CityLand’s Top Ten Stories of 2016

ethics-headerWelcome to CityLand‘s fifth annual top ten stories of the year! We have selected a range of our most popular and prominent stories, and guest commentaries concerning New York City land use in 2016. Our fifth year as an online publication was marked by the fight to pass the Mayor’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing plan, proposed reforms to the building code to prevent illegal home conversions, and capped by the passage of state laws prohibiting … <Read More>

Owner Fined $2,800 for Illegal Cellar Use

Owner converted cellar into additional living space for his family. Mana Masih owns a two story residence with a cellar at 94-36 114 Street in Queens. The owner converted the cellar level into an additional dwelling unit with three beds in the hall, a three- piece bathroom, a kitchen with a residential sink and gas stove. On November 17, 2015 an inspector from the Department of Buildings served a notice of violation charging that the … <Read More>

New Bill by Council Member Gentile Takes Aim at Illegal Home Conversions

Proposal imposes steep fines on bad actors, and helps Buildings inspectors gain premises access. On June 21, 2016, New York City Council Members Vincent J. Gentile, Jumaane D. Williams, and Barry S. Grodenchik introduced legislation that would impose high penalties on bad actor landlords and equip the Department of Buildings with means to gain entry into suspected illegal conversion sites. This bill was developed with the support of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, after a … <Read More>

City Council, Borough President Push Against Illegal Home Conversions

The new legislation was announced in the wake of fire fatalities.  On March 8, 2015 Councilmember Jumaane D. Williams held a press conference to announce new legislation to stop illegal home conversions in New York City.  The legislation is co-sponsored by Councilmember Vincent Gentile, who has previously introduced two other bills to halt illegal conversions, and is introduced at the request of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.  An illegal home conversion occurs when … <Read More>