Requires the department of buildings to maintain a registry of all deeds containing restrictive covenants.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the filing of deeds containing restrictive covenants
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
The purpose of the bill is to allow homeowners and homeowner/neighborhood associations whose properties are subject to restrictive covenants or other types of deed restrictions, to register such deeds with the Department of Buildings.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill amends the administrative code by adding a new section 27-106 to create a registry of deeds with restrictive covenants that are filed with the Department of Buildings. Section a of the bill allows such deeds to be filed by any homeowner or homeowner association, as well as by or on behalf of a neighborhood or civic association whose area of geographic concern as set forth in its organizing document encompasses the property that is subject to the deed restriction. Section b of the bill requires the Department of Buildings to search the registry of deeds prior to the issuance of any permit to determine whether issuance of the permit would violate any terms of the deed restriction. If the permit would violate the deed restriction then the Department of Buildings would be mandated to refuse to issue the permit unless ordered to do so by a court. The bill also prevents a homeowner or homeowner association or a neighborhood or civic association that does not file a restrictive covenant from collecting damages against the Department of Buildings for failure to enforce those restrictions. Finally the bill makes explicit that this section does not limit or reduce the rights of owners or homeowner associations to engage in legal action to enforce such covenants.
Section 2 of the bill sets forth an immediate effective date.
This bill will allow a homeowner or homeowner association, as well as a neighborhood or civic association whose area of geographic concern as set forth in its organizing document encompasses the property that is subject to the deed restriction to file such restrictions with the Department of Buildings. In turn, the Department of Buildings would be required to review the deed registry prior to issuing any permits to ensure that such permits would not violate the terms of any filed restriction.
Many residential communities in the city of New York were designed with a specific housing stock in mind. Community planners sought to create residential neighborhoods with a particular sense of community and lifestyle. Restrictive covenants were used to ensure that future development would conform to the existing character of the neighborhood.
Unfortunately, over time many of these residential communities have been slowly transformed into more urban and overtly commercial areas. The practice of either ignoring or refusing to acknowledge the existence of restrictive covenants has led to serious deterioration in the quality of life for many of these communities. Therefore, it is incumbent on the Department of Buildings to take steps to preserve communities that are covered by restrictive covenants so that the character of these planned communities is not lost to future generations.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
To Be Determined.
This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6190--A IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 8, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sens. AVELLA, SMITH -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Housing, Construction and Community Development -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the filing of deeds containing restrictive covenants THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The administrative code of the city of New York is amended by adding a new section 27-106 to read as follows: S 27-106 REGISTRY OF DEEDS WITH RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS. (A) THE DEPART- MENT SHALL MAINTAIN A REGISTRY OF ALL DEEDS CONTAINING RESTRICTIVE CONVENTS THAT ARE FILED WITH THE DEPARTMENT. ANY SUCH FILING SHALL NOT BE DEEMED AS ACCEPTABLE IN LIEU OF ANY OTHER FILING REQUIREMENTS MANDATED OR PERMITTED UNDER ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW, RULE OR REGU- LATION. A DEED CONTAINING ONE OR MORE RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS MAY BE FILED WITH THE DEPARTMENT FOR INCLUSION IN THIS REGISTRY BY ANY OWNER OR HOME- OWNER ASSOCIATION WHOSE PROPERTY IS SUBJECT TO A RESTRICTIVE COVENANT AND/OR BY OR ON BEHALF OF A NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION OR CIVIC ASSOCI- ATION WHOSE AREA OF GEOGRAPHIC CONCERN, AS SET FORTH IN ITS CERTIFICATE OF INCORPORATION, CHARTER OR OTHER RELEVANT ORGANIZING DOCUMENT, ENCOM- PASSES THE PROPERTY THAT IS THE SUBJECT OF SUCH RESTRICTIVE COVENANT. THE FILING SHALL BE ACCOMPANIED BY A NOTARIZED REGISTRATION STATEMENT ACKNOWLEDGING THE AUTHENTICITY OF SUCH DEED. THIS REGISTRY SHALL BE MADE AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC DURING REGULAR BUSINESS HOURS. (B) PRIOR TO THE ISSUANCE OF ANY PERMIT, EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT SHALL SEARCH THE REGISTRY CREATED PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION (A) OF THIS SECTION FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING WHETHER ANY DEED LISTED IN THIS REGISTRY CONTAINS ANY RESTRICTIVE COVENANT THAT WOULD BE VIOLATED BY THE ISSUANCE OF THE REQUESTED PERMIT OR THE COMPLETION OF THE PROJECT FOR WHICH SUCH PERMIT IS SOUGHT. IF A VIOLATION OF ANY SUCH RESTRICTIVE COVENANT WOULD OCCUR, THEN THE DEPARTMENT SHALL NOT ISSUE SUCH PERMIT EXCEPT AS AUTHORIZED BY ORDER OF A COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION. ANYEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD11962-02-4 S. 6190--A 2
OWNER OR HOMEOWNER ASSOCIATION WHOSE PROPERTY IS THE SUBJECT OF SUCH RESTRICTIVE COVENANT, OR ANY NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION OR CIVIC ASSOCI- ATION WHOSE AREA OF CONCERN ENCOMPASSES THE PROPERTY THAT IS THE SUBJECT OF SUCH RESTRICTIVE COVENANT, SHALL BE BARRED FROM COLLECTING DAMAGES AGAINST THE CITY FOR THE FAILURE TO ENFORCE THE RESTRICTIONS CONTAINED IN SUCH RESTRICTIVE COVENANT IF SUCH RESTRICTIVE COVENANT HAS NOT BEEN FILED WITH THE DEPARTMENT. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL PROMULGATE ANY ADDI- TIONAL RULES FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THIS SECTION. (C) NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE INTERPRETED TO LIMIT OR REDUCE THE RIGHTS OF ANY OWNER OR HOMEOWNER ASSOCIATION WHOSE AREA OF GEOGRAPH- IC CONCERN ENCOMPASSES THE PROPERTY THAT IS SUBJECT OF SUCH RESTRICTIVE COVENANT OR COVENANTS TO INITIATE AND MAINTAIN LEGAL ACTION TO ENFORCE ANY SUCH COVENANT OR COVENANTS. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.