Do you own a 3+ story building in NYC? If so, Intro-1146B will affect you.
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NYC City Council is holding a hearing on bill Intro-1146B, this upcoming Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020 at 1:00 PM. The proposed local law would require owners of residential buildings over 40 feet tall (12.192 m) to install a system of automatic sprinklers by December 31, 2029. Building owners would need to file an interim report describing a plan for compliance one, five, and nine years after the effective date, or until they have filed a final report indicating full compliance.
In an attempt to fix the loophole that allowed Trump Tower to avoid installing fire suppression equipment, city council’s proposed Int. No. 1146-B is mandating that homeowners in buildings that exceeds 40 feet (like a typical brownstone/rowhouse-type structure) install fire sprinklers. This includes brownstones and rowhouses. This law will have a catastrophic impact on lower-density neighborhoods where owner-occupied multi-family buildings are common.
40 Foot Building = 4 Floor Brownstone / Townhouse
Who / How will this impact you?
- This law will disproportionally affect owner-occupied structures (many of which are in minority neighborhoods where clusters of owner-occupied, and 1-3 family townhouses are common). There is currently NO language in the legislation that would omit 1-2 family homes.
- The impact will be felt across all (5) boroughs in low-rise multifamily neighborhoods where it will translate into tenant displacement and higher rents, including displacement of rent controlled and rent stabilized tenants while such dusty work is under way.
- Historic Home Interiors: In order to install a compliant sprinkler system with this legislation, historic plaster ceilings, coffered ceilings, decoratively paneled walls will be damaged and will require extensive restoration. The integrity of these historic details will forever be structurally compromised.
Financial Impact on Homeowners:
- The cost of installing a standalone sprinkler system is estimated to be $60K-$100K for a typical brownstone/rowhouse, which does not account for the wall / ceiling repair and general restoration cost. In addition to this structural reinforcement of the beams throughout the home will be required as the pipes are channeled into the existing joist.
- Non-compliance with the law will result in punitive fines that will cause residents to sell or face liens put on their properties.
- Sprinklers require a great deal of equipment maintenance servicing, which is another added cost that would be placed onto the homeowners.
- There is currently no language in the legislation that will provide financial help to homeowners.
Why is this legislation problematic?
- There are other less drastic and more affordable solutions to address fire safety, such as mandatory fire extinguishers on all floors and roll out ladders out of each bedroom).
- Trump Tower: is 664 feet tall. How can a 40-foot tall row house possibly be in the same category?
What can you do to help fight the proposed Intro-1146B?
- Sign / Share this petition will impact neighbors.
- Email your local Councilperson and request that they vote no to Intro-1146B
- Testify live via Zoom or phone. Owners should do so at least 24 hours in advance by clicking here. You may submit written testimony within 72 hours of the conclusion of the hearing using the same link.
- Take note to the listed politicians sponsoring this bill and any positions of office they are actively running for within the city.
Please help us get the message out to city council that hard working New Yorkers should not be punished because Trump Tower.
This Bill is sponsored by Barry S. Grodenchik, and co-sponsored by Robert E. Cornegy, Jr. (Currently Running for Brooklyn Borough President), Laurie A. Cumbo, Helen K. Rosenthal, Farah N. Louis, Ben Kallos, Carlos Menchaca, Margaret S. Chin, Ritchie J. Torres, Costa G. Constantinides, Adrienne E. Adams, Diana Ayala , Robert F. Holden
Sample Email / Email Addresses:
RCornegy@council.nyc.gov, Bgrodenchik@council.nyc.gov, Bperkins@council.nyc.gov, District2@council.nyc.gov, District45@council.nyc.gov, Fcabrera@council.nyc.gov, Fcabrera@council.nyc.gov, Hrosenthal@council.nyc.gov, Mchin@council.nyc.gov,
Subject: Vote NO to Intro 1146B (Sprinkler Bill)
Dear Council Member,
I am a small property owner. Safety is my top priority. However, Intro 1146-B would result in my tenants living in a construction zone for a prolonged period of time and devastate me.
We need common sense solutions. Have you ever had to get a simple water leak repaired in your home? If so, you were probably shocked at how much work it required to replace just one part of the pipe or drain (i.e. cutting open the walls, ceilings, floors and large enough to allow the plumber to fit his/her body in) and how disruptive it was to you as an occupant (i.e. working around your schedule to give access to the apartment, the debris & dust created by opening a hole and then having another contractor subsequently come in to sheetrock, patch, and paint requiring multiple visits). Imagine that but instead of just one spot, it was throughout the building from the basement, through each floor, to the roof and from each floor, branching into each apartment, into every room. Imagine living through that for one, two, or three years. It is highly disruptive construction-intensive work to do while people are residing in the building.
Not only that, but how do you expect owners to pay for this? Even for the smallest property, this will cost no less than tens of thousands of dollars and easily into the six-figure range or even the seven-figure range. 2019 HSTPA and COVID-19 has significantly severed rent and many owners are not collecting any rent at all, while also trying to cover the ever-increasing property taxes, and operating expenses. Property owners are being suffocated in every way possible.
Please VOTE NO TO INTRO 1146B. Safety is my main concern too but the Intro 1146B is insane. We need common sense solutions. This proposal would be devastating to tenants and owners and create a lot of unnecessary havoc on people's lives.
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