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 the jurisdiction over maritime and non-maritime construction for all City-owned waterfront properties. For privately-owned properties, the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) has jurisdiction over the buildings, and SBS over the marine and maritime structures such as piers, docks, bulkheads, and seawalls.

Waterfront Permits Information

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Application Intake Hours

Applications are accepted in person at 1 Liberty Plaza, 11th Floor, by appointment only, between 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday to Friday. Applicants are advised to make an appointment for a Pre-filing Meeting prior to submitting new applications.

To schedule appointments, applicants must contact the Waterfront Permits Unit. A legibly completed SBS Intake Checklist must be included with all applications so that all necessary components are received.


Permitting Process Overview

Applicants must start by completing the SBS Intake Checklist. Basic required documentation is identified on the checklist, and additional information may be required pursuant to forms PW1, PC1, and SBS review. New applications would consist of a completed PW1, three (3) sets of drawings, application fee, and other required information and forms for review by SBS. Each new application is then assigned a unique SBS application number. After review by the Waterfront Permits Unit, objections if any, are returned to the applicant to be resolved. Applicants must schedule an appointment to resolve the objections.

Once an application has received final acceptance from SBS, contractors may apply for a Work Permit by submitting a PW2 form and current ACORD Insurance Certificates. Any required special inspection agencies must be identified on TR1 forms prior to filing for a Work Permit. PW5 forms are used to apply for After Hours Work Permits. The assigned SBS application number must be clearly noted on all submittals.

For certain jobs, coordinated review by the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) or NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) is required. In these instances, three (3) sets of drawings, a PW1 form, and any further required documentation must be submitted to SBS to begin the process. After SBS review, drawings are stamped "Received" and transmitted to FDNY or DOB via the applicants. Upon approval by FDNY or DOB of the plans, they are brought back by the applicants to SBS for final acceptance.

To file for an SBS Notice of Completion (equivalent to DOB's Letter of Completion), applicants must submit a completed WFU5, a completed TR1, and all applicable special inspection reports. To file for an SBS Certificate of Completion (equivalent to DOB's Certificate of Occupancy), applicants must submit a completed WFU8, a completed TR1, and all applicable special inspection reports. Applicants are advised to schedule a meeting to review Completion requirements, by contacting the Waterfront Permits Unit.

SBS also issues Temporary Place of Assembly Permits and Place of Assembly Permits for the waterfront properties under its jurisdiction. Application reviews, After-Hours Permits, Temporary Place of Assembly (TPA) Permits, Place of Assembly Permits, and any permit renewals are subject to applicable fees.

Construction Permits application review is an iterative process. Project teams must allow adequate time for review and any subsequent amendments for compliance. Professional Project Management helps avoid emergencies and greatly is in everyone's best interest.

This overview of the permitting process is provided only as a general guideline. Permit requirements may vary for different jobs and therefore applicants are advised to consult with their respective Engineer or Architect of Record. SBS Work Permits are not listed or tracked on NYC DOB's BIS System. Applicants may contact the Waterfront Permits Unit to request information, or to set up an appointment.

Application Filing Overview - January 2016

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, and must approve the application prior to SBS's issuance of the TPA.

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 Marine and Maritime 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