Three entities fined for demolition of exterior wall

Removal of exterior wall required prior registration with DEP. 116 Third Place LLC hired a general contractor to manage demolition at 116 Third Place in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood of Brooklyn. The general contractor hired a subcontractor, who demolished an entire exterior wall of a building. An officer discovered that the subcontractor demolished the wall without first registering with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, and issued Notices of Violation to all three companies.

At a hearing before an ALJ, the companies argued that the NOVs were defective since the issuing officer noted that demolition had occurred without a “permit” yet the statute cited in the NOVs required registration, not a permit. The companies alternatively argued that removal of the rear wall of the building did not require registration with DEP since the removal did not amount to a demolition. The companies further argued that only one of the three could be responsible for the violation.

An ALJ affirmed each of the NOVs, and the companies appealed to ECB. The Board rejected the companies’ position, ruling that the NOVs had provided enough detail to afford the companies with adequate notice of the correct charge. The Board also found that demolition of an entire building was not necessary to trigger the registration requirement; rather, registration was required before demolishing a “portion” of a building. The Board concluded that since all three companies allowed the demolition to proceed without registration, all three could be charged.

NYC v. Excel Builders & Renovators Inc., et al., ECB Appeal Nos. 45730-45732 (Nov. 18, 2008). CITYADMIN

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