Sites with Excessive Violations Face Higher Civil Penalties

By Renee Sosnowski

Effective June 1, 2018, New York City will increase civil penalties for construction sites that have excessive violations, per Local Law 205 of 2017.

For violations of the administrative code, the 1968 building code, the zoning resolution, or other laws or rules enforced by the Department of Buildings (DOB) issued at a construction site with an existing “immediately hazardous” or “major” violation, sites that exceed the threshold violation ratio will receive a civil penalty at least twice the amount imposed without the excessive violations.


Violation Ratios

The violation ratio for construction sites is determined by one of the following:

  • Dividing the number of immediately hazardous violations and major violations against a site during the previous 12 months (excluding dismissed violations or any that currently under appeal) by the square footage of the site’s footprint
  • An alternative ratio established by DOB rule and that DOB determines appropriate for identifying construction sites with high rates of immediately hazardous violations, major violations, or unsafe conditions

The threshold violation ratio is the 90th percentile of violation ratios in the city as of December 31 of the immediately preceding calendar year. The local law calculates and applies the threshold violation ratio to three different categories of construction sites:

  • Major building sites
  • Sites that only involve work on a one-, two- or three-family building
  • Sites that are not major building sites and not limited to work on a one-, two- or three-family building

Although the law takes effect on June 1, 2018, the commissioner of buildings may take any necessary action before this date to support its implementation.

If you have any questions about this upcoming change, call Metropolis at 212.233.6344.