Because it's much costlier to fix a façade than to maintain a shed that devours sidewalk space, blocks sunlight and hurts businesses, and no deadline to remove it, sheds have spread across the city. There are now 8,843—about 200 miles worth—and they pop up any time a building is built or repaired, as Crain's documented in a cover story last year.
Late last year City Councilman Ben Kallos sponsored a bill to stop the scourge and last week a hearing was finally held to discuss it.
His bill would compel landlords to remove sheds—which Kallos called "the house guest that never leaves"—if no work is done on the building for seven days, with exceptions for weather and other issues.
While officials from the de Blasio administration and real estate community agreed at the hearing that sheds are ugly, they insisted Kallos' bill could jeopardize public safety by forcing sheds to come down sooner than they should.