This bill has been amended

Bill S409-2011

Enacts the New York city department of buildings community accountability act

Enacts the New York city department of buildings community accountability act.

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  • Jan 5, 2011: REFERRED TO CITIES

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BILL NUMBER:S409

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to enacting the New York city department of buildings community accountability act

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill creates the New York City Department of Buildings community Accountability Act.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 - Legislative findings.

Section 2 - Names this the NYC Department of Buildings Community Accountability Act.

Section 3 - Amends section 28-103.18.1 of the NYC Administrative Code to require that any information in the complaint book that is kept by DOB and is available to the public be posted on the department's website.

Section 4 - Adds a new section 28-103.18.2 requiring the department of Buildings to-maintain a record available for public inspection at their office as well as on the department's website containing a list of all construction and building accidents resulting in injury or death, and all property damage due to damage arising out of violations of the building code. All such accidents shall be investigated and a written report of the findings must also be posted on the website.

Section 5 - Adds a new section 28-201.5 to require monthly reports to community boards and borough presidents on the department's actions within their jurisdiction. All enforcement actions at both the Environmental Control Board and the department of Buildings must be included, and must be presented clearly and completely to allow for accurate tracking of the disposition of each action.

Section 6 - Adds a new subdivision i to section 28-207.6 (dangerous buildings) to require that whenever the department issues an order regarding a dangerous building that an investigation be made as to the circumstances, and a report be written and posted on the department's website describing these conditions.

Section 7 - amends § 28-118.1 to prohibit the issuance of a certificate of occupancy unless all fines, penalties and/or judgments are satisfied with respect to the new building.

Section 8 - Adds a new § 28-104.10 to require notification by department of Buildings of the respective community board and borough president's offices whenever a permit for construction is issued. If requested, the full docket of plans, plus any updates or changes as they occur, must be provided to the community board within 5 business days. A community board may request department of buildings to do an audit-review of

up to 30 plans per year. If requested, the department of buildings must provide a preliminary report within 30 days and a final report within 3O days on whether the plan complies with the building code and zoning resolution.

Section 9 amends section 28-105.1 to require DOB to publish on the website all permits granted for construction, demolition or excavation work by community board. The department shall make available a copy of the permit and other documents within the docket upon request, either electronically or within 5 business days.

Section 10 adds a new §28-110.3 to require a site safety coordinator be designated and present at a construction site of a new building greater than 5 stories.

JUSTIFICATION: The Cities Committee has held 2 hearings over the past year as well as gathering much information from audits and reports about construction in New York City. The following are some of the facts we have uncovered which call out for reform:

Construction Safety

The Federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration reported 80 deaths in New York City construction accidents between 2002 and 2005; the New York Committee on occupational Health and Safety reports that construction is the most dangerous occupation, with death rates four times the average for other workers.

The Construction Industry Partnership of New York City, a labor-management alliance, estimates the cost of construction accidents in New York City at $858 million in 2002.

A review of 2,500 OSHA construction site safety inspections in New York City in 2003, released by the New York Trial Lawyers Institute in 2005, determined that two thirds of inspections found at least one violation of a safety standard. According to the Institute, OSHA classified virtually all the violations as "serious".

Enforcement

The NYC DOB issued 49,000 ECB and 46,000 DOB violations in FY '06, and in FY '05 issued 626 vacate orders.

A 2003 NYC Comptroller's audit showed 67% of sampled construction plans that were submitted to the Buildings Department through self-certification contained errors.

A 2004 New York City comptroller's audit found that 51% of sampled ECB building violations for 2002 were for hazardous violations and that no evidence of a systematic DOB process existed for following up on hazardous violations.

The DOB reported it re-inspected 11,548 hazardous violations in FY '05 and issued second violations in 17% of the re-inspections.

No system-wide public summary of violation outcomes exists that correlates the percentage of outstanding violations to how many are corrected, nor did DOB report on enforcement outcomes at the September 7th Assembly hearing despite questions to that effect in the hearing notice.

A 2006 New York State Comptroller's audit determined that NYC DOB tracking of enforcement of stop work orders and violations was inadequate, in that DOB did not have a database that provided correlation between stop work orders, violations, and enforcement outcomes. DOB responded to the audit in an April 2006 letter stating it was attempting to develop such a system.

DOB announced the beginning of adoption of three new rules at the September 7th Assembly hearing: 24-hour notice of demolition and excavation commencements, and a rule to require registered construction superintendents at all new building and alteration construction sites.

The changes made in this bill will require the Department of Buildings to much more closely monitor construction sites around the City which will better protect the residents as well as workers at the worksites. While many people have called in complaints when they see illegal activities, they feel like their complaints are being ignored. This bill will require the department to investigate and follow-up any illegal activities they find. By requiring the tracking of complaints and citations, stop work orders, and other violations on the department's website, the average citizen can see that their complaint is being investigated and acted upon.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2009-2010: S.2252-A/A.4770-A

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2012


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 409 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 5, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sens. KRUEGER, DIAZ, HASSELL-THOMPSON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Cities AN ACT to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to enacting the New York city department of buildings commu- nity accountability act THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Legislative findings. The legislature hereby finds and declares that the health and safety of the population living in and around the many construction projects within the densely populated city of New York is a matter of state concern as pressure mounts to build more and more while completing projects in the shortest time possible. Construction is the most dangerous occupation, with death rates four times the average for other workers and conditions adjacent to construction sites dangerous to the public. A comprehensive public reporting system for the tracking of accidents, vacate orders, safety violations, and enforcement actions of the depart- ment of buildings is an essential component of assuring greater account- ability and transparency in assuring compliance with the building code and the zoning resolution to improve public safety. S 2. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "New York city department of buildings community accountability act". S 3. Section 28-103.18.1 of the administrative code of the city of New York, as added by local law number 33 of the city of New York for the year 2007, is amended to read as follows: S 28-103.18.1 Complaint records. The department shall keep records of complaints made by any person in reference to any building or other matter under the jurisdiction of the department. Recorded complaints shall include the name and residence of the complainant, the name of the
person complained of, the date of the entry of the complaint and any suggested remedies. Except for entries of names and residences of the complainants, such records shall be made available for public examina- tion. RECORDS ON ACCIDENTS, UNSAFE BUILDING ORDERS, AND VACATE ORDERS SHALL BE POSTED ON THE DEPARTMENT'S INFORMATION WEBSITE MAINTAINED BY THE CITY OF NEW YORK, SUBJECT TO SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE COMMISSIONER SHALL PRESCRIBE. S 4. The administrative code of the city of New York is amended by adding a new section 28-103.18.2 to read as follows: S 28-103.18.2 RECORDS OF CONSTRUCTION AND BUILDING ACCIDENTS. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL MAINTAIN A RECORD OF ALL CONSTRUCTION AND BUILDING ACCIDENTS RESULTING IN EITHER INJURY OR DEATH TO PERSONS OR DAMAGE TO PROPERTY ARISING OUT OF VIOLATIONS OF THE BUILDING CODE. SUCH RECORD SHALL BE POSTED ON THE DEPARTMENT'S INFORMATION WEBSITE MAINTAINED BY THE CITY OF NEW YORK, SUBJECT TO SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE COMMISSIONER SHALL PRESCRIBE. