A curb cut is a dip in a sidewalk and curb that enables a vehicle to drive to a driveway, garage, parking lot, loading dock or drive-through. Before beginning a curb cut project, the Department must approve the proposed plans to confirm that the design meets safety and zoning requirements – and then issue a work permit. Construction permits for a curb cut project will have different expiration dates, so plan accordingly.
Other City agencies also regulate curb cuts. For example, you must have sidewalk and curb permits from the Department of Transportation's (DOT) Office of Construction Mitigation Coordination, and curb cuts must be installed according to DOT's specifications. Contractors installing curb cuts must have a Home Improvement Contractor license from the Department of Consumer Affairs.
Contractors who illegally install a curb cut – and the homeowners who hire them to do so – can face OATH/Environmental Control Board violations, court appearances, fines and civil penalties. These costs can add up quickly, since illegal curb cuts typically have multiple violations that must be corrected.
Proposed work must meet specific technical requirements. You must hire a New York State licensed Professional Engineer (PE) or Registered Architect (RA) to submit your curb cut permit application with the Department.