The Council will also vote to transition to all-electric school buses
City Hall, NY – Today, the Council will vote to create a citywide climate adaptation plan to ensure preparedness for extreme weather in all five boroughs. This bill would require the Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability to develop and publish a climate adaptation plan that considers and evaluates various climate hazards impacting the City and its shoreline, such as extreme storms, heat, precipitation, and flooding. The plan includes recommendations for resiliency and adaptation measures to protect residents, property and infrastructure, prioritizing the areas with the highest vulnerability to climate hazards and particularly considering the potential impacts on environmental justice areas.
To reduce our carbon footprint and children’s exposure to fossil fuel pollutants, the Council will also vote on a local law that would require the City to ensure that all school buses in use by September 1, 2035 will be all-electric zero emission school buses.
The Council will also vote on legislation to establish an office of urban agriculture and an urban agriculture advisory board, one of several food equity proposals outlined in the Speaker’s 2019 Growing Food Equity. This bill to establish the Office of Urban Agriculture (OUA) within the Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability would help promote food security, education, community development, environmental protection, and improved health and quality of life. It would also establish the Urban Agriculture Advisory Board to advise city leaders. An accompanying bill would require the development of an urban agriculture report from the OUA starting October 1, 2023 and every five years thereafter to address urban agriculture related issues.
To address pay discrepancies between guards at City-run shelters and those at nonprofit-run shelters contracted by the City, the Council will vote on legislation to establish prevailing wage requirements for guards at City-contracted shelters. This bill would require all shelter operators that contract with the Department of Homeless Services to ensure all security and fire guards are paid no less than the prevailing wage and would empower the Comptroller to monitor contracted shelter operators’ compliance and investigate violations and complaints. The body will also vote on a bill that requires all security guards and fire guards to receive 40 hours of training in addition to the minimum training required under the State’s general business law within 120 days of hire.
To address the need for better accessibility in filing complaints or service requests for those in public housing, the Council will vote on a bill that would require the 311 Customer Service Center to allow the public to contact the center to file complaints or service requests relating to NYCHA in the same manner that such complaints or service requests are routinely accepted by 311. Those complaints or service requests would then be referred to NYCHA. The Council will also vote on a bill that updates building codes.
Finally, the Council will vote on several land use items including Zoning for Accessibility, which will increase accessibility at transit stations by encouraging developers working within 50 feet of a mass transit station to provide transit station improvements, including ADA-accessible elevators.
RESILIENCY AND WATERFRONTS
Creates five-borough climate adaptation plan
Int. No. 1620-A, sponsored by Council Member Justin Brannan, will require that no later than September 30, 2022, and every ten years thereafter, the Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability, or another office or agency designated by OLTPS, in consultation with other City agencies, develop and post on its website a climate adaptation plan that considers and evaluates various climate hazards impacting the City and its shoreline.
“This plan is the epitome of long overdue. By committing to a five borough resiliency plan today, the city is bridging a major gap,” said Council Member Justin Brannen. “New York City has never before put together a comprehensive plan to protect all New Yorkers from the inevitable effects of climate change. The climate crisis is here and we can no longer treat it as some abstract future. In passing this bill we promise to take our new reality seriously. Resiliency is a requirement of our most fundamental responsibility in city government: the safety of all New Yorkers. I want to extend my thanks to all the advocates, and especially to former Council Member Costa Constantinides whose years of leadership made today possible.”
Such climate hazards would include extreme storms, sea level rise, tidal flooding, extreme heat, extreme precipitation, extreme wind, wild fire, and flooding surge events associated with a storm. The climate adaptation plan would include recommendations for resiliency and adaptation measures to protect residents, property and infrastructure in the City. Such plan would identify areas that are highly vulnerable to climate hazards to help determine where resiliency and adaptation measures should first be implemented. Such plan would also consider the potential impacts of adaptation measures on environmental justice areas.
