The New York City Department of Buildings is standing by its recent crackdown on office roof terraces, claiming that the outdoor spaces can only be used for plants.
Landlords argue that the DOB is misinterpreting a 1961 zoning provision that “all uses must be contained within enclosed buildings.” The measure, according to landlords, was intended to stop building owners from using the roof spaces for flea markets at the time.
The DOB met with the Department of City Planning last week, and DOB officials “dug in their heels” on the issue, a source told the New York Post. The Post reported last week that First Deputy Commissioner Thomas Fariello is spearheading the campaign against these allegedly illegal outdoor spaces.
The crackdown has raised concerns among landlords as outdoor space has become a popular amenity in office buildings throughout the city. Property owners like the Durst Organization, whose plans for renovations at 1155 Sixth Avenue include new terraces, could have their ambitions upended — though it’s not yet clear if the DOB will revoke approvals at the property.
DCP officials told the Post that “discussions regarding rooftop terraces are ongoing.” [NYP] — Kathryn Brenzel