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The City Council will consider limiting the hours building crews can work, a response to a reported increase in noise complaints from the clang and clatter of construction.

Councilwoman Carlina Rivera introduced a bill Wednesday that would crack down on construction outside normal business hours. The bill limits construction to between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends. Rivera also calls for limiting any builder to three after-hours variances per week during weekdays and one on weekends.

The variances allow construction crews to work outside of normal business hours. 

The Department of Buildings issued about 67,000 new and renewed variance permits last year, The New York Times reports, more than double the 31,569 issued in 2012. The permits brought in $21.8 million in fees in Manhattan alone, according to the publication.

The Department of Buildings described the after-hours construction work as necessary to a growing city, but the Times report notes the city received 3,700 complaints from construction utilizing an after-hours permit last year alone. 

It can be hard to find an apartment away from a construction site. A report earlier this year from found that 40% of listings for sale or rent in the city are less than a block away from a building site. 

Rivera’s bill would have after-hour variances expire 15 days after their issuance. Councilman Keith Powers and Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal have sponsored the legislation. The bill also requires the city provide an annual report to the council on after-hours variances. 

Carlo A. Scissura, president and chief executive of the New York Building Congress, told the Times that the organization would fight the legislation, saying the real estate industry has been demonized. 

Published on

Sep 27, 2019 by New York Building Congress