NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City Council members are introducing new legislation that aims to speed up building facade work and curb the use of long-term sidewalk scaffolding.
The measure would provide support for buildings which need help getting work done quickly, reduce delays caused by permitting requirements and hold building owners accountable for failing to complete work in a timely manner.
Under the council's proposal, scaffolding must be at least 12 feet high and erected under strict timelines.
"(Bill) H-0972 will create new timelines for the removal of scaffolding if no active construction is taking place over an extended period of time," said NYC Councilman Keith Powers.
The package of bills would also allow drone inspections to help property owners speed up the removal of scaffolding.
Powers went on to say scaffolding that remains in place for months and even years "is causing blight on our neighborhoods, creating unsafe spaces and ... hurting small businesses that are buried underneath it."
It's sometimes cheaper for landlords to erect scaffolding than to make the actual repairs that required it.
For the past sixteen years, 409 Edgecombe Avenue had been imprisoned by scaffolding.
The proud, 13-story monument to the Harlem Renaissance was once home to W. E. B. Du Bois and Thurgood Marshall.
It's also home to the oldest, continuously standing scaffolding anywhere in New York. Michelle Turner has lived there since the 1970s and she hates it.
"There were some things on the facade that had to be fixed," she said. "But it takes what, 20 years?"
The owners of 409 Edgecombe were fined and the scaffolding there is finally being removed.
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