Waterfront Permits

Pursuant to Section 1301 of the NYC Charter and Title 22 of the NYC Administrative Code, the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) is tasked with issuing permits for all construction related to improvement or maintenance on Waterfront Properties under SBS Jurisdiction.

SBS has permitting jurisdiction for construction work on all City-owned waterfront property and all private property used for maritime purposes, such as piers, docks, bulkheads, and seawalls. For private property being used for non-maritime purposes, the NYC DOB has permitting jurisdiction.

Waterfront Permits Information

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Application Filing Overview

All SBS applications are filed digitally by appointment only and begin with an online Prefiling Meeting. Applicants start the process by emailing SBS at wpu@sbs.nyc.gov along with Property Owners Name, Property Borough, Block and Lot Number, Site Address, and Project Description.

SBS sends a Pre-filing Meeting appointment for an online video call. Applicants must be prepared to share project information, scope of work, site map and schematic plans. Following that, SBS sends applicants the Pre-filing Number.

When the applicant is ready to initially file the application, they must request an appointment by sending an email to wpu@sbs.nyc.gov, and must include the Pre-filing Number in the subject line. 

SBS will send a link to upload the application at the appointed time. Every filing, initial or subsequent, must be accompanied by a legibly completed SBS Intake Checklist, which clearly provides contact information of the applicant, identifies the request type, and indicates the documents that are being submitted. 

All drawings must have adequate to-scale space for SBS digital stamps, at the same location on each drawing to enable automated electronic stamping.

Once the application is received, SBS will provide applicant with an eight-digit SBS Application Number. That number must be noted on all subsequent correspondences and application documents. Applicants must allow 20 business days for plan exam, after which they will be notified if the application is complete and Stamped ACCEPTED, or if additional information is required, and a Notice of Objections will be sent with instruction for applicants on how to follow up. For additional general queries applicants could also contact Waterfront Permits Unit.

All applications filed with SBS must be Professionally Certified by the Applicant of Record, and SBS conducts limited reviews for all applications. Filing Fees must be made by Check payable to New York City Small Business Services and brought in person to SBS by appointment.

Coordinating with DOB and FDNY

Certain jobs require coordinated reviews by the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) or by NYC Department of Buildings (DOB). In those instances, applicants would file at SBS, and the application drawings would be stamped "RECEIVED" and transmitted to FDNY or DOB. Upon their approval, the plans would be sent back to SBS for final acceptance. There are other work scopes that are to be filed directly with either FDNY or DOB, and those are denoted on the SBS Intake Checklist. 

Applicants seeking Construction Code Determination for variances on the Building Code, must submit the CCD1 package to SBS along with a Fee of $1000, payable by check to SBS. That package is transmitted to DOB for review and recommendation. 
SBS considers DOB recommendation for issuance of a Determination.

Application Filing Overview - October 2023

Pulling Work Permits and After Hour Variances

Once an application is stamped "ACCEPTED" by SBS, contractors may email SBS to request an appointment to upload the application package, which must include the SBS Intake Checklist along with the PW2 form, valid ACORD Insurance Certificates, and the 
Means and Methods as necessary.

Any required TR1 special inspections must be identified, and the agencies retained prior to filing for a Work Permit. Once the work has commenced, if After Hours Variances are required, contractors must email SBS a week in advance to request appointment for uploading the PW5 application, and schedule time to drop off the applicable fees by check, payable to New York City Small Business Services.

The SBS application number must be noted on all correspondence and documents.

Permitting Forms and Documents

SBS receives applications for a range of scopes including New Building, Alt 1, Alt 2, Demolition, and Temporary Place of Assembly (TPA) for properties within its permitting jurisdiction. With a few exceptions, SBS uses DOB application forms. The SBS Intake Checklist must be used as a transmittal for all filings, and it helps identify the key forms required by the application stage. 

New applications would generally consist of drawings and forms including PW1, PW3, PC1, POC1, PW1B, TR1, TR8, DOF Tax Map form, Survey in NAVD88, Datum, DEC Permit, ACOE Permit, and PDF design drawings for construction signed and sealed by the Applicant of Record, and Application Fees calculated per SBS Fee Schedule

For subsequent stages of the application different forms and documents would be required as indicated under Request Type on the Checklist.

Other fees for TPAs, After Hour Variances, CCD1, and Penalty for Work Without Permit are assessed by DOB schedule. Refer to the Applicable Fees.

Closing Out Applications

All applicants must email SBS to schedule a meeting and review required documents in order to close out the application.

The SBS Certificate of Completion is equivalent to DOB’s Certificate of Occupancy. Once work on a New Building or an Alt 1 Project is completed, applicant would submit documents including the Final As-built Survey, WFU8, TR1s, and all applicable special inspection reports. SBS would conduct a Final Inspection prior to issuance of the Certificate of Completion.

The SBS Notice of Completion is equivalent to DOB’s Letter of Completion. Once work on an Alt 2 or Demolition is completed, applicant would submit documents including applicable Final Survey, WFU5, TR1s and applicable special inspection reports. Per Directive 14, the Applicant is responsible for the final inspections and sign-off. For fire suppression jobs, applicant would directly coordinate with FDNY for inspection to obtain their sign-off. SBS would review and determine adequacy of the close out package, prior to issuance of the Notice of Completion.

Application permit filing is an iterative process. Project teams must allow adequate time for review and any subsequent revisions for code compliance. This overview of the permitting process is provided only as a general guidance. Permit requirements may vary for different jobs and therefore applicants are advised to consult with their respective Engineer or Architect of Record.

Currently, SBS Work Permits are not listed or tracked on NYC DOB's BIS System, and applicants may contact the Waterfront Permits Unit to request application status. Efforts are underway to create an online filing portal integrated within DOB NOW and develop the Waterfront Construction Code. Please stay tuned.

Temporary Place of Assembly Permits (TPAs)

Application for a TPA must be filed at least 10 business days in advance of when the TPA is required. If any construction is involved, application must be filed at least 20 business days in advance of when the Construction Permit is required. The Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) must be notified at least five (5) business days in advance of the Event, for inspection of the facility prior to the event.

Compliance with accessibility requirements may be subject to review by Mayor's Office of People with Disabilities (MOPD).

Civil Penalty for Work without a Permit

Work Without a Permit is subject to Civil Penalty under Article 213 of the New York City Building Code, and 1 RCNY §102-04. Applicants are required to obtain and maintain valid Work Permits. If there is any change in the scope of work, timely Post Approval Amendments reflecting the changes must be filed for review and approval, prior to commencing work on the changed scope.

Applicable Fees

(Payment must be made by check payable to NYC Small Business Services)

  • New Application Plan Review Filing Fee - SBS Fee Schedule. Application Fees for all Maritime Work, and Alterations are based on Category III of the Schedule.
  • Post Approval Amendment - $200 if 30 days after Approval.
  • Renewal of Work Permit - $100
  • Renewal of Temporary Notice/Certificate of Completion - $100
  • Temporary Place of Assembly - $250 Applications must be submitted at least 
    10 business days before the date of the event. Applications submitted less 
    than 10 days in advance of an event may be expedited for an additional $100 
    fee per day late.)
  • Place of Assembly - $200
  • After Hours Work Permit - per DOB schedule
  • Reinstatement Fees - per DOB schedule

Application Forms

Additional Resources

NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) Construction Codes

NYC Department of City Planning (DCP) Zoning

FEMA FIRM and Preliminary-FIRM Panels

Waterfront Navigator