By Andrew J. Pisani
Time flies when you’re having fun. Just like that, 5 years have passed since you filed your Local Law 11 Façade report.
Local Law 11 Façade Cycle 8 filing is upon us, and there are new details to understand. After the issues with Cycle 6, the DOB has staggered the filing/deadline dates, and these are based on a building’s Block number.
A Façade Local Law Report details the condition of all the aspects of a façade of a Building – the brick, curtain wall, lintels, sills, window frames, coping, parapets, railings, balcony enclosures, fire escapes and any exterior fixtures protruding from a building (window air conditioners, flower boxes, signs, flag poles, etc.) It must be prepared by a licensed engineer and is required for all buildings (residential, commercial, manufacturing) that are greater than 6 stories (the height of building in feet is not factored in).
If your building is 6 stories or less, this law does not apply to you. Similarly, facades that have less than a foot of clearance from the adjacent building are not required to be inspected.
Every building has a block and lot number. If your Block number ends in 4, 5, 6 or 9 you are considered Cycle 8A and you should already be hiring your engineers to start the façade investigation and file the report. Your filing date starts 2/21/15 and the deadline date is 2/21/17.
If your Block number ends in 0, 7 or 8 you are considered Cycle 8B. Your filing date starts 2/21/16 and the deadline date is 2/21/18.
If your Block number ends in 1, 2 or 3 you are considered Cycle 8C. Your filing date starts 2/21/17 and the deadline date is 2/21/19.
Understanding the dates is important. The Filing date is the 1st date you are allowed to SUBMIT your report for review and acceptance. The Deadline date is the date that your engineers report has to be ACCEPTED by the Façade Division. If your block is not in the filing range for that time frame, the DOB will not accept it early.
There is room for confusion here. Owners may believe the deadline date is the last date the engineer’s report could be submitted and if they get it in by the deadline date, they are in compliance. This is not 100% true, as the deadline date is the date the report has to be ACCEPTED by.
If you file your report on the deadline date, it still has to get reviewed by the Local Law Façade examiners. The timeline does not consider the examiners schedule – If they are a month or 2 back-logged, your report will be late. If the report gets rejected and the engineer needs to re-do the report and this takes an extra month, your report will be late.
If you file your report by the deadline date and it does not get ACCEPTED until 4 months after the deadline date, you are 4 months late. If your report is marked as late and you will be issued a violation and accessed a $1,000 late filing fee and an additional $250 per month late fine. 4 months late is a $2,000 fine.
The clock does not stop until the report is ACCEPTED, which is why the DOB gives you 2 years to get the job done. Check your Block number, keep these dates handy and start interviewing engineers before they get booked up.