DOB Retards – the sidewalk fiasco

The Department of Buildings wants me to show the state of the sidewalk before and after the job so that they can determine if I have to redo it. To do this I had to get an architect’s survey which costs $3000. To redo the sidewalk would cost me $1000.

So I’m forced to spend $3000 for them to decide whether I need to do something that costs $1000. They are such idiots. What a total waste of money and energy.

Pre construction:

About the author: Gennaro Brooks-Church

4 comments to “DOB Retards – the sidewalk fiasco”

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  1. Inger Staggs Yancey - June 26, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    How generous and community minded of you to put in a request that included your neighbors too! Good show. I hope you will be rewarded some day with a city truck that pulls up with some trees for all of you.

    A great tree loving friend of mine petitioned for a street tree in front of her Henry St. brownstone and it took 2 or 3 years to be processed and planted by the city. But it’s now growing well.

    With Blumberg’s Million Trees Initiative, I would think you might have better luck now than my friend did. Good luck!

  2. Gennaro Brooks-Church - June 26, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    I did put in a request a year ago to the city for five or six trees in the vicinity of the green show house. One for the house and some for the neighbors to each side and across the street. But so far no trees have come.

  3. Inger Staggs Yancey - June 25, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    It’s probably too late, and I know I’m presenting more hoops, but:
    Have you thought about adding a street tree? While you are having to work on the sidewalk, you may have the opportunity to add a tree. A tree will not only do what trees do best (make oxygen, provide habitat for birds and squirrels and insects, do good things to the soil), but opening up the space for a tree in the sidewalk will give some stormwater a place to go. And you can plant it with flowers or herbs or whatever you like!

    I would actually like to see a new design idea incorporated into the sidewalks of NYC: a planting strip at the curb wherever the sidewalk is not too busy or narrow to accomodate it. Check it out as you walk through the city. There are many places where we could dramatically alter the permeability of our urban spaces by adding a planting strip between the busy part of the sidewalk and the curb. Sidewalk paving typically slopes to the street so that rainwater is diverted to the street before it drains into sewer grates. When a strip of earth is opened up, it gives the rainwater a perfect place to be soaked up, thus diverting much of the stormwater from our overtaxed sewer system.

  4. Kurt Will - December 8, 2008 at 10:46 am

    the DOB also made me jump through this hoop, but apparently a photo sufficed for them in my case.

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