Comments

william hamilton Tue, 09/12/17 - 10:54 The codes and zoning resolution are complex and updated on a regular basis. At times because of these updates there are conflicting requirements. In addition, even though the plan reviewers are trained, they are not perfect and at time misinterpret or incorrectly raise an objection. Charging a fee to resolve an objection that was incorrectly raised opens the door for plan examiners to make many "incorrect" objections in order to raise money for the City. There should be a stipulation that if the appeal or determination is granted and that the objection is over ridden that the fee is refunded. This would prevent abuse of the new fee charges. The above refund should only for incorrect or misinterpreted objections. True variance requests that result in an alteration of the code are justified. However, variances to the zoning resolution are performed by the Board of Standards and Appeals, that already charge a fee, not the DOB. A zoning determination is not a variance, it's a correction of a misinterpretation. If the ZDR is accepted then that fee should also be waived or refunded.

Anselmo Genovese Tue, 09/12/17 - 10:56 Code determinations are required to be listed individually for each Plan examiner objection. Typically a small residential project has 2 or 3 minor objections that need clarification by a Borough Commissioner does this mean according to the proposed rule the cost is upwards of $6000 for a homeowner to burden? I also believe a nominal fee of $250 should be charged to cover cost of DOB since some of these issues are resolved within 15 minutes and do not warrant exorbitant fees.

michael goldblum Tue, 09/12/17 - 15:50 As a practicing architect I think these fees are punitive. They would punish applicants for the codes' lack of transparency and for the Department's inconsistent enforcement and review processes. The code is Byzantine and intricate - to penalize homeowners for the unusual complexity of our code is bad governance.

Katie Devlin Wed, 09/13/17 - 11:36 I believe that additional fees associated with interpreting code are not necessary. I believe that additional fees would increase costs and delays to crucial building projects (affordable housing, energy-efficient buildings, etc.) where innovative design solutions and new technologies are often developed before they are incorporated into building code rules and zoning regulations, requiring more interpretation. In addition, the proposed fees would be devastating to small building and home owners who face unique circumstances or constraints not anticipated by current codes, like those impacted by Hurricane Sandy.