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2013.01.22 AM Rosenthal Letter to DOB Re Apthorp Weekend Work

2013.01.22 AM Rosenthal Letter to DOB Re Apthorp Weekend Work

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07/10/2013

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 T
HE
A
SSEMBLY
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 TATE OF
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 Y
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A
LBANY
LINDA B. ROSENTHAL
Assemblymember 67
th
DistrictCHAIRSubcommittee on Mitchell-LamaCOMMITTEESAgricultureCorporations, Authorities & CommissionsEnergyHealthHousing Tourism, Parks, Arts & Sports
 January 22, 2013Robert LiMandriCommissionerNew York City Department of Buildings280 Broadway, 3
rd
FloorNew York, NY 10007Dear Commissioner LiMandri:I am writing regarding after-hours variances (AHVs) issued for construction at the Apthorp, locatedat 2211 Broadway in my district in Manhattan. There is a history of numerous, serious issues withthe construction that is taking place in this building, and it is crucial that the New York CityDepartment of Buildings (DOB) immediately increase its oversight and enforcement to addresscurrent concerns.Following complaints from residents about noisy weekend work, I contacted DOB in December2012 requesting a revocation of all five AHVs that were active for various jobs in the building at thetime. DOB revoked four of the AHVs (AHV reference numbers 00464085, 00464842, 00464847,00464850 and 00464851), allowing after-hours work to proceed for job 120948298 because thework, as specified in the AHV (00464085), would not be noisy. While I appreciate DOBsresponsiveness on this issue, the contractors have continued noisy work on Saturdays, both with andwithout AHVs.Although all active AHVs for the building either expired or were suspended as of 12/15/2012, theApthorp Residents Association (ARA) contacted me on 12/22/2012 because several contractors wereperforming noisy work on a Saturday for jobs 120795283 and 120878229 (see 311 complaint1339952). The contractors apparently posted the original AHVs, which DOB had revoked, in anattempt to deceive residents and building management into believing that they still had permission towork that weekend. The following weekend, the ARA reported noisy work for job 120948298 onboth Saturday, December 29 and Sunday, December 30, although no new variances had been issuedand all revoked variances would have expired the previous weekend. According to the ARA, thebuilding’s management office reportedly informed residents that the contractors had specialpermission to work on this weekend. I can find no evidence of such permission being granted byDOB or any other agency.Because of the clear pattern of contractors performing illegal, after-hours work with either anexpired or no AHV, my office contacted DOB on 12/28/2012, expressing concern about thecontinuing illegal weekend work and requesting a suspension of weekend variances for the Apthorp.Such a suspension would have helped give the residents some respite from what had become sevendays a week of noisy, disruptive construction. I have since learned that instead of suspendingweekend variances, DOB issued three new AHVs (00467198, 00467265 and 00467266) for weekendwork to start on 1/12/2013, just two weeks after the most recent complaint from both residents andmy office. One such AHV (00467198) even states that there are no residential dwellings within 200feet of the site—a virtual impossibility in the interior of a dense, residential building like the

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