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Progress on Scaffolding Rules

By The NYC Hospitality Alliance

October 16, 2017

Last year, the NYC Hospitality Alliance conducted a member survey in partnership with the NYC Department of Small Business Services that inquired about the impact scaffolding has on business when constructed in front of restaurants and bars.

Shortly thereafter we reported that Council Member Ben Kallos introduced legislation, which if passed, would regulate the amount of time scaffolding may stay constructed. 

It's no secret that scaffolding (sidewalk sheds) play an essential role in protecting people from falling debris from building construction. But it's also no secret that scaffolding left up for extended periods of time has a devastating impact on restaurants and bars. The effects range from a significant loss of business, to the reduction of employee hours and layoffs, to being a significant factor in some businesses closing.

As we've said before, the wheels of government move slowly, and that's why it's important to have the NYC Hospitality Alliance in the halls of government advocating on behalf of our industry. But the wheels of government do move, and now, we are happy to announce that a public hearing has been scheduled for this scaffolding reform legislation on October 25, which is the next step in the legislative process. The NYC Hospitality Alliance will testify in support of this scaffolding reform legislation.

Key highlights of the legislation are as follows:

  • 90 days for building owners to fix a dangerous condition.
  • 90 additional days for building owners to fix the dangerous condition upon extension.
  • After 180 days, the city would do the work to correct the dangerous condition and bill the owner for all costs.
  • Work could not be interrupted for more than seven days without a mandate to take down the sidewalk shed or face heavy penalties.
  • Under the same legislation, new construction would need to continue without more than seven days of interruption until the new development is safely capped off or completed.
  • Exemptions in the legislation provide for weather, stop work orders, time awaiting permit renewals or in cases of safety risks.

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