State legislators, exhausted by four days of waiting for three men in a room to make a deal on extending rent regulations extended the law until Tuesday night, so they could go home for the weekend. The only agreement seemed to be that leadership would keep talking.
The headline writers missed it, but the 421-a tax abatement program was also extended, giving developers a few more days to qualify under existing rules for commencement of construction before any changes are made in the program or it expires. The courts laid out the rules several years ago in Matter of 124 West 23rd St. vs. HPD, which was overturned on appeal. The Appellate Division said the Real Property Tax Law definition that a building “shall be deemed ‘commenced’ when excavation or alteration has begun in good faith on the basis of approved construction plans” was overriding.
The NAHB is warning builders to get involved in the debate over costly new International Building Code proposals which would affect New York City’s codes along with many other localities. Just a few of the items seriously being considered are:
Requiring a “Fire Prevention Superintendent” to stand around 24/7 during construction of wood frame buildings.
Requiring completed, tested, working sprinklers during construction of Type lll, IV, or V buildings rising over 40 feet.
Requiring a 50-foot separation distance from Type V buildings (with light-frame wood construction) above a horizontal separation to lot lines or adjoining buildings on the same lot, making infill development impossible on many sites.
Code changes are debated in volunteer committees and open for public comment.