Memorandum in Opposition to Intro. 862 Amendment Requiring the Department of Buildings to Issue Stop Work Orders and Notices to Revoke Work Permits

INTRO NO: 862

SUBJECT: A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to requiring the Department of Buildings (DOB) to issue stop work orders along with notices to revoke work permits

SPONSORS: Vallone, Holden

DATE: October 19, 2018

The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), the City’s leading real estate trade association, representing commercial, residential, and institutional property owners, builders, managers and brokers, appreciates the Council’s leadership in promoting safety at construction sites. Like the Council, REBNY is committed to utilizing leading best practices and remains concerned over the continued occurrence of construction-related injuries and fatalities we’ve seen across the City.

However, the proposed legislation would unnecessarily delay projects while not enhancing the safety of construction sites. The current process affords the DOB critical discretion to issue a stop work order (SWO) following the issuance of a notice of intent to revoke a work permit, which is typically issued for violations of laws and DOB rules. Sometimes, a notice of intent can be issued for administrative violations which may be easily corrected, and which the building owner may resolve after consulting with DOB. If progress to correct such a violation is not made, DOB can take additional steps, such as issuing a SWO, to spur compliance. Taking this process out of DOB’s hands would unnecessarily halt progress on countless jobsites for issues that are relatively benign and may not pose legitimate safety concerns. REBNY encourages the Council to work with DOB to find more productive legislative solutions that will decisively enhance the safety of construction workers.

REBNY looks forward to working with the Council and DOB to reform this bill.

For the abovementioned reasons, REBNY OPPOSES INTRO No. 862.