June 21, 2010

A.5667-C by M. of A. Lopez AN ACT to amend the multiple dwelling law in relation to interim multiple dwellings in a city of more than one million persons and to amend chapter 349 of the laws of 1982, amending the multiple dwelling law relating to legalization of interim multiple dwellings in cities over one million, in relation to extending the effectiveness of such chapter. DISAPPROVAL RECOMMENDED Hon. David Paterson Governor of the State of New York Executive Chamber Albany, New York 12224 Dear Governor Paterson: The above-referenced bill is now before you for executive action. This bill would expand coverage of the Loft Law to buildings or portions of buildings meant for manufacturing or commercial use that have been illegally occupied for residential purposes by two or more families for a consecutive twelve-month period between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009. The number and locations of these buildings are not specified in the legislation or supporting materials and are, in fact, unknown; by contrast, the original Loft Law was enacted after an extensive survey and examination of the affected buildings. While the bill laudably attempts to address the fact of residential encroachment into current and former industrial zones, it fails to create a minimum standard for safety below which illegal conversions should not, in any circumstances, be sanctioned. Basic safety, quality-of-life and environmental compatibility will not be assured. No additional buildings should be granted the protections of the Loft Law unless they do not involve incompatible manufacturing or industrial uses, have operable wet sprinklers, and provide at least one direct egress and a window in each covered unit. As written, this bill would hurt our economy by driving manufacturers out of New York City, reducing the number of good-paying jobs available to New Yorkers at precisely the time we need them the most. The bill would, in effect, prioritize residential occupancy over industrial use wherever they conflict, sending a clear and discouraging message to current and would-be industrial tenants anywhere in the city. It would prevent the City from taking measures to preserve even small islands of industrial businesses, including the city’s sixteen Industrial Business Zones, which in the aggregate represent a small geographic portion of the city, but which this legislation treats no differently than the rest of the city, including its most residential neighborhoods. The bill would render those zones meaningless.

000 for a second offense authorized by Local Law 37 of 2007 for creating illegal conversions in industrial or manufacturing buildings. in many cases.000 fine should be contrasted with $2. and place enormous economic and political pressure on.This result would be the displacement of businesses and a deterrent to new business investment.000 per-violation fine. the encroachment of residential uses in these areas will force businesses to relocate and. Very truly yours. the City opposes this bill because it fails to increase the maximum amount of civil penalty the Loft Board may recover for violations of its rules and regulations. leave the city altogether. industrial and manufacturing uses. Given that the existing Loft Law has been extended in its present form for 28 years. is far too small to have an impact on owners who often find it more cost-effective to violate the Loft Law than to comply. along with the good-paying jobs and economic diversity that they support. we would respectfully urge disapproval of this legislation and passage of a one-year extension of the existing law. places a premium on safety. however. Ultimately. Residential uses – even illegal and unsafe ones – pay far higher rents than. The City of New York has been working for the last week with the bill’s sponsors on a chapter amendment. BLOOMBERG. The $1.000 penalties for a first offense and up to $25. Mayor . which has remained unchanged for 28 years. The $1. Additionally. The ten-day window between passage and signing decision.500 to $5. if agreement on a chapter amendment cannot be reached today. and promotes economic diversity. MICHAEL R. We will then endeavor to work with the Executive and the Legislature to craft a thoughtful expansion of the Loft Law that protects tenants. may not in the end afford enough time to carefully consider and address the range of consequences of this legislation.

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