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL CAUSE SUCH ACCIDENTS TO BE INVESTIGATED AND A WRITTEN REPORT PREPARED REGARDING THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE ACCIDENT. S 5. The administrative code of the city of New York is amended by adding a new section 28-201.5 to read as follows: S 28-201.5 MONTHLY REPORTS TO COMMUNITY BOARDS AND BOROUGH PRESIDENTS. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL PROVIDE A MONTHLY REPORT ON DEPARTMENT ACTIONS TO EACH COMMUNITY BOARD, FOR DEPARTMENT ACTIONS WITHIN SUCH BOARD, AND TO THE BOROUGH PRESIDENTS, FOR ACTIONS IN THE BOROUGH OF EACH BOROUGH PRES- IDENT. SUCH REPORT SHALL INCLUDE THE STATUS OF ALL VIOLATIONS, BOTH ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL BOARD AND DEPARTMENT VIOLATIONS, ISSUED WITHIN THE RESPECTIVE COMMUNITY BOARD AND BOROUGH. THE REPORT SHALL SHOW ALL OUTSTANDING VIOLATIONS, VIOLATIONS CORRECTED DURING THE MONTH, ENFORCE- MENT ACTIONS COMMENCED, AND THE DISPOSITION OF ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS, WITHIN THE PERIOD. SUCH ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS SHALL INCLUDE COURT ACTIONS, PADLOCK ORDERS, EMERGENCY REPAIR ORDERS, AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL BOARD ACTIONS AND ORDERS, INCLUDING FINES AND PENALTIES. THE REPORT SHALL FURTHER SHOW ALL UNSAFE BUILDING ORDERS, VACATE ORDERS, AND STOP WORK ORDERS. SUCH REPORT SHALL BE PROVIDED TO THE BOARDS AND THE BOROUGH PRESIDENTS IN A CLEAR AND CONSISTENT FORMAT TO ENABLE A COMPLETE AND ACCURATE TRACKING OF DEPARTMENT ACTIONS. S 6. The administrative code of the city of New York is amended by adding a new section 28-207.6 to read as follows: S 28-207.6 INVESTIGATION AND REPORT; DANGEROUS BUILDING, NUISANCE AND ORDER TO VACATE. WHENEVER THE DEPARTMENT HAS ISSUED AN ORDER REGARDING ANY DANGEROUS BUILDING, PLACE, OR THING, OR ANY NUISANCE, OR ANY ORDER TO VACATE ANY BUILDING, STRUCTURE, PLACE, OR PREMISES, OR FOR ANY SUCH BUILDING, STRUCTURE, PLACE, OR PREMISES TO BE SEALED AND/OR SECURED, THE COMMISSIONER SHALL CAUSE THE CIRCUMSTANCES REGARDING SUCH ORDER TO BE INVESTIGATED, AND A WRITTEN REPORT PREPARED. SUCH REPORT SHALL BE AVAIL- ABLE FOR PUBLIC EXAMINATION, AND POSTED ON THE DEPARTMENT'S INFORMATION WEBSITE MAINTAINED BY THE CITY OF NEW YORK, PURSUANT TO SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE COMMISSIONER MAY PRESCRIBE. S 7. Section 28-118.1 of the administrative code of the city of New York, as added by local law number 33 of the city of New York for the year 2007, is amended to read as follows: S 28-118.1 General provisions. No building or open lot shall be used or occupied without a certificate of occupancy issued by the commission- er. Issuance of a certificate of occupancy shall not be construed as an approval of a violation of the provisions of this code or of other applicable laws and rules.
NO CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY SHALL BE ISSUED FOR A NEW OR ALTERED BUILDING UNLESS PAYMENT HAS BEEN MADE OF ALL OUTSTANDING FINES, PENAL- TIES, AND JUDGMENTS ARISING OUT OF DEPARTMENT VIOLATIONS ASSOCIATED WITH THE PROPERTY, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO VIOLATIONS ISSUED IN CONNECTION WITH ANY CONSTRUCTION, EXCAVATION OR DEMOLITION WORK. S 8. The administrative code of the city of New York is amended by adding a new section 28-104.10 to read as follows: S 28-104.10 COMMUNITY BOARD NOTIFICATION OF PLAN APPROVAL. 1. A. WHEN AN APPLICATION FOR APPROVAL OF PLANS SUBMITTED TO THE DEPARTMENT HAS BEEN APPROVED FOR A NEW BUILDING, THE DEPARTMENT SHALL NOTIFY THE COMMU- NITY BOARD AND THE BOROUGH PRESIDENT OF THE BOROUGH WHERE THE NEW BUILD- ING SHALL BE LOCATED OF THE DOCKET AND ITS NUMBER FOR SUCH PLAN, AND THE ADDRESS WHERE THE BUILDING IS TO BE BUILT. UPON THE REQUEST OF THE COMMUNITY BOARD, THE DEPARTMENT SHALL FURNISH, AND PROVIDE A REGULAR UPDATE, OF THE COMPLETE DOCKET OF THE PROJECT, INCLUDING ALL PLANS AND DRAWINGS, PERMITS, AMENDMENTS TO THE PLAN, AUDITS, OBJECTIONS, AND SUCH OTHER MATERIAL AS SHALL COMPRISE THE DOCKET OF SAID PROJECT. B. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL FURNISH THE COMPLETE DOCKET OF THE PROJECT WITHIN FIVE BUSINESS DAYS OF SAID REQUEST, AND EACH ADDITIONAL DOCUMENT ADDED TO THE DOCKET WITHIN FIVE DAYS OF SUCH ADDITION. 2. A. THE COMMUNITY BOARD IN WHICH ANY NEW BUILDING PROJECT IS LOCATED, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE BOROUGH PRESIDENT IN THE BOROUGH OF THE LOCATION OF SUCH PROJECT, MAY REQUEST IN WRITING AND UPON A VOTE OF THE BOARD, AN AUDIT-REVIEW OF UP TO THIRTY PLANS PER YEAR BY THE DEPART- MENT, WHICH THE DEPARTMENT SHALL BE OBLIGATED TO CONDUCT. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL PROVIDE THE BOARD AND THE BOROUGH PRESIDENT THE RESULTS OF SUCH AUDIT-REVIEW INCLUDING ANY OBJECTIONS TO THE PLAN PROVIDED TO THE APPLI- CANT. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL FURNISH A PRELIMINARY REPORT TO THE BOARD AND THE BOROUGH PRESIDENT WITHIN THIRTY DAYS, AND A FINAL REPORT WITHIN SIXTY DAYS, OF WHETHER THE PLAN COMPLIES WITH THE BUILDING CODE AND THE ZONING RESOLUTION. B. NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO LIMIT REQUESTS FOR AUDITS, REVIEWS, OR OTHER ACTIONS BY THE DEPARTMENT, BY COMMUNITY BOARDS OR BOROUGH PRESIDENTS. 3. WHERE THE DEPARTMENT IS AUDITING AND REVIEWING ANY APPROVED PLAN, ANY NOTICE OF OBJECTIONS TO THE PLAN SHALL BE PUBLISHED ON THE DEPART- MENT OF BUILDINGS INFORMATION WEBSITE MAINTAINED BY THE CITY OF NEW YORK. 4. WITHIN NINETY DAYS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SUBDIVISION, THE DEPARTMENT SHALL PROMULGATE STANDARDS FOR ALLOWING PERMITTED WORK TO CONTINUE WHEN OBJECTIONS TO APPROVED PLANS BY THE DEPARTMENT OCCUR. THE ADOPTION OF SUCH STANDARDS SHALL BE SUBJECT TO CHAPTER FORTY-FIVE OF THE NEW YORK CITY CHARTER. S 9. Section 28-105.1 of the administrative code of the city of New York, as added by local law number 33 of the city of New York for the year 2007, is amended to read as follows: S 28-105.1 General. 1. It shall be unlawful to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, remove or change the use or occupancy of any building or structure in the city, or to erect, install, alter, repair, or use or operate any sign or service equipment in or in connection therewith, or to erect, install, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any gas, mechanical, plumbing or fire suppression system in or in connection therewith or to cause any such work to be done unless and until a written permit therefore shall have been issued by the commissioner in accordance with the requirements of this code,
subject to such exceptions and exemptions as may be provided in section 28-105.4. 2. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL PUBLISH ON ITS WEBSITE BY COMMUNITY BOARD, NOTICE OF PERMITS GRANTED FOR ANY NEW BUILDING, FOUNDATION AND EARTH- WORK, ALTERATION, AND ANY DEMOLITION AND REMOVAL, INCLUDING THE ADDRESS OF THE PROJECT WHERE THE PERMIT HAS BEEN GRANTED. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL PROVIDE ACCESS TO OR FURNISH A COPY OF THE PERMIT AND OTHER DOCUMENTS WITHIN THE DOCKET ESTABLISHED FOR THE PROJECT, EITHER ELECTRONICALLY OR BY OTHER MEANS, UPON REQUEST AND SHALL MAKE SUCH DOCUMENTS AVAILABLE WITHIN FIVE BUSINESS DAYS OF SUCH REQUEST. THE DEPARTMENT MAY WITHHOLD PLANS FOR PARTICULAR BUILDINGS AT THE REQUEST OF LAW ENFORCEMENT AGEN- CIES. S 10. The administrative code of the city of New York is amended by adding a new section 28-110.3 to read as follows: S 28-110.3 PRESENCE OF SITE SAFETY COORDINATOR REQUIRED. A SITE SAFETY COORDINATOR SHALL BE PRESENT ON ANY SITE OF CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW BUILD- ING IN EXCESS OF FIVE STORIES IN HEIGHT, PURSUANT TO DEPARTMENT REGU- LATIONS. S 11. This act shall take effect July 1, 2012.

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