The City’s Department of Buildings has just released a new, interactive map that shows the location of all building construction projects that have been granted permits to proceed with work outside of normal business hours. These types of permits, known as an after-hours variance (AHV), apply to work taking place before 7 a.m., after 6 p.m., or anytime during the weekend. The DOB issued 18,866 AHV permits in 2018 and received 3,729 public complaints through the 311 system regarding construction work illegally performed after hours. The map will be updated daily and include links to further information about each project so that tenants have a way of confirming the status of construction projects on their block.

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