Mayor Adams Wants to “Let the Sun Shine In,” by Removing 1,000 Construction Sheds Citywide
By Yehudit Garmaise
The sidewalk sheds, which the Department of Buildings (DOB) created to protect New Yorkers from construction, not only obstruct the beauty of the city and take up public space, but the sheds have become “havens for criminal behavior,” Mayor Eric Adams said on Monday.
Instead of “Get Stuff Done,” the mayor said that his motto: “GSD,” now stands for “Get Sheds Down.”
“We realized that city rules incentivize property owners to leave sheds up and put off critical work,” Mayor Adams explained. “Most sheds stay up for longer than a year, and some have darkened our streets for more than a decade.
“All too often they stay up, but no repair is happening. We use the sheds as a form of pushing the repairs off year after year. Property owners are not required to pay a penny in fines."
While keeping “public safety as the city’s number one priority,” Deputy Mayor Mayor Meera Joshi explained that some of the green protective sheds might be replaced with netting to allow in more light.
Now, as soon as a sidewalk shed goes up, “the clock starts ticking,” said Joshi, who presented her plan to remove 1,000 sheds citywide.
After 90 days, instead of the 365 days that businesses are now allowed, the DOB will issue penalties to the shed’s business owner, who then will “have to act.” “Every month thereafter, until repairs are complete, we'll issue another penalty with a maximum accrual of $6,000 per month,” Joshi said. “Every quarter, buildings will have to check in with DOB to share their progress.
The city will issue “additional monetary penalties” to building owners in New York City’s pedestrian hotspots who don't file repair applications within three months, get work permits within six months, and finish their repairs in two years.