NOVs for unstable building dismissed


604 Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Photo: CityLand.

Board found that owner had been properly monitoring the building. In March 2008, two Buildings officers issued separate notices of violation to the owner of 604 Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint, Brooklyn for failing to maintain the premises in a safe condition. The first NOV noted that the building was leaning one-half to one inch to the south, and a second NOV issued twelve days later noted that the building was leaning fourteen inches to the south.

At a hearing before an ALJ, the owner said it was aware of the problem and had been monitoring the condition. The owner presented engineers’ reports and surveys dating back to 2005, including surveys from October 2006 and May 2008, showing there had been minimal movement of the building over that time. The ALJ upheld the violations, finding that the owner had failed to establish that it was monitoring the building’s stability when the NOVs were issued.

The Environmental Control Board reversed the ALJ, ruling the owner had demonstrated that it was monitoring the premises as recommended by its engineers. The Board pointed out that an engineer’s inspection report from December 2006 recommended “bi-annual” inspections, and noted the ALJ incorrectly concluded that bi-annual meant twice per year rather than once every two years. It explained that after the December 2006 inspection another one was not needed until December 2008. Noting that there had been no significant recent movement of the building, the Board found there was no reason to inspect the building more frequently than recommended.

NYC v. 604 Manhattan Avenue LLC, ECB Appeal Nos. 0900189 & 0900295 (Oct. 29, 2009). CITYADMIN

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