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Re: c of o needed for movable roof garden??

Posted by Anna on August 10, 1999 at 00:30:20:

In Reply to: certificate of occupancy needed for movable planter and pot roof garden?? posted by Ray Howard on August 06, 1999 at 11:38:32:

: Hi: I've had a garden which occupies no more than 14% of total roof area...for twenty-nine years. the garden was even ruled in favor of by the then Conciliation and Appeals Board back in 1981,a ruling that the building owner agreed to comply with. However in Feb. 1999 this same B.O. called the Department of Buildings, complaining of tenants having a roof garden on his roof, and he, a licensed architect comes across as the aggrieved, because he doesn't have a C of O for this tenant garden. ( This is the same garden the C.A.B. said should exist as a formal roof garden, a recreational facility for tenants! )QUESTION: need there be a C of O for such a garden???Many thanks for your dedication and help. RFH

Ray's response:

Date: Mon, 9 Aug 1999 13:26:21 EDT
>Subject: Answer to and
>Answers to Anna's questions:
>Yes. The building owner reported his own building to the Department of
>Buildings. ( It was just after my own series of complaints of inadequate
>heat and roof leaks which had nothing to do with the garden area. )
>Yes. The roof garden existed as the result of a Conciliation and Appeals
>Board ruling to which this same building owner agreed to comply, Dating back
>to 1981.
>The inspector who, in the company of the building owner, wrote up the
>violation dismissed the copy of the CAB opinion and ruling when he saw it,
>saying it wasn't a C of O... ECB finally dismissed the case last month saying
>the violation should have been written against the B.O.
>No There is no non-fireproof wooden deck. There are however thick restaurant
>kitchen mats formerly used to ease the strain of working in front of a stove
>all day.
>P.S. In 1976 during a specially requested D.O.B. inspection the written
>report and advice of the inspector was " no further action required "...
>same garden.
>That's about it. My thanks for your consideration. Ray Howard
>P.P.S. I'm the last rent control tenant in the building.The apartment of the
>last " old " tenant to leave now pulls in $2000.00. Any connection??
>I've attempted to mail this to JJ with no I'm sending it off to
>Anna whom I thank for her 7/27/99 mail... ( no luck with Anna, either, so I'm
>trying Tenant Net.)

1. I use an obviously fake email address for many reasons; the one that matters most is that this is a FORUM and all of us benefit from learning more about these issues. Private responses defeat that purpose.

2. The ECB complaint/summons and/or some other official paper should list the exact code name (may be just letters) and section (numbers, possibly preceeded by a squiggle). Please post them. I'll look into it further. Not only because he may try again, but because gardens and terraces all over town are in danger if there is a violation of a statute, including my garden! (nb: I still don't think it would be a C Of O problem unless there was a room-like structure, a greenhouse)

3. Of course being the last rent reg tenant in the building has something to do with this! Landlords are harassing rent reg tenants with rent under $1000 all over Manhattan, even when there's more than one left!

4. The closest rules I've read are: Building Code: no more than 25% of the roof can be covered by a wooden structure; weight (read: planters) must be less than 60 lbs (?) per square foot. More generally: anything that is a 'tripping hazard' (fire code? HMC?)

5. The next inspector might say it is perfectly OK: happened to me several times, several diff agencies: the first inspector says no problem, the second writes a violation, the third see no problem...

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