New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Heard and Filed (End of Term)

Introduction 1389-2016: Time Limits for Scaffolding and Sidewalk Sheds

Nearly 9,000 scaffolds that entomb 190 miles of City sidewalks may soon be dismantled, under legislation introduced by Council Member Ben Kallos. Unnecessary scaffolding also known as “sidewalk sheds” would have to be removed if seven days pass without construction work.
Sidewalk sheds are temporary structures, made of wooden planks, boards and metal pipes to protect pedestrians from dangerous conditions that are being corrected or new construction. Scaffolding is not only an eyesore but attract crime such as drug deals and provide an alternative to shelter for homeless. Many sidewalk sheds persist for years, sometimes more than a decade. There are several sidewalk sheds in Council District 5 represented by Kallos that have been up for years, over two years at 340 East 64th Street and 301 East 95th Street and over three years at 349 East 74th Street. Often times, it is much more expensive to fix a dangerous condition than to leave a sidewalk shed up indefinitely

Kallos’ legislation would set the following timeline for sidewalk sheds in place for dangerous conditions:

  • 90 days for building owners to fix a dangerous condition,
  • 90 additional for building owners days to fix the dangerous condition upon extension,
  • After 180 days, the city would do the work to correct the dangerous condition and bill the owner for all costs.
  • Work could not be interrupted for more than 7 days without a mandate to take down the sidewalk shed or face heavy penalties.

Under the same legislation, new construction would need to continue without more than 7 days of interruption until the new development is safely capped off or completed. Exemptions in the legislation provide for weather, stop work orders, time awaiting permit renewals or in cases of safety risks.

Introduction 1130-2016: Full Public Matching

Match Every New York City Resident’s Small Dollars

New York City’s campaign finance system matches the first $175 of contributions from residents by 6 to 1 and gives participating candidates a partial public matching grant of up to 55% of the spending limit in competitive races. This leaves more than 1/3 of the funds outstanding between the public matching grant and the spending limit, which must be reached to be competitive. The “big dollar gap” for Mayor is $2.5 million.

Introduction 1130-A by Council Members Kallos, Lander, and Cabrera, increases the public matching grant from an arbitrary partial match of 55% to a full match. Every small dollar raised from city residents would be matched 6 to 1. Candidates could still raise contributions of $4,950 for Mayor, but would be incentivized to seek small donations from many more residents by matching every small dollar.

  • Reduce Big Money by filling the “big dollar gap” with small dollars matched with a full public matching grant.
  • Increase the Number of Small Donors by a minimum of 50% for candidates seeking a full public matching grant.

Introduction 1091-2016: Consolidating Environmental Control Board (ECB) into the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH)

This bill would amend the charter and administrative code to include reference to an authorized tribunal of the office of administrative trials and hearings when making reference to the tribunal functions of the environmental control board, to reflect the consolidated tribunal structure of the office of administrative trials and hearings.

Introduction 812-2015: Require ECB Include Certain Information in Notices of Violation

This bill would require city agencies that issue notices of violation that are returnable to the Environmental Control Board for adjudication to, where the alleged violation occurred in or on a building or lot, include the borough, block and lot number and building identification number, as applicable, of the building or lot. Finally, the bill provides that a notice of violation is still enforceable even if it does not include the required identifying information.

Introduction 811-2015: Requiring Agencies to amend Notices of Violations

This bill would require that, when an agency issues a notice of violation to an individual or entity that does not meet the standard for a valid notice of violation established by the Environmental Control Board or Office of Administrative Tribunals, as applicable, the agency amend the notice of violation if possible. The notice of violation would then be provided to the alleged violator in the same manner as an original notice of violation and a new hearing date would be assigned.