Start the Barbecue: City to Relax Rules on Rooftops and Terraces

Start the Barbecue: City to Relax Rules on Rooftops and Terraces Crain's New York Business (07/28/17) Geiger, Daniel

New York City has decided to relax a recent crackdown on rooftop and terrace spaces that had alarmed building owners. In a bulletin sent to commercial landlords late last week, the city's Department of Buildings (DOB) states that the so-called "recreation spaces" would again be permitted. DOB officials had started to scrutinize such spaces, telling owners who wanted to convert unused terraces and rooftop areas into outdoor space for tenants that all floor areas used by tenants needed to be "enclosed." That position appeared to block landlords from creating amenities like rooftop decks, which have been increasingly used to woo tenants and hike rents. The new rules would have constrained residential buildings from having outdoor areas, too. "Under the revised interpretation of the building code," the article states, "outdoor space that can accommodate 74 or more people will be permitted if the building's certificate of occupancy is amended and the space has proper egress." Smaller spaces are permitted without any paperwork.

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