Coastal and in-land flooding, extreme precipitation, heat waves and severe storms are becoming more intense and occurring more frequently. This past summer’s Tropical Storms Elsa, Henri and Ida, which caused significant flooding from heavy rain, and Tropical Storm Isaias in 2020, whose extreme wind caused massive power outages, demonstrated that the City needs a more holistic and comprehensive approach to identify and address the wide range of climate hazards the City faces. Additionally, the City must ensure that vulnerable neighborhoods are prepared and protected with resiliency and adaptation measures that help them withstand or avoid such climate hazards.
This local law would take effect immediately.
Ensures electric zero emissions school buses
Int. No. 455-A, sponsored by Daniel Dromm, will require the City to ensure that all school buses in use by September 1, 2035 shall be all-electric zero emission school buses. The replacement of school buses shall be subject to the commercial availability and reliability of all-electric zero emission school buses, and the technical and physical availability of related planned infrastructure, including but not limited to charging stations and bus depots for all-electric zero emission school buses.
“Environmental justice communities, such as the one I represent, have had to deal with a host of economic and health disparities. Dirty buses and the noxious fumes they spew most impact the individuals who spend the longest time on them: drivers, and special education and homeless students. In fact, parents concerned about their children’s health were the ones who first brought to my attention the need to electrify our school buses. As a former teacher who experienced–albeit briefly–trouble breathing inside and around buses, I had to agree. And as I talked to more and more people, I realized that the impact extended even further. Residents near schools and bus stops have long suffered from the air and noise pollution of our now-antiquated fleet.” said NYC Council Member Daniel Dromm. “Thanks to the people who fought to make this happen, including Justin Wood and New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, Carlos Castell Croke and the New York League of Conservation Voters, Tevin Grant, committee counsel Samara Swanston, my former colleague Costa Constantinides who first heard this bill in his committee, and of course current chair James Gennaro.Let our work here inspire the rest of the country. If New York City can do this, every municipality can…and should. Our children’s future depends on it.”
To help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in New York City and protect New York City’s school children from fossil fuel related pollutants, the legislation will also require the Department of Education to report to the Mayor and the Speaker on a variety of implementation targets within three reporting deadlines: July 1 of 2023, 2028, and 2033. Among the reporting requirements: actions taken to achieve the requirement to replace school buses with all-electric zero emission school buses by September 1, 2035; any barriers to achieving such replacement by such date and related plans to address such barriers; the safety and reliability of the all-electric zero emission school buses in use; the percentage of routes and proportion of charging infrastructure in environment justice areas; a description of each model of all-electric zero emission school bus; and the applications submitted by the DOE for federal, state, private or other funding for the purpose of achieving such replacement.
Further, each of the three reports shall include updates on specific replacement targets. The July 1, 2023 report hall include the status of replacing 75 buses with all-electric zero emission school buses. The July 1, 2028 report shall include the status of achieving 20 percent of school buses in use being all-electric zero emission school buses, in addition to the status of achieving 100 percent of buses under the New York city school bus umbrella corporation, being all-electric zero emissions school buses by September 1, 2030. Finally, the July 1, 2033 report shall include the status of achieving 66 percent of school buses in use being all-electric zero emission school buses.
This local law takes effect 180 days after it becomes law, except that the commissioner of environmental protection may take such measures as are necessary for its implementation, including the promulgation of rules, prior to such date.
Establishes the Office of Urban Agriculture
Int. No. 1663-A, sponsored by Council Member Ben Kallos, will address some of these issues outlined in the 2019 Growing Food Equity report via the establishment of an Office of Urban Agriculture and an Urban Agriculture Advisory Board. The report was released by Speaker Johnson, in which several budgetary and legislative proposals were outlined to build food equity in the areas of food governance; hunger; food waste; school food and nutrition education; equitable access to healthy food; and urban agriculture.
“Urban agriculture needs to be a big part of our future as a City. It is a great tool in the fight against climate change and a practice that could help New York City be more self-sufficient as we face supply chain issues that could lead to food shortages,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “This legislation creating an Office of Urban Agriculture and a corresponding advisory board for community input works to improve our City by promoting parks, gardens and green roofs. Whether it is improving access to healthy foods in low-income neighborhoods or even creating new jobs, urban agriculture will help in all these fights. Thank you to former Council Member Rafael Espinal who championed this and related legislation while in office. Today as we also pass Council Woman Alicka-Ampry Samuel’s legislation creating an urban agriculture plan, this Council is sending a strong message on the ecological, economic, and health benefits of a city committed to urban agriculture. Lastly, I want to thank Speaker Corey Johnson who proposed an advisory board back in 2015, for his longstanding and serious commitment to improving food policy in New York City. He understands why this is important and has been an ally in getting this done.”
Urban agriculture in New York includes a rich history of community gardens, and newer food production and greening models, such as green roofs, and rooftop and vertical farms. Even after decades of existence, some community gardens still face struggles for survival against competing land interests. Urban agriculture spaces are key neighborhood assets in terms of food, education, community development, environmental protection, and improved health and quality of life.
- The bill will establish an Office of Urban Agriculture (“OUA”) within the Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability (“OLTPS”);
- Empower OUA to conduct public education and outreach to promote urban agriculture, receive comments pertaining to urban agriculture, make recommendations to OLTPS and other agencies to protect and expand urban agriculture, and establish a program to support research for advancing urban agriculture legislation and policy in coordination with the Office of Food Policy, Parks Department, Department of City Planning and other relevant agencies;
- Establish a 13-member Urban Agriculture Advisory Board (“UAAB”) to advise the director of OUA, the Mayor and the Council on issues relating to urban agriculture. Such board would be comprised of two representatives specializing in urban agriculture policy; three representatives specializing in urban agriculture business; three representatives from community gardening organizations, non-commercial urban farms or community land trusts involved in urban agriculture; three representatives from organizations that promote urban agriculture issues such as climate, restorative and social justice, including one representative from a youth advocacy organization or network; and two representatives from the restaurant industry; and
- Require the UAAB to submit recommendations to the OUA director, Mayor and Council Speaker within 18 months of the effective date of the local law.
This legislation would take effect 120 days after becoming law.
Produces agricultural reports every five years
Int. No. 1058-A, sponsored by Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuel, will pass simultaneously with Proposed Int. No. 1663-A – in relation to establishing an office of urban agriculture and an urban agriculture advisory board and would require the Office of Urban Agriculture to produce an urban agriculture report every five years.
Specifically, the bill will:
- Require the Office of Urban Agriculture (“OUA”) to prepare an urban agriculture report by October 1, 2023 and every five years thereafter in cooperation with several stakeholders including relevant agencies, food policy educators, community gardens and urban farming businesses;
- Require OUA to address in the urban agriculture report the following issues relating to urban agriculture: resources to support existing and potential urban agriculture spaces as well as policies and regulations to support urban agriculture; classification and prioritization of urban agriculture uses; opportunities to expand healthy food in low-income neighborhoods; integration of urban agriculture into the city’s conservation and resiliency plans; and youth development and education towards local food production; and
- Require OUA to conduct an annual accounting of the progress of the recommendations, initiatives and priorities in the most recent five-year urban agriculture report and update the Mayor and Speaker on such progress annually.
This legislation would take effect on the same date as Proposed Int. No. 1663-A – in relation to establishing an office of urban agriculture and an urban agriculture advisory board.
Elevate Transit: Zoning for Accessibility – The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the New York City Department of City Planning (DCP) propose a zoning text amendment to create a system-wide easement requirement that would require developers within 50 feet of a mass transit station to obtain a determination on whether an easement is needed on site for future station access, and an expanded transit improvement bonus program through a City Planning Commission (CPC) authorization that would grant a floor area bonus of up to 20% for developments within R9 and R10 density-level districts that provide transit station improvements, including ADA-accessible elevators. This requirement would be accompanied by limited zoning relief to minimize potential construction and design challenges, such as the ability to add an additional floor of height, or modify or waive other aspects of zoning regulations such as parking requirements. Council has modified this application to add the City Council to the list of recipients of the MTA’s annual report for the easement program. This would clarify the resiliency measures in conjunction with the accessibility improvements that would be