City Council passes slate of new construction codes
BY HAEVEN GIBBONS
The New York City Council passed
a bill updating New York City construction
codes last week.
The legislation, containing over 600 major
updates and thousands of smaller changes,
improves construction code safety and incorporates
the latest in building technologies.
The New York City Department of Buildings
marked the offi cial passage of major legislation
in the City Council on Oct. 7, according
to a press release from the New York City
Department of Buildings.
“New York City should always strive
to create an environment that is safe and
welcoming to all – that includes ensuring
our building code refl ects the wide variety
of challenges New Yorkers face individually
and collectively,” said councilwoman
Carlina Rivera in a press release from the
Department of Buildings. “Department
of Buildings’ updates to local regulations
enhance accessibility, emergency preparedness,
public safety, and resiliency measures.
I am pleased that our City is moving in the
right direction with these policy changes.”
The code revisions are the fi rst holistic
update to the entire set of NYC Administrative,
Plumbing, Building, Mechanical and
Fuel Gas Codes since 2014, according to
the release. The codes set the framework
for how buildings are designed and maintained
in the city.
“These updated Codes provide a solid
foundation on which the future of our city
will be built,” said buildings commissioner
Melanie E. La Rocca in the release. Adding,
“Looking further afi eld, it is my hope
that these Codes will also serve as a model
for other cities, looking to build their own
more resilient and sustainable future.”
The revisions included enhancements
in the areas of emergency response, fi re
protection, vehicle transportation and accessibility,
elevator and boiler, construction
safety, building system construction and
inspection and sustainability. The revisions
also addressed protections for tenants,
streamlining building occupancy and
promoting increased affordable housing.
PHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES
“The new Codes use the highest international
standards for the design, construction
and maintenance of buildings as a
baseline, while continuing our city’s proud
tradition of implementing additional enhancements
to ensure we have among the
strongest building regulations anywhere in
the world,” the release said.
What these revisions
mean for New Yorkers
Some of the revisions will affect New
Yorkers, directly, especially homeowners,
tenants and pedestrians.
A new revision that promotes increased
affordable housing, reduces the required
eight-foot basement clearance height for
two-family homes to seven-feet, said Andrew
Rudansky, press secretary at NYC
Department of Buildings. This code change
allows the same safety standards for singlefamily
homes to be applied to two-family
Another major revision requires new
special inspection of buildings undergoing
construction to ensure the protection of
tenants, Rudansky said.
“This adds another layer of protection
with special inspection requirements to
have more people there, on the ground,
looking at if the tenant protection plan
is being followed, ” Rudansky said. “This
makes sure the tenants are adequately protected
and looks at any negative quality of
life issues affecting tenants that need to be
resolved,” Rudansky said.
One construction safety revision enhances
the pedestrian experience. The
change permits the use of netting, low
barriers, and chain link fencing instead
of requiring only solid fencing that cause
blind tunnels for pedestrians.
“This would create enhancements where
there is less of that tunnel effect without
reducing safety issues,” Rudansky said.
Other revisions are meant to enhance
sustainability and building safety.
The revised code requirements will go
into effect next year, with some regulations
taking effect on Jan. 1, 2022, according to
Parents of NYC gun violence victims demand end to bloodshed
BY DEAN MOSES
Enraged parents rallied Sunday afternoon
in Lower Manhattan for an
immediate solution to gun violence,
just days after an armed suspect fl ed into a
Brooklyn school in hopes of evading police,
signaling a boiling point of what they call
a crime wave.
Under the pouring rainfall and upon an
erected stage on the sidewalk outside City
Hall Park on Broadway and Barclay Street,
the NYC School Safety Coalition — a collection
of parents, families, religious leaders,
and community leaders — assembled
mothers and fathers to decry what they
feel is the sorry state of the city. When an
armed suspect entered a Brooklyn school
on Oct. 8 and alarmed parents, teachers
and students alike, many gathered non
Sunday said that was the fi nal straw.
“An individual decides he’s gonna run
inside the school building, with a gun,
because he’s trying to get away from the
craziness that he just committed on the
street outside,” Brooklyn community activist
Tony Herbert said.
Eve Hendricks speaks to the crowd assembled at the Oct. 10 rally.
According to police sources, Naijee
Calliste, a 21-year-old male was arrested
and charged with reckless endangerment,
criminal trespass and criminal possession
of a weapon. But to those who have lost
children to gun violence, this incident
showcases the dangers youth are facing as
a result of guns.
Calling the Big Apple the wild west, the
parents of children who were murdered due
PHOTO BY DEAN MOSES
to fi rearm tragedy. The mother and father
of 22-year-old Mamadou Bah Jr. became
emotional while reiterating their struggle
as they mourn the loss of their son, a vicim
of gun violence.
“They come in front of my house shooting,”
said Mamadou Bah Sr,.”I’m begging
the City Council. The man, the governor,
the community. I hope nobody’s going to
have the life I’m having right now.”
Mother of Mamadou Bah Jr Halimata
Bah during the speech, falling into the arms
of a fellow mother.
Eve Hendricks also lost her son Brandon
Hendricks to a hail of bullets. A promising
young basketball athlete, Hendricks can
vividly recall the last moments she saw
her son alive.
“Today makes 468 days since Sunday,
June 29, 2020. My son told me ‘Mom, I will
see you later.’ On June 20, last year, my son
left home for a barbecue and did not return.
He was killed. He was murdered senselessly,”
Hendricks said. “We need a savior.”
Speaker after speaker asked why so
many teenagers have fallen to gun violence
unabated? Those at the rally called
for action to be taken to help prevent gang
violence from rising.
“Unsafe schools. Unsafe streets. School
safety agents continue doing their jobs.
It’s about time the politicians began doing
their jobs.” said Hank Sheinkopf, a public
Disclosure: Sheinkopf has a regular
column with PoliticsNY, an affi liate of
Schneps Mediia October 14, 2021 5