Chapter 27 - BOARD OF STANDARDS AND APPEALS¶
§ 659. Constitution and appointment. a. There shall be an independent board of standards and appeals located within the office of administrative trials and hearings. The board of standards and appeals shall consist of five members to be termed commissioners to be appointed by the mayor each for a term of six years. b. One of the members shall be a planner with professional qualifications and at least ten years' experience as a planner. One of the members shall be a registered architect and shall have had at least ten years' experience as an architect. One of the members shall be a licensed professional engineer and shall have had at least ten years' experience as an engineer. The mayor shall designate one of the members, who shall have the required experience as an architect, planner or as an engineer, to serve as chair and shall designate one of the members to serve as vice-chair, who shall act as chair in the absence of the chair or in the event that a vacancy exists in the office of chair. Of the members, no more than two shall be residents of any one borough. c. Every member of the board shall receive a salary, which shall not be reduced during his or her term of office except in case of general reduction of salaries and in proportion to reductions of salaries of other officers with similar salaries. A member shall not engage in any other occupation, profession or employment. Members shall attend the hearings and executive sessions of the board, and shall perform such other duties as may be required by the chair. d. Vacancies shall be filled by the mayor for the unexpired term of the member whose place has become vacant and with a person having his or her qualifications.
§ 660. Executive director of standards and appeals. a. There shall be an executive director of standards and appeals who shall be appointed by and shall hold office at the pleasure of the board of standards and appeals. b. The executive director shall have had at least five years' experience in administrative or supervisory positions dealing with administration and personnel. The executive director shall devote his or her entire time to the performance of his or her duties and shall not engage in any other occupation, profession or employment.
§ 661. Staff, powers and duties. a. The executive director may appoint such engineers, architects, and experts and other officers and employees as may be required to perform the duties of his or her office, with the approval of the board and within the appropriation provided therefor. b. The executive director shall assign and supervise all members of his or her staff. The executive director shall have prepared and presented matters before the board of standards and appeals in accordance with the rules, regulations and directives of such board, and shall prepare the calendar of such board.
§ 662. Removal by mayor after hearing. Any member may be removed by the mayor on proof of official misconduct, or of negligence in official duties, or of conduct in any manner connected with his or her official duties which tends to discredit his or her office, or of mental or physical inability to perform his or her duties; but before removal he or she shall receive a copy of the charges and shall be entitled to a hearing before the mayor and to the assistance of counsel at such hearing.
§ 663. Meetings. Meetings of the board shall be held at the call of the chair and at such other times as the board may determine. The chair, or in his or her absence the vice-chair may administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses. All hearings before the board shall be open to the public and shall be before at least three members of the board, and a concurring vote of at least three members shall be necessary to a decision to grant an application or an appeal, to revoke or modify a variance, special permit or other decision of the board, or to make, amend or repeal a rule or regulation. The board shall keep minutes of its proceedings, showing the vote of each member upon every question, or if absent or failing to vote, indicating such fact, and shall also keep records of its examinations and other official action. Such minutes and such records shall be public records.
§ 665. Rules and regulations; bulletin. a. Every rule or regulation and every amendment or repeal thereof, and every order, requirement, decision or determination of the board shall immediately be filed in the office of the board and shall be a public record.
§ 666. Jurisdiction. The board shall have power: 1. To make, amend and repeal rules and regulations for carrying into effect the provisions of the laws, resolutions, rules and regulations in respect to any subject-matter jurisdiction whereof is conferred by law upon the board, and to include in such rules and regulations provisions applying to specific conditions and prescribing means and methods of practice to effectuate such provisions and for carrying into effect the powers of the board. 2. To make, amend and repeal rules and regulations for the enforcement of those provisions of the labor law and other laws which relate to the construction or alteration of, structural changes in, plumbing and drainage of, elevators in, fire escapes on, adequacy and means of exit from, or fire protection in, all buildings within the city, which shall take the place of the industrial code and of any rules and regulations of the department of labor of the state of New York relating to the same subject-matter. 3. To make, amend and repeal rules, regulations and directives governing the preparation and presentation by the director of matters before the board. 4. To exercise exclusively with respect to buildings situated within the city, the same powers as are exercised by the department of labor of the state of New York elsewhere in the state. 5. To determine and vary the application of the zoning resolution as may be provided in such resolution and pursuant to section six hundred sixty-eight. 6. To hear and decide appeals from and review, (a) except as otherwise provided by law, any order, requirement, decision or determination of the commissioner of buildings or of a deputy commissioner of buildings or any borough superintendent of buildings acting under a written delegation of power from the commissioner of buildings filed in accordance with the provisions of section six hundred forty-two or section six hundred forty-five of this charter, or (b) any order, requirement, decision or determination of the fire commissioner or any rule or regulation or amendment or repeal thereof made by the fire commissioner, or (c) any order, requirement, decision or determination of the commissioner of transportation or the commissioner of ports and trade made in relation to the structures or uses on water front property under his or her jurisdiction in connection with the application or enforcement of the provisions of the zoning resolution of the city of New York, the labor law and such other laws, rules and regulations as may govern the construction, alteration, maintenance, use, occupancy, safety, sanitary conditions, mechanical equipment and inspection of structures in the city, under the authority conferred upon them by law, by reversing or affirming in whole or in part, or modifying the order, regulation, decision or determination appealed from, and to make such order, requirement, decision or determination as in its opinion ought to be made in the premises, and to that end shall have the power of the officer from whose ruling the appeal is taken, and of any officer under whose written delegation of power such ruling was made. 7. In passing upon appeals, to vary or modify any rule or regulation or the provisions of any law relating to the construction, use, structural changes, equipment, alteration or removal of buildings or structures, or vaults in sidewalks appurtenant thereto, where there are practical difficulties or unnecessary hardship in the way of carrying out the strict letter of the law, so that the spirit of the law shall be observed, public safety secured and substantial justice done, provided that the provisions of the housing maintenance code and of any regulation or order issued under such code may be varied or modified only to the extent permitted by such code and only in the manner and subject to the conditions therein specified. 8. To review, upon motion of any member of the board, any rule, regulation, amendment or repeal thereof, and any order, requirement, decision or determination from which an appeal may be taken to the board under the provisions of this chapter or of any law, or of any rule, regulation or decision of the board; but no such review shall prejudice the rights of any person who has in good faith acted thereon before it is reversed or modified. The provisions of this chapter relating to appeals to the board shall be applicable to such review. 9. To afford an equal right to the city planning commission, community boards, and borough boards and lessees and tenants as well as owners to appear before it for the purpose of proposing arguments or submitting evidence in respect of any matter brought before it pursuant to the zoning resolution of the city of New York. 10. To issue such special permits as the board is authorized to issue under the zoning resolution. 11. To revoke or modify, upon due notice and hearing, variances and special permits previously granted under the zoning resolution if the terms and conditions of such grants have been violated.
§ 667. Inspections. Any member of the board or any subordinate thereof shall, when authorized in writing by the chair, and the director or any officer or employee designated by the chair in writing shall have power at any time to enter, inspect and examine any premises, buildings, structures, vehicles or vessels for the purpose of carrying out the duties of the board and shall report his or her findings in writing to the board. Refusal to permit such entry shall be triable by a judge of the New York city criminal court and punishable by not more than thirty days' imprisonment, or by a fine of not more than fifty dollars, or both.
§ 668. Variances and special permits. a. Community boards and borough boards shall review applications to vary the zoning resolution and applications for special permits within the jurisdiction of the board of standards and appeals under the zoning resolution pursuant to the following procedure: 1. Each proposal or application shall be filed with the board of standards and appeals, which shall forward a copy within five days to the community board for each community district in which the land involved, or any part thereof, is located, and to the borough board if the proposal or application involves land located in two or more districts in a borough. 2. Each such community board shall, not later than sixty days after the receipt of the proposal or application, either notify the public of the proposal or application, in the manner specified by the city planning commission pursuant to subdivision i of section one hundred ninety-seven-c, conduct a public hearing thereon and prepare and submit a written recommendation thereon directly to the board of standards and appeals, or waive the conduct of such public hearing and the preparation of such written recommendation. 3. A copy of a recommendation or waiver by a community board pursuant to paragraph two of this subdivision that involves land located within two or more community districts in a borough shall also be filed with the borough board within the same time period specified in that paragraph. Not later than thirty days after the filing of such a recommendation or waiver with the borough board by every community board in which the land involved is located or after the expiration of the time allowed for such community boards to act, the borough board may hold a public hearing on the proposal or application and any such recommendation and may submit a written recommendation or a waiver thereof to the board of standards and appeals. 4. The receipt of such a recommendation or waiver from every community or borough board involved, or the expiration of the time allowed for such boards to act, shall constitute an authorization to the board of standards and appeals to review the application and to make a decision. 5. If after the receipt of such a recommendation or waiver from every community or borough board involved, or the expiration of the time allowed for such boards to act, the applicant for a special permit or variance submits to the board of standards and appeals any additional documents or plans, he or she shall at the same time forward copies of such documents or plans to the city planning commission, the council member involved and to the community or borough board involved. 6. Copies of any written information submitted by an applicant for purposes of determining whether an environmental impact statement will be required by law in connection with an application under this section, and any documents or records intended to define or substantially redefine the overall scope of issues to be addressed in any such draft environmental impact statement shall be delivered to all affected community boards and borough boards. 7. If a meeting involving a city agency and an applicant is convened to define or substantially redefine the overall scope of issues to be addressed in any draft environmental impact statement required by law for an application subject to review under this section, each community board involved and each borough president involved shall receive advance notice of such meeting, and each shall have the right to send one representative to the meeting. b. The recommendation of a community board or borough board pursuant to subdivision a of this section shall be filed with the board of standards and appeals and a copy sent to the city planning commission. The board of standards and appeals shall conduct a public hearing and act on the proposed application. A decision of the board shall indicate whether each of the specific requirements of the zoning resolution for the granting of variances has been met and shall include findings of fact with regard to each such requirement. c. Copies of a decision of the board of standards and appeals and copies of any recommendation of the affected community board or borough board shall be filed with the city planning commission. Copies of the decision shall also be filed with the affected community or borough boards. d. Any decision of the board of standards and appeals pursuant to this section may be reviewed as provided by law. e. The city planning commission shall be a party to any proceeding to determine and vary the application of the zoning resolution. The commission may appear and be heard on any application pursuant to this section before the board of standards and appeals if, in the judgment of the city planning commission, the granting of relief requested in such application would violate the requirements of the zoning resolution relating to the granting of variances. The commission shall have standing to challenge the granting or denial of a variance in a proceeding brought pursuant to article seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules, or in any similar proceeding.
§ 669. Procedure on appeals. a. An appeal may be taken by any person aggrieved or by the head of any agency. b. Such appeal may be taken within such time as shall be prescribed by the board by general rule, by filing with the officer from whom the appeal is taken and with the board a notice of appeal, specifying the grounds thereof. The officer from whom the appeal is taken shall forthwith transmit to the board all the papers constituting the record upon which the action appealed from was taken. c. The board shall fix a reasonable time for the hearing of appeals, and give due notice thereof to the parties, and decide the same within a reasonable time. If the appeal is from an order revoking a permit or approval, the hearing shall be had no later than at the third scheduled hearing of the board following the date of filing of the appeal, or five weeks following such date, whichever is sooner, and the decision of the board shall be rendered expeditiously. Upon the hearing any party may appear in person or by agent or attorney. d. Any decision of the board under this section may be reviewed in accordance with section 25-207 of the administrative code of the city of New York.