Thursday, July 30, 2009

A good intentioned bad law?

Op-ed by Bob Friedrich of Glen Oaks Village in the Daily News:

If you live in a co-op or condo and are an owner or renter, you'd better be holding on to your wallets, because the City Council is at it again, with a bill that is poised to create financial havoc in the co-op and condominium community.

Intro 967, sponsored by Queens Councilman James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows), would require significant spending not from city coffers, but from already-squeezed budgets of co-ops and condos. And which buildings would be most affected? Not Manhattan's high-risers with fancy names and green roofs, but the modest co-ops and condos dotting the neighborhoods of the outer boroughs.

Although Gennaro says he is working on the language to mitigate its effect on co-ops and condos, the only acceptable fix is to eliminate them from the legislation altogether.

Intro 967 would require that all large buildings undergo periodic energy audits. These energy audits are not cheap and if one finds that your building is not energy-efficient and can be modified to save energy, you would have no choice but to do so. Sure, the goals are worthy, but what about cost? If you don't have a few million dollars lying around to replace old windows or boilers in your building, as outlined in your energy audit, the obscure Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability would simply require you to finance the project. These decisions are best made by an elected board of directors that knows its buildings, budgets and shareholders. A board may have other priorities for its shareholders' money such as sidewalks, handicapped ramps, driveways, elevators, roofs, lobby renovations or pointing.

Under Intro 967, these board decisions would be superseded by some city bureaucrat who, of course, does not live in your co-op and would not be paying the assessment or maintenance charges required to fund the project.



Not surprized that Bob Friedrich would write an eloquent, well-reasoned and fact based op-ed to the NY Daily News. For the years I've know him from Glen Oaks Village Owners Inc., while we were sharholders and after, Friedrich is always an eloquent, well-reasoned and fact based speaker, who would bring these same stellar qualities to the NYC Council.

Anonymous said...

Manhattan gets the goodies again when it comes to community preservation.

Anonymous said...

The bulk of Manhattan is not fancy high-rises and green roofs. The majority are modest coops, priced high because of location. Common charges are enormous in comparison to those of outskirts coops like Glen Oaks. If anything, Manhattan would be effected much more.

While getting any attention for this issue is appreciated, there is no need to alienate Manhattan owners. If you want to be the coop advocate (which it certainly seems like after reading your website) then please expand your thinking a little bit and don't dismissively exclude your Manhattan counterparts.

And thoughtful pieces like this are only ruined when they are politicized by awful bandwagon posts like Edward B's.

Anonymous said...

Not surprising that the bill is sponsored by James Gennaro. When the St John's dorm debacle erupted, his office paid for an audit by a engineering firm whose loyalties were questionable.

Anonymous said...

Going Green sounds good, does anyone think that the boards of many buildings just may be considering "going green" wherever possible? Has Gennaro considered that some coops may have done feasibility studies for this very subject and are in the process of making changes that would benefit residents monetarily (with an apprOpriate pay back time)?
Does Gennaro live in a coop? How dare someone consider making such a law, does this man want to eliminate coops or JUST BE A DICTATOR?