FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 28, 2009
MAYOR BLOOMBERG SIGNS LEGISLATION TO PROVIDE SAFETY AND SECURITY AT CONSTRUCTION SITES WHERE PERMITTED WORK HAS BEEN SUSPENDED
Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws
"The first of three bills before me today is Introductory Number 1015-A, sponsored in conjunction with the Administration by Council Members Garodnick, Brewer, Lappin, Gentile, James, Mealy, Nelson, Palma, Sanders, Seabrook, Mark-Viverito, Fidler, White, Arroyo, Jackson, Comrie, Vacca, Sears and Weprin. Introductory Number 1015-A provides for safety and security at construction sites where permitted work has been suspended.
"The economic downturn has left many construction projects at a standstill. Stalled projects are not only bad for developers and property owners, but are an eyesore and an inconvenience for the general public as well. Introductory Number 1015-A would encourage property owners to come forward with faltering or halted projects, craft a plan to increase safety on their sites, and make it easier for the Buildings Department to monitor their maintenance and regulate their compliance with the Building Code. This bill would also make it easier for work to resume on these sites once the owners get their financing in place.
"While economic downturns are always detrimental to construction projects, this recession is especially ill-timed. Stalled projects that have been filed under the 1968 Building Code would be required to re-file under the 2008 Building Codes. As a result, re-filing can have far reaching implication for many construction projects. A completed building is much safer than one under construction and for a construction worker who has been laid off and struggling to pay his or her bills, the difference between getting back to work in days instead of months is critical.
"Owners in this program would have to develop specific site safety and maintenance plans to protect the construction site and the public. Owners must file these plans with the Buildings Department, submit regular maintenance reports, and they will be monitored by DOB inspectors. In return for their compliance in the program, DOB will renew a stalled site's permit for up to four years. If a site is maintained in a safe manner, there is no reason why construction should not be encouraged to start up as quickly as possible once financing is back in place.
"Introductory Number 1015-A supports the local economy in a number of ways. It would eliminate nuisances in our neighborhoods and offset the adverse affects that poorly maintained sites have on property values. Moreover, it will help the City's unemployed and underemployed construction workers by getting them back on the job faster and help offset the risk that stalled sites pose - better protecting our communities from unsafe, unattended, and unsightly stalled construction.
"I would like to thank Buildings Commissioner Bob LiMandri and his staff for their work on this bill, our partners in the real estate and construction industries, and the Council for approving this legislation."
Stu Loeser/Evelyn Erskine (212) 788-2958