Friday, June 26, 2009

DOB just a "disaster"

From the Daily News:

Buildings Department inspectors are poorly trained, inspections are frequently slipshod and fines are routinely laughed off as "the cost of doing business."

Those are the findings of a $4 million study released yesterday by the troubled city agency at the end of a five-year building boom that led to record numbers of construction deaths.

"Inspectors are currently not uniformly equipped to judge the acceptability of common unsafe conditions," the study concluded. "They rely primarily on their own varying level of training, experience and degree of tolerance on nonconforming issues."

The report faulted the department for having "no standard training procedure" for critical field inspections and said procedures are so lax it's often impossible to to determine whether architects' plans conform to city code.

The study noted that "nonuniform enforcement is the most common industry criticism" of the Buildings Department. Violation fees "are considered a 'cost of doing business.'"

The high-priced study team, led by CTL Engineers and Construction Technology Consultants, made more than 600 visits to some 400 sites in the five boroughs.

It found glaring problems in three basic construction operations - cranes, excavation and concrete - and made 66 recommendations for changes in procedures, some of which the Buildings Department has already implemented.


Jerry Rotondi said...

Jeez...A mega-buck study just to find out that DOB hasn't been doing its job very well?

I think there are many of us out here that could have told you that for free!

Anonymous said...

If you have a few moments to spare, go to the Buildings Department section of There is a 50-50 chance that the Certificate of Occupancy (CO) is accurate, if it exists at all. For example, my building was built in 1951 and yet there is no CO? I was checking to find the owner of an address in College Point and the CO was for an address in Maspeth! Check some addresses for yourself and report the accuracy back to the group (without revealing anything identifiable). This should be fun! While your at it, check out some other data such as violations. I have to check these records for my job and I am frustrated by the incompetence that the records reveal.

Suzannah B. Troy artist said...

I spoke at the city council task force meeting on DOB way back when and Christine Quinn aka Mike jr. was too busy to attend so James Oddo was in charge. (Wearing hand painted protest shirt)
I spoke about way too rapid tsunami of community crushing development and too many construction workers dieing and after that meeting the death toll just rise -- if only we could have had DOB, DEP and Con Ed tell this mayor to slow down -- this tsunami was too rapid and reckless.....

Just sickening...
Suzannah B. Troy
my latest on corruption City Hall
and on my blog
posted more scandals regarding corrupt politicians...??????

Anonymous said...

If they only would have run the DOB with the iron fist that they run the DOE, maybe people wouldn't have died in any construction accidents.

Clark Kent said...

Having a few minutes to spare and a curiousity about this issue, I checked to see what I could learn about the DOB and their records. I wanted to see how many units will be located at the new complex at College Point Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue known as Sky View Parc. I used the address 40-22 College Point Boulevard and was stunned to see what the DOB displayed as the Certificates of Occupancy. See for yourself:

I found a lot of info but not what I was looking for. However, there were violations. This one issued on 6/22/09 as follows:

This is not rocket science. If I could do this investigative work, why can't journalists? I believe they all need craniectomies*! Boy, I would like to be a fly on the wall when the money changes hands!

*removal of head from butt

Anonymous said...

What is in DOB records is whatever they are paid to put there. It ain't Department of Briberty for nuthin'

Same Each Day said...

italian girl is right about the iron-fisted way they run DOE. But in areas other than teaching it is hands off and corrupt just like DOB. They shoud merge the two. They do NOTHING about corruption in nonteaching areas, such as supplies, custodians, overblown budgets, etc. SO MUCH abuse there and they never rein it in. It is easier to attack teachers. Must be some old grudge from when Joe Klein flunked out on that job and fled. Anyone know anyone who knew him back then? Scared teacher I'll bet!"Mr. Klein, Mr. Klein your zipper is open!" Zap.

Taxpayer said...

The corruption and incompetence at DOB (as well as DOE and other city agencies) is just fine with the Commissar - no, just perfect. He benefit$.

The agencies are under his jurisdiction, so, therefore, their corruption is his responsibility.

Want to end corruption?

End the political career of this pigmy liar and tantrum thrower.

Vote on September 15 to end the reign of corruption.

Take back control. You pay the freight. Don't you deserve better? Aren't you worth a clean, capable city government?

Make it so. Dump the freak on September 15.

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine suggested putting DOB inspectors under the auspices of the FDNY to cut corruption.

When I can't get the DOB to inspect an illegal multi family residence in a single family home, I call the fire department.

Then I get action because it violates the fire code.

If the DOB guy would have shown up he just gets "greased" and never seems to be able to find any violations.

Maybe they need a good pair of DOI glasses to improve their eyesight!

Anonymous said...

Dealing with DOB is a bitch. They are tacitly let to get away with this because the emphasis is on new development and new city revenue--even if it costs you your life.

Good luck with DOI. I've already spoken to several other city agencies and politicians without luck.

Anonymous said...

So why doesn't the preservation community make a stink about this?

MAS? HDC? Landmarks Conservency?

Oh I get it, you are making little lists of what to save and who to ignore.

When they send you a letter for a donation file it in File 13.

panzer65 said...

..lets not forget the LPC!