Construction fence violation upheld for inactive site

Owner of stalled construction site had an expired construction fence permit. A Buildings officer inspected a construction site owned by Honawatie Kharran after receiving a complaint about a broken construction fence. Although no one was working at the site, the construction fence had an expired permit posted on it. The officer issued Kharran a notice of violation for working without a permit, a violation of the Administrative Code.

At a hearing, Kharran’s contractor said no work had been performed since Buildings revoked the site’s building permit three months prior to the NOV’s issuance. The contractor claimed that he tried to renew the work and fence permits, but had been unsuccessful.

An ALJ upheld the NOV, ruling that a valid construction fence permit is required even when the construction site is inactive. Kharran appealed to the Environmental Control Board, arguing that the fence was erected for permitted work that was performed while the fence permit was still valid and that no work had been performed since Buildings issued a stop work order.

The Board denied the appeal, finding that the construction fence required a valid permit for as long as it remained standing. Although the construction site was inactive, the officer observed a partially completed hole in the ground during the inspection, and the Board pointed out that fence served to protect persons and property affected by the construction work.

NYC v.Kharran, ECB Appeal No. 900214 (Oct. 29, 2009).CITYADMIN

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