Council Approves Bill to Require Board of Standards and Appeals to Record Decisions

Image credit: New York City Council.

The bill provides better transparency and helps potential purchasers and agents. On June 17, 2021, the New York City Council passed a bill to require the City’s Board of Standards and Appeals to record a copy of a decision affecting a parcel of land made by the Board in the appropriate title recording system. The bill, Int. 2257-2021, will require the Board to record the decision with the Automatic City Register Information System (ACRIS) for properties in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn or Queens and with the Richmond County Clerk’s database for properties in Staten Island. The bill was sponsored by Council Member Fernando Cabrera.

The Board of Standards and Appeals provides a way for property owners to apply for variances and special permits for their property when unique conditions to that property create hardships for the owner to be able to build their project within the zoning regulation. The Board also hears appeals from property owners whose proposals have been denied by other City agencies like the Department of Buildings, Small Business Services or the Fire Department. 

While the Board currently publishes its decisions on its website, the decisions must be searched with the application’s calendar number or keyword. Unless an interested party knows the calendar number or that the property was subject to a matter before the Board, they may be unaware a decision has been issued regarding the property. This creates issues where real estate agents and potential property purchasers may not be aware of permissions, restrictions or resolutions affecting a property. Int. 2257 helps bridge this gap by requiring the Board to record the decisions with the appropriate title recording system, where potential buyers and agents performing due diligence are much more likely to see and comply with the decisions. 

The bill would take effect immediately and is on the Mayor’s desk awaiting signature. 

CityLand reached out to Council Member Cabrera’s office for comment. Council Member Cabrera stated, “The Board of Standards and Appeals has a very influential role within our government and NYC residents should have access to their decisions, this new law would provide New Yorkers with the transparency they deserve.”

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)


2 thoughts on “Council Approves Bill to Require Board of Standards and Appeals to Record Decisions

  1. Occasionally the NYC Council does something that makes sense. Will the BSA have to go back and enter all of it’s previous decisions into ACRIS or the RCC?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.