<< Back

Budget, Education & City Services

Int 1737, A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the City of New York, in relation to after-hours work authorization

At the regularly scheduled monthly Community Board Five meeting on Thursday, April, 2019, the following resolution passed with a vote of 29 in favor; 3 opposed; 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, Council Members Carlina Rivera and Keith Powers, along with several other Councilmembers, have introduced a bill to amend the process for issuing an afterhours variance (AHV); and

WHEREAS, Currently an AHV is required to perform any construction activity before 7am, after 6pm, or on weekends, and can be obtained for any number of days in a 14-day period; and

WHEREAS, Currently AHVs can be obtained by applying through the Department of Buildings (DOB), and can be submitted up to two business days before the first intended work day; and

WHEREAS, The DOB does not have personnel assigned to manage and monitor this function; and

WHEREAS, This bill (Int-1737) has been introduced to mediate between the large number of building projects throughout the City and the noise concerns of residents; and

WHEREAS, Int-1737 would restrict the time permitted for AHVs to require that AHVs only be issued between the hours of 6am and 7am and 6pm and 10pm on weekdays, and 8am and 6pm on weekends; and

WHEREAS, Int-1737 would limit applicants to only request AHVs for 3 weekdays per week and 1 day on the weekend, and require AHVs to expire after 15 days; and

WHEREAS, Int-1737 would require the Department of Environmental Protection to issue an explanation on whether to issue an AHV, and submit an annual report to the Council on the administration of the AHV process, as well as submit a list of all new applications weekly to local Community Boards; and

WHEREAS, The number of AHVs has more than doubled since 2012, with now more than 70,000 AHVs issued per year; and

WHEREAS, Noise resulting from after-hours construction is of great concern to residents and businesses of the community, and is the top 311 complaint as well as one of the most important issues to community members via the annual district needs survey; and

WHEREAS, The bill is intended to compromise with developers to still permit after hours construction, but with limitations to ease disruptive conditions and data collection standards to allow for proper tracking of AHVs; and

WHEREAS, While INT- 1737 restrictions would not apply to any construction projects receiving government funding and would mostly impact private development; and

WHEREAS, CB5 believes that government funding exemptions under this legislation should be narrowly construed and apply to only those projects that involve emergency repairs or situations involving public safety; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five understands that AHVs are abused by developers and often factored into construction timelines, and that the automatic process of requesting variances today incentives developers to apply regardless of need; and

WHEREAS, CB5 recognizes the uncertainty Int-1737 poses to development and workers on construction projects, and hopes that the City Council’s deliberation process will continue to seek feedback from various groups impacted by the bill; and

WHEREAS, While CB5 supports the proposed legislation and urges the Council to work to alleviate after hours noise concerns, Community Board Five would have liked to have seen stronger economic forecasting on the effects of the proposed changes to AHVs, as well as more robust data on the current state of AHVs; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five supports Councilmembers’ efforts to alleviate after hour noise for members of Community District Five; and be it further

RESOLVED, Community Board Five supports Int 1737, and urges the City Council to bring it
up for consideration and a vote.

Sign Up For Our Newsletter