Friday, July 10, 2009

Assemblyman Mark Weprin Joins Queens Civic Congress to Express Concern About New DOB Development Challenge Process

Assemblymember Mark S. Weprin (D-Little Neck) has written Commissioner Robert D. LiMandri, New York City Department of Buildings (DOB), asking him to address the concerns raised by Queens Civic Congress, the Historic Districts Council, and the Four Borough Neighborhood Alliance about DOB’s new development challenge process.

“As a longtime advocate of open government, I believe that greater transparency within the DOB is clearly in the public interest,” said Assemblymember Weprin. “At the same time, DOB needs to address community objections.”

Mr. Weprin’s letter mentions three issues of concern to the community:

(1) Requiring people to file complaint forms instead of calling 311 will be onerous in many cases.

(2) Residents should not need to be familiar with building codes or zoning regulations to express concerns.

(3) The forty-five day challenge period is too brief. The clocks starts with the filing of the plans, but it often takes longer than forty-five days for construction to begin, so community members may not even know about a planned project until the challenge period is over.

“I will continue working with local civic associations and community groups, as well as with the Queens Civic Congress, to ensure that the public always has a say,” said Assemblymember Weprin.