Critics call for replacing Buildings Department

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Critics of the Buildings Department called for replacing it at a City Council meeting yesterday. “The Buildings Department is collapsing under the weight of its own reform,” said Louis Coletti, president of the Building Trades Employers’ Association. Coletti and Steven Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, support creating a public corporation that they say would be both more decisive and flexible than the DOB. The industry opposes a bill by Council Member Jessica Lappin, whose district includes the site of the Turtle Bay crane collapse, that would empower the DOB to appoint independent safety monitors (at the property owners’ expense) at construction sites with a track record of serious safety violations. Twelve separate bills call for various other reforms, including registering builders, establishing a safety hot line and denying permits to rule-breaking developers. 

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