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City Council Pushing Law To Reduce Red Tape For New Building Openings

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New York City is considering introducing a new law that would change the way owners of new developments and revamped buildings access their certificate of occupancy.

The bill is sponsored by Council Member Robert Cornegy, The Real Deal reports, and would pave the way for owners to access an interim certificate of occupancy for parts of properties where building is complete. 

The major difference would be that in some cases it would be used in place of a temporary certificate of occupancy and wouldn’t need renewal every three months, per TRD. The idea is to cut back on paperwork required, which would allow buildings to open in a more efficient manner.

“Along with our partners in the Council, we have been hard at work making common-sense changes to cut red tape at the department,” Department of Buildings Commissioner Melanie La Rocca told the news outlet.

The proposal, which has the support of the administration, would mean interim certificates would run out once a permanent certificate of occupancy is provided.

“This new type of certificate of occupancy would reduce paperwork, free up staffing resources at the department, and streamline the development process, all without diminishing safety,” she said.

Last month, the DOB also put its support behind a new bill that extends the deadline for construction workers to complete 40 hours of safety training.

Under Local Law 196, introduced three years ago, construction workers were meant to have the training done by Sept. 1, but the bill, sponsored by Cornegy, Council Member Carlos Menchaca and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, would allow the deadline to move to March in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

La Rocca said she did not object to the extension, per Crain’s, but urged the workforce not to delay the training.

Earlier this year, the DOB ramped up laws regarding unsafe building facades, after a woman was killed by falling debris from a building in Midtown.