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CODE BREAKERS: Owner fined for facade collapse that crushed cars

The New York City Department of Buildings released its June 2019 enforcement bulletin, which provides highlights of the agency’s actions to sanction and deter bad actors in the construction industry through the enforcement of safety laws and codes of conduct for construction professionals.

The bulletin includes summaries of DOB-imposed disciplinary actions, including penalties and license suspensions and revocations.
 
The actions below represent a portion of DOB’s overall work to enforce the City’s building codes and safety laws, in addition to the thousands of inspections conducted and violations issued by the agency each month for illegal building and construction conditions. 
 
DOB took a number of major enforcement actions in June, including:
 

·         24 violations and $333,500 in penalties, including daily penalties, issued for illegal building alterations on three separate occasions.

·         29 violations and $140,250 in penalties, including daily penalties, issued for illegal transient use of buildings at six different locations. 

·         40 violations and $475,000 in penalties issued for failure to safeguard construction sites on 36 separate occasions. 

·         20 violations and $215,000 in penalties issued to 20 different individuals for failure to carry out duties as construction superintendents.

 
Below are individual enforcement highlights for June 2019:

·         $77,500 in total penalties issued to Safety Registrant ZP Construction & Renovation for a total of 15 safety violations on two construction sites located at 88-30 54th Avenue and 88-34 54th Avenue, Queens, which included not having a required Construction Superintendent on site, no safety logs on site, and having workers on site without required OSHA training cards.

·         $37,500 in total penalties issued to Registered General Contractor Aki Renovations Group Inc, for failure to safeguard a construction site located at 19-14 21st Road, Queens, for throwing wood off the building, failure to provide required overhead protection, and a temporary platform in an elevator shaft that was not built according to the approved plans.

·         $27,500 in total penalties issued to Tracking Number Holder R & E Renovations, Inc., for various unsafe conditions on a construction site at 40-29 235th Street, Queens, including inadequate fencing, failure to have a required Construction Superintendent on site, and failure to provide protection for the roof of an adjoining property.

·         $25,000 in total penalties issued to Registered General Contractor New York Major Construction, for failure to safeguard a construction site located at 926 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, after a cold-formed steel structure erected on the site collapsed onto the street. 

·         $22,500 in total penalties issued to Safety Registrant Triborough Construction for various violations, including improper housekeeping for allowing debris to collect on a scaffold deck, unapproved use of a knuckle boom, and maintaining insufficient logs, on construction sites located at 149-08 Archer Avenue, 149-03 Archer Avenue, and 149-11 Archer Avenue, Queens.

·         $10,000 in penalties issued to Construction Superintendent Frank Lapetina for failure to perform required duties on a construction site located at 32 Fountain Avenue, Brooklyn.

·         $5,000 in penalties issued to Tracking Number Holder BDG Construction Corp, for allowing a worker without a required 32-hour scaffold training certificate on a site located at 41 Great Jones Street, Manhattan.

·         $5,000 in penalties issued to Safety Registrant GNG Brothers Inc., for failure to provide required protection during excavation of a site located at 41-30 66 Street, Queens.

·         $2,500 in total penalties issued to A to Z Group NY LLC, the owner of 133-17 Sanford Avenue, Queens, for failure to maintain the building, failure to post a Tenant Protection Plan as required, and removal of fire-stopping in a dwelling unit.

·         $2,500 in penalties issued to Registered General Contractor Dawny Martinez, for failure to provide a required installation inspection letter after erecting a supported scaffold at 850 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn.

·         $10,000 in penalties issued to ABC Management Corp, the owner of 599 Broadway, Manhattan, for failure to implement required safety measures after filing an unsafe Façade Inspection Safety Program (FISP) report.

·         $12,500 in penalties issued to Empire 850 LLC, the owner of 850 East 140th Street, Bronx, for failure to maintain the building in a code-compliant manner, after a 150’ x 10’ section of one of the building’s exterior walls collapsed into the street, causing damage to parked cars. (pictured top)

·         $2,500 in penalties issued to Benjamin C. Chan, the owner of 85-06 52nd Avenue, Queens, for removal of a vacate order posted on the building.

·         $5,000 in penalties issued to Eduardo Aduayo, the owner of 297 East 10th Street, Manhattan, for falsely stating the property was unoccupied on a PW-1.

·         $17,000 in total penalties issued to Lou Hok Kuan, the owner of 23-50 Broadway, Queens, for work without a permit, failure to maintain the building, and illegal alteration and conversion of a legal two-family home to an illegal four-family home.

·         $180,625 in total penalties issued to Arti Viyulie, the owner of 95-29 124th Street, Queens, for the illegal conversion of a legal two-family home to three single-room-occupancy dwelling units, as well as failure to maintain the building and a zoning violation for failure to install a required planting in the front yard.

·         $37,250 in total penalties issued to Ralphsons Reade LLC, the owner of 111 Reade Street, Manhattan, for illegal transient use, safety violations, and failure to correct previous violations, due to use of a dwelling unit as an Airbnb rental.

·         Following an investigation into TR-1 submissions and Special Inspection practices of Professional Engineer Rizwan Salam as technical director of Abdus Salam Consulting Engineers, the Department found that he failed to dispatch qualified Special Inspectors to perform steel, masonry, welding, bolting, subgrade, concrete, and structural-stability special inspections at multiple sites, in addition to performing inadequate tests and/or inspections on two job sites. Salam agreed to a three-year surrender of all Special Inspection privileges effective June 1, 2019.

·         Following an audit of professionally certified applications submitted by Professional Engineer Mark Licalzi, the Department found multiple code non-compliances including proposing rooms without adequate light and air, insufficient tenant protection plans, proposing installation of gas meters inside apartments, failure to provide adequate means of egress, failure to obtain an HPD Certificate of No Harassment for a material alteration, and inadequate fire-rated construction materials. Licalzi agreed to a voluntary surrender of Professional Certification and Directive 14 privileges, effective June 1, 2019.

·         Following an audit of professionally certified applications submitted by Registered Architect Victor Fernandes, the Department found multiple code non-compliances, including proposing work under an Alteration Type 2 that requires an Alteration Type 1 permit for a new or amended Certificate of Occupancy, inadequate egress issues, and various other violations of the Zoning Resolution and Multiple Dwelling Law. Fernandes agreed to a voluntary surrender of Professional Certification and Directive 14 privileges, effective June 1, 2019.

·         Following an audit of professionally certified applications submitted by Professional Engineer Nari Motawani, the Department found multiple code non-compliances, including proposing work under an Alteration Type 2 that requires an Alteration Type 1 permit for a new or amended Certificate of Occupancy, proposing a new commercial use in a residential zoning district, proposing non-permitted obstructions in required yards, proposing zoning bulk non-compliances, inadequate egress, and various other violations of the Zoning Resolution, Building Code, and Administrative Code. Motawani agreed to a voluntary surrender of Professional Certification and Directive 14 privileges, effective June 1, 2019.

·         The owner of 18 Laight Street, Manhattan, was cited for an illegal roof sign that was erected without a permit and was also in view of the Holland Tunnel. The property owner complied with the Department’s order to permanently remove the sign structure.

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