The NYC Department of Buildings is holding a hearing at 11am on September 15, to hear public comments about proposed changes to the façade examination regulations formerly known as Local Law 11/98. For those unfamiliar with the façade examination regulations, the Department requires submission of a professional assessment report on the exterior walls of every building greater than 6 stories in height. These reports must include the results of close range examinations at a maximum lateral distance of 60 feet on every frontage within a public right of way, and must be submitted every five years.
The proposed changes are intended to present clarifications from the Department position on three issues:
- If a building is set back from streets and sidewalks (and therefore technically has no public rights of way), a minimum of one (1) drop scaffold drop or other means of close range access is still required.
- The number of stories is calculated for buildings on a sloped site by considering partially below grade space an additional story, where more than half the height of that space as measured at any individual exterior wall is above the adjacent ground.
- If a building misses a five-year deadline, the next report for that building can be filed at any time (without waiting for the designated filing period), providing all civil penalties are paid at the time of filing.
Sounds simple, but misinterpretation of these issues leads to fines and penalties totaling many thousands of dollars.
If you have an opinion on these matters, stand up and let your voice be heard. The Department welcomes feedback, and our professional responsibility to clients and community requires our participation in this process. Department’s rules are also available for viewing and downloading on the DOB website at Click Here
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