Public comments for: Construction Codes and Zoning Resolution Determinations and Appeals Fees

Comments

Comment:
Submitting comments herewith: 1. $1,000/$2,500 fees are excessive, even for Pre-Determinations. Compare to any minimum fee for regular filings. 2. We are willing to pay an "expedited review" fee where the wait time would be reduced to a few days. Suggested amount is up to $400. 3. We have been encountering instances where Determinations are reviewed by inexperienced staff who misinterpret the Code/Zoning or misinterpret the request itself and issue denials in error. At other times Determinations are denied due to "not enough information/backups" or "did not add check mark", etc. These should not merit an "appeal" Determination fee. The Department should delineate what the procedure is when these happen. 4. Plan Examiners may issue multiple objections to one job that may need Determination filing, resulting in excessive fees paid. All these should be included in the standard filing fee that is already paid. 5. Pre-Determinations for clarification should not be charged as it is the duty of the Department of Buildings to inform the public of the Building Code and Zoning regulations and their interpretations.
Agency: DOB
Comment:
The Statement of Basis and Purpose for the Proposed Rule mentions: “The Department provides a service when current or prospective applicants request a Borough Commissioner to issue a Determination interpreting certain provisions of the Zoning, Energy or Construction Codes.“ It should be known that the ZRD1/CCD1 forms are not exclusively utilized for the purpose of interpretation of provisions. As the impetus for the proposed fee is predicated and/or based on the idea that the “Department is providing a service”, please consider this; There are scenarios in which the applicant is directed by DOB to file a ZRD1/CCD1 form not for the purpose of interpretation of provisions. In these cases the ZRD1/CCD1 form is being misappropriated to serve a purpose other than that of "interpretation". I elaborate on this and provide samples in the herewith submitted attachment.
Agency: DOB
Comment:
I write in opposition of the proposed Rule to charge fees for determination requests. Charging fees for determination requests which are often the result of plan examination failing comprehension of, or deferring a decision to a superior for a zoning or code issue within an application which has already been charged its examination fees is unfair. Additionally, while it may be more fair to charge a fee for a "pre"determination request, which serves as a single-issue-examination, the consequences of motivating applicants to file applications without pre-resolution of interpretive issues or site-specific conditions which do not exactly match language in the Zoning resolution or Codes may have the effect of protracting otherwise straightforward plan exams, or motivating applicants to forego the streamlined professional certification process.
Agency: DOB
Comment:
The Department's request to charge additional fees for services that it is mandated to provide by the NYC Charter as part of the filing/approval process is a de facto admission and declaration of the dis-functionality of the NY City Dept of Buildings. Examiners/supervisors are not trained adequately and continue to issue inapplicable objections for as of right conditions. The Department's request to charge fees for resolving these objections will be a major deterrent to economic growth as well as to affordable housing in the city. The issuance of such fees effectively divides the NYC Dept of Buildings into a "two tier" agency, catering to those that can pay the exorbitant fees and those that cannot. I strongly object to this rule change and doubt its legality.
Agency: DOB