Sunday, February 8, 2009

Avella: DOB’s New Development Challenge Process is a Farce

City Council Member Tony Avella, a candidate challenging Michael Bloomberg for mayor, released this statement

Avella: DOB’s New Development Challenge Process is a Farce
February 05th, 2009

Today, Tony Avella criticized the Department of Buildings (DOB) new development challenge process, which creates a 30-day formal challenge period for the public to contest new developments.

“While I believe that the posting of online diagrams for proposed new developments on DOB’s website is definitely a step in the right direction and leads to greater transparency, I completely disagree with the new development challenge process. Despite being touted by Mayor Mike Bloomberg as empowering the public with greater oversight over new developments, the truth is that this 30-day comment period is actually diminishing the ability of residents to contest new construction by creating a defacto statute of limitations. This procedure will, in effect, actually benefit unscrupulous developers who will simply wait out the clock to avoid community challenges,” stated Avella.

“Furthermore it is extremely inappropriate for the final appeal in the public review process to be brought before the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA), which, throughout its existence, has essentially been a rubber stamp for developers.

“This is just the latest example of the Bloomberg administration’s failed attempts to reform this agency. In order to have true reform, DOB needs to be held accountable for their actions and must also allow greater community involvement. Avella added, “We cannot let Mike Bloomberg and DOB get away with this blatant attempt to silence the public when it comes to reporting building violations and unsafe construction.”

Avella has been the leading critic of DOB since taking office in 2002 and has made overdevelopment and DOB reform top issues in his Mayoral campaign.

No comments: