Authorizes the environmental control board to adjudicate disputes between adjoining real property owners over the blocking of a driveway, the ownership or use of which is shared by such adjoining owners in the city of New York; further appoints another hearing officer to the board who shall be an attorney; defines the term "blocking".
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the New York city charter, the vehicle and traffic law and the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the "open driveway act" regarding the environmental control board adjudication of disputes concerning the blocking of a driveway; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill, which is referred to as the "Open Driveway Act," grants the Environmental control Board the power to adjudicate disputes arising between adjoining real property owners over the blocking of a driveway, the ownership or use of which is shared by such adjoining property owners. This bill also defines "blocking" to mean the parking or standing of a motor vehicle in a manner that prohibits the ingress or egress of other vehicles authorized to use such driveway.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Subdivision d of Section 1404 of the New York City Charter is relettered as Subdivision e and a new Subdivision d is added which:
(1) Requires the environmental control board to adopt rules and regulations to adjudicate disputes regarding a blocked driveway arising between adjoining property owners who share ownership and use of a such driveway, and requires such rules and regulations to provide that the board:
(a) Provide proper notice to persons who are affected by the adjudication.
(b) Render a decision that includes a determination of the rights of the parties concerning the property.
(c) Impose penalties in accordance with a schedule of monetary fines, which will not exceed one hundred fifty dollars, whenever a blocking of a driveway is determined to have occurred.
(2) Requires the board to appoint a hearing officer who shall be an attorney with a background and experience in real property to adjudicate these disputes.
(3) Defines "blocking" as the parking or standing of a motor vehicle in a manner which prohibits the ingress or egress of other vehicles authorized to use such driveway.
(4) Nothing in this subdivision shall he deemed to diminish or extinguish a person's right to a trial by jury.
(5) Requires that if any provision of this subdivision or application of which is held invalid, the remainder of this subdivision and section shall not be affected thereby.
Amends subdivision a of section 1404 of the New York City charter section 23 of part 4 of proposal number 5 by increasing the number of mayoral appointees to the environmental control board from six to seven and requires that the additional member be one who shall be an attorney with a background and experience in real property law.
Amends section 237 of the vehicle an traffic law by adding a new subdivision 12 which:
(a) Requires said disputes regarding shared blocked driveways be heard and determined by the environmental control board prior to the issuing of a notice of violation for such dispute.
(b) Defines "blocking" in same manner as above.
JUSTIFICATION: Many residential properties, especially in urban areas throughout the state, have shared driveways, or access to available garages and parking spaces via common alleyways. These shared spaces are private properties, and current law does not provide for local authorities to intervene to expeditiously resolve these disputes.
For example, if one party blocks the space with a vehicle or other object and refuses to move it upon the request of the other neighbor, the only civil way to resolve the problem is for one party to take the matter to court. Unfortunately. this never solves the problem quickly enough when one party needs ingress or egress to the spike. On occasion, this situation has led to violent physical confrontations between neighbors, resulting in criminal charges. In other instances. individuals such as senior citizens have been the victims of intimidation and are denied the right to ingress and egress. and local authorities are unable to assist in resolving the dispute.
Accordingly, this bill amends the New York City Charter to give the Environmental Control Board (ECB) the power to hear and decide these cases in an expeditious manner. Moreover, the bill will require the ECB, which is comprised of individuals with specialized expertise, to hire two attorneys with a background in real property law: one to serve on the board and one to act as a hearing officer on these cases. While the Parking and Violations Bureau will be responsible for issuing violations to offenders, the ECB will be solely responsible for hearing these cases and imposing fines not to exceed $150.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S.5511 of 2009 05/13109 REFERRED TO CITIES 01/06/10 REFERRED TO CITIES
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the 90th day after it shall have become a law, shall expire on July 1, 2017 when upon such date the provisions of this act shall be deemed repealed; provided, however. that the Environmental Control Board and the Parking Violations Bureau shall
promulgate rules and regulations necessary to effectuate the provisions of this act prior to such effective date.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 690--A 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 5, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. SAMPSON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Cities -- recommitted to the Committee on Cities in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the New York city charter, the vehicle and traffic law and the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the "open driveway act" regarding the environmental control board adjudication of disputes concerning the blocking of a driveway; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "open driveway act". S 2. Section 1049-a of the New York city charter is amended by adding a new subdivision c-1 to read as follows: C-1. (1) THE ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL BOARD SHALL ADOPT RULES AND REGU- LATIONS TO ADJUDICATE DISPUTES ARISING BETWEEN ADJOINING PROPERTY OWNERS WHO HAVE OWNERSHIP IN AND USE A SHARED DRIVEWAY, WHERE SUCH DISPUTES ARISE FROM THE BLOCKING OF SUCH DRIVEWAY. SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS SHALL PROVIDE, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THAT THE BOARD: (A) PROVIDE PROPER NOTICE TO PERSONS WHOSE INTEREST IN REAL PROPERTY ARE AFFECTED BY THE ADJUDICATION; (B) RENDER A DECISION THAT INCLUDES A DETERMINATION OF THE RIGHTS OF THE PARTIES CONCERNING THE PROPERTY; AND (C) IMPOSE PENALTIES IN ACCORDANCE WITH A SCHEDULE OF MONETARY FINES, WHENEVER A BLOCKING OF A DRIVEWAY IS DETERMINED TO HAVE OCCURRED. MONE- TARY FINES SHALL NOT EXCEED ONE HUNDRED FIFTY DOLLARS.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD02683-05-2 S. 690--A 2
(2) FOR PURPOSES OF ADJUDICATING THESE DISPUTES, THE BOARD SHALL APPOINT A HEARING OFFICER WHO SHALL BE AN ATTORNEY WITH A BACKGROUND AND EXPERIENCE IN REAL PROPERTY LAW. (3) FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SUBDIVISION, THE TERM "BLOCKING" SHALL MEAN THE PARKING OR STANDING OF A MOTOR VEHICLE IN A MANNER WHICH PROHIBITS THE INGRESS OR EGRESS OF OTHER VEHICLES AUTHORIZED TO USE SUCH DRIVEWAY. (4) NOTHING IN THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL BE DEEMED TO DIMINISH OR EXTIN- GUISH A PERSON'S RIGHT TO A TRIAL BY JURY IN THE FIRST INSTANCE FOR THE DETERMINATION OF A CLAIM TO REAL PROPERTY PURSUANT TO THE REAL PROPERTY ACTIONS AND PROCEEDINGS LAW, THE CIVIL PRACTICE LAW AND RULES, AND ANY OTHER APPLICABLE LAW. (5) IF ANY PROVISION OF THIS SUBDIVISION OR THE APPLICATION THEREOF TO ANY PERSON OR CIRCUMSTANCE IS HELD INVALID, THE REMAINDER OF THIS SUBDI- VISION AND SECTION SHALL NOT BE AFFECTED THEREBY. S 3. Subdivision a of section 1049-a of the New York city charter, as amended by section 5 of question 2 of local law 60 of the city of New York for the year 2010, is amended to read as follows: a. There shall be in the office of administrative trials and hearings an environmental control board consisting of the commissioner of envi- ronmental protection, the commissioner of sanitation, the commissioner of buildings, the commissioner of health and mental hygiene, the police commissioner, the fire commissioner and the chief administrative law judge of the office of administrative trials and hearings, who shall be chair, all of whom shall serve on the board without compensation and all of whom shall have the power to exercise or delegate any of their func- tions, powers and duties as members of the board, and six persons to be appointed by the mayor, with the advice and consent of the city council, who are not otherwise employed by the city, one to be possessed of a broad general background and experience in the field of air pollution control, one with such background and experience in the field of water pollution control, one with such background and experience in the field of noise pollution control, one with such background and experience in the real estate field, one with such background and experience in the business community, ONE WHO SHALL BE AN ATTORNEY WITH SUCH BACKGROUND AND EXPERIENCE IN REAL PROPERTY LAW, and one member of the public, and who shall serve for four-year terms. Such members shall be compensated at the rate of one hundred fifty dollars per day when performing the work of the board. Within its appropriation, the board may appoint an executive director and such hearing officers, including non-salaried hearing officers and other employees as it may from time to time find necessary for the proper performance of its duties. S 4. Section 237 of the vehicle and traffic law is amended by adding a new subdivision 13 to read as follows: 13. (A) IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK, TO ISSUE A NOTICE OF VIOLATION WHEN- EVER THE BLOCKING OF A DRIVEWAY HAS OCCURRED, WHERE THE OWNERSHIP AND USE OF SUCH DRIVEWAY IS SHARED BY ADJOINING PROPERTY OWNERS; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT SUCH VIOLATIONS SHALL BE HEARD AND DETERMINED BY THE ENVI- RONMENTAL CONTROL BOARD PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION D OF SECTION ONE THOU- SAND FORTY-NINE-A OF THE NEW YORK CITY CHARTER. (B) FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SUBDIVISION, THE TERM "BLOCKING" SHALL MEAN THE PARKING OR STANDING OF A MOTOR VEHICLE IN A MANNER WHICH PROHIBITS THE INGRESS OR EGRESS OF OTHER VEHICLES AUTHORIZED TO USE SUCH DRIVEWAY.S. 690--A 3
S 5. Subdivision b of section 24-346 of the administrative code of the city of New York, as amended by local law 35 of the city of New York for the year 2008, is amended to read as follows: b. Any person who violates or fails to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter and chapter four of this title or any order, rule or regulation issued by the board or commissioner or with the conditions of any permit issued by the commissioner within the city of New York shall be liable for a civil penalty of not less than fifty nor more than one thousand dollars for each violation. In the case of a continuing violation each
[days]DAY'S continuance shall be a separate and distinct offense. The environmental control board shall have the power to impose such civil penalties. A proceeding to impose such penal- ties shall be commenced by the service of a notice of violation return- able to such board. Such board, after a hearing as provided by the rules and regulations of the board, shall have the power to enforce its final decisions and orders imposing such civil penalties as if they were money judgments pursuant to subdivision d of section one thousand forty-nine-a of the New York city charter. A civil penalty imposed by the board may also be collected in an action brought in the name of the city in any court of competent jurisdiction. The board, in its discretion, may, within the limits set forth in this subdivision, establish a schedule of civil penalties indicating the minimum and maximum penalty for each separate offense. S 6. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law, and shall expire July 1, 2018 when upon such date the provisions of this act shall be deemed repealed; provided, however, that the environmental control board and the parking violations bureau in the city of New York shall promulgate rules and regulations necessary to effectuate the provisions of this act prior to such effective date.