Part of what keeps our industry exciting is the ongoing evolution of the regulatory landscape, most often in the form of local laws. One of the biggest changes this year is the creation of a new temporary Certificate of Occupancy, which allows owners and developers to let tenants occupy newly completed spaces.
This article also covers other legislative changes, two of which extend compliance deadlines for previous local laws, and one that extends the violation moratorium on accessory signs.
Local Law 6 of 2021 – Interim Certificates of Occupancy
Effective April 2021, this local law amends the administrative code of the city of New York regarding statements of compliance, issuance, and posting requirements for Certificates of Occupancy (COs) and Interim Certificates of Occupancy (ICOs). ICOs are a new type of temporary CO, which can be issued for newly constructed building areas that are deemed safe for occupancy before the full project is completed.
Previously, finished spaces in an incomplete new building or major alteration required a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO) for occupancy. TCOs expired after 90 days, requiring owners to file renewal applications every three months—until the completed project received a Final Certificate of Occupancy. The new ICOs do not require renewals, which reduces the administrative burden on the construction industry, while allowing commercial and residential tenants to occupy new construction without fear of TCO expiration.
Exceptions. The following types of construction do not qualify for ICOs:
- Residential buildings with fewer than eight stories or fewer than four dwelling units
- Non-residential buildings with fewer than five stories
- Mixed-use buildings with fewer than four dwelling units
- Parking structures
Local Law 13 of 2021 – Carbon Monoxide Detectors
This legislation amends the administrative and building codes of the city of New York to update the compliance dates required by Local Law 191 of 2018, which requires installation of carbon monoxide detectors in commercial spaces.
Previously, buildings with fire alarm systems that contain Occupancy Group A-1, A-2, A-3, Group B, or Group M were required to install carbon monoxide detectors by January 1, 2021. The new law extends the compliance deadline to July 1, 2021.
Local Law 25 of 2021 – Basement & Cellar Apartments
This legislation extends the construction filing deadlines for the pilot program created by Local Law 49 of 2019, which facilitated the creation and alteration of habitable basement and cellar apartments of certain one- and two-family dwellings.
Local Law 49 of 2019 required filing completed construction documents with the Department of Buildings (DOB) within 18 months of its effective date. In addition, the law required a mayor-appointed agency to submit a that summarized the program’s impact no later than 48 months after its effective date.
The new law provides additional time to file completed construction documents. Also, the mayor-appointed agency may now submit its report 30 months after these documents are filed with the DOB.
Local Law 29 of 2021 – Accessory Sign Violations
This legislation extends the moratorium on certain accessory sign violations to January 1, 2023. To qualify, accessory signs must meet the following requirements:
- Existed before February 9, 2019
- Cannot exceed 150 square feet in area
- Cannot exceed 1,200 pounds in weight
This waiver does not apply, however, to accessory signs that present an imminent threat to public health or safety.
In addition, the Temporary Assistance Program will waive sign permit filing fees until January 1, 2023, for storefront signs that received judgments for violations resolved by payment between June 1, 2006, and January 1, 2021.
If you have any questions regarding these changes, or if you need assistance with applications or violations, please contact Metropolis Group at 212.233.6344.