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Under Intro 967, these board decisions would be superseded by some city bureaucrat who, of course, does not live in your co-op and would not be paying the assessment or maintenance charges required to fund the project.