Local law preserves stalled construction site permits

A stalled construction site at 150 North 12th Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Photo: CityLand

Owners of stalled sites participating in new DOB safety monitoring program can renew permits for up to four years. On October 14, 2009, the City Council passed legislation creating a construction site maintenance program, to be administered by the Department of Buildings, for sites where permitted work has been suspended or has not commenced.

Currently, construction permits issued by Buildings will expire if the owner does not commence work within twelve months or suspends work for a period of twelve months. Owners must then request that Buildings reinstate the permits before restarting work. An owner suspending work for more than two years risks losing the ability to reinstate the permits. Under the new program, permits held by participating owners of stalled sites would remain valid for the full two-year term, and Buildings could renew the permits for up to four years, as long as the owner remained in good standing.

In order to participate in the program, an owner must notify the Commissioner of the dates when work will be suspended and resumed. The owner must submit a detailed safety and security maintenance plan for the site during the period when work is suspended or delayed. The owner must include, among other provisions, plans to prevent unauthorized site access, maintain construction fencing, clear ice and snow from the sidewalks abutting the site, and remove stagnant water from excavation sites. Prior to the Commissioner’s approval, an owner must also resolve “outstanding immediately hazardous violations” at the site. The amendment requires the Commissioner to list on Buildings’ website all sites participating in the program and whether any sites have been removed from the program for noncompliance.

The program will end on June 30, 2013.

Council: Intro 1015-2009A (Oct. 14, 2009).

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