Every few months here at the New York Construction Law Update I try to provide you with a list of potentially important statutory amendments that will impact the construction industry. As always there are a number of interesting changes in the pipeline. Of course some of these have been pending for years without any real progress. So without further ado...
A00317: Would amend the NYC administrative code and provide that owners of property adjacent to construction sites are entitled to advanced notice of construction, demolition or excavation work and would provide that the owners must be given proof of insurance and a copy of the permit for the work.
A00706: Provides that developers must establish an escrow account and deposit a certain percentage of the estimated total project costs into the account to protect adjacent landowners against potential damages from construction, demolition, underpinning, excavation, etc.
A01317: Would establish a new independent building review agency to oversee construction project in the City of New York. This bill has been proposed in the past and I have often asked isn't this the job of the New York City Department of Buildings? If the DOB cannot effectively do their job perhaps better management or oversight of the agency is in order rather than creating an entirely new agency.
A05827: Would increase the threshold where a professional land surveyor, architect or engineer must be used from $5,000 (public) and $10,000 (private) to $50,000.
A07090: Would prohibit lawsuits against architects, engineers or construction professionals brought more than ten years after the allegedly defective structure is designed (architect or engineer) and built (contractor).
A08473: Would eliminate retainage for material suppliers on private and public projects.
A02321: Would amend the definition of "excavation" for statutory purposes of protecting underground facilities.
A00105: Would enhance penalties against unscrupulous home improvement contractors for a number of issues.
This is, of course, not an exhaustive list of potential amendments under consideration. It is simply a list of those that I find to be the most interesting and which I believe would have the most widespread impact if they were adopted.
Vincent T. Pallaci is a New York construction lawyer. He can be reached at (631) 752-7100 or firstname.lastname@example.org