DOB considering “alternative options” to after-hour permits

For years, many have complained about the ubiquity of nighttime construction

New York /
Mar.March 22, 2016 04:32 PM

Amid complaints of excessive nighttime construction, the Department of Buildings is assessing how it issues after-hour permits in the city.

The agency plans to evaluate how it approves variances for construction done “after hours” — defined as before 7 a.m. or after 6 p.m. on weekdays or at any hour during the weekend, according to a DOB representative. The study will determine if there are any alternatives to the after-hour permits that won’t pose a safety risk.

“The majority of after-hour variance permits are issued as a pro-active safety measure for work that can’t be performed or would cause an unreasonable burden if done on a weekday during periods of high vehicular and pedestrian traffic,” Alex Schnell, a spokesperson for the DOB, said in a statement. “The department has begun a comprehensive evaluation of the after-hour variance issuance process to determine if there are alternative options that could be implemented without creating a danger to the public.”

In 2015, the agency issued a whopping 59,895 after-hour variances, a 47.3 percent spike since 2012, according to data provided by the DOB. Schnell said the DOB is in the early stages of the study and indicated that it wasn’t in response to the high volume of permits issued in the past year.

Residents and politicians have long railed how frequently the city grants after-hour permits, arguing that new restrictions should apply to the variances. Proponents of the permits have argued that the sheer volume of construction in the city necessitates the variances so that work can be completed when less people are around.

In 2014, Council member Rosie Mendez introduced a bill to set new standards for the permits, but the measure never made it out of committee. A representative for Mendez said that the bill is being amended and will hopefully be reintroduced before the end of the year. Details on the new bill were not immediately available. Council member Dan Garodnick, one of the bill’s sponsors, said that he and other Council members will “continue to hold the DOB accountable” and have asked the agency to set a deadline for the study’s completion.

“Nearly every Manhattan elected official called on the DOB to put down its rubber stamp and to start cracking down on unreasonable and illegal after hours construction,” Garodnick said in a statement. “Developers feel entitled to these permits because of lax oversight and enforcement, and the results are quite painful for our communities.”

Correction: The photo caption incorrectly stated the construction site was 220 Central Park South


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
City approves mass timber, basement apartment rules
City approves mass timber, basement apartment rules
City approves mass timber, basement apartment rules
A condo building couldn’t collapse in NYC. Or could it?
A condo building couldn’t collapse in NYC. Or could it?
A condo building couldn’t collapse in NYC. Or could it?
Under Local Law 97, buildings larger than 25,000 square feet must start meeting new greenhouse-gas emission levels in 2024. (iStock)
Owners’ chance for emissions cap break is over
Owners’ chance for emissions cap break is over
(Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
Years ago he took a bribe. Now he can’t get a license
Years ago he took a bribe. Now he can’t get a license
5718 3rd Avenue, 710 Metropolitan Avenue and 286 Hamilton Avenue in Brooklyn (Google Maps, StreetEasy, DOB)
After worker dies, Williamsburg condo project paused, GC fined
After worker dies, Williamsburg condo project paused, GC fined
Construction industry at ‘inflection point’
Construction industry at ‘inflection point’
Construction industry at ‘inflection point’
626 Lafayette Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant and 23-14 96th Street in East Elmhurst (Google Maps)
Two landlords hit with big fines for SROs, resi additions
Two landlords hit with big fines for SROs, resi additions
Workers at the location, 526 Gulf Avenue in Staten Island, are being told that they do not have to wear masks in areas not monitored by cameras. (Google Maps, iStock)
“Save us, Jeff Bezos!” Worker says Amazon contractor shuns Covid safety
“Save us, Jeff Bezos!” Worker says Amazon contractor shuns Covid safety
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...