Delay in Receiving LPC Permit No Defense to Failure to Acquire DOB Permit

Owner of individual landmark was ordered by Buildings to obtain a permit to correct illegal work. On September 10, 2013, Marilyn Levine, owner of an individually landmarked 1846 Greek Revival townhouse at 5 West 16th Street in Manhattan, was issued a notice of violation (NOV) by the Department Buildings for failing to comply with an order to obtain a Buildings permit to correct a violation for work done without a permit. The original violation was issued on June 10, 2013.

Levine contested the NOV before an ALJ, and argued that she could not obtain a Buildings permit before obtaining a permit from the Landmarks Preservation Commission. She stated she was waiting for Landmarks to issue her a permit when she was cited for failing to comply, however she did not file Landmarks plans until September 27, 2013. The ALJ credited Levine’s claims but ruled that delays caused by Landmarks permits were not a defense to the charge.

On appeal, Levine argued that she was in compliance because she had obtained an architect, engineer and building code consultant to correct the violation, had filed a job application with buildings, and was working to correct the cited conditions. She argued that obtaining a permit from Landmarks was a lengthy process, and a prerequisite of obtaining a Buildings permit. The Environmental Control Board upheld the ALJ’s determination, finding that Levine had conceded that she had failed to obtain the permit to perform the ordered work. The Board further ruled that a job filing with Buildings did not constitute compliance, and that a delay by Landmarks was not a defense.

(CIT)NYC v. Marilyn Levine, ECB Appeal No. 1400060 (Mar. 27, 2014). CityADMIN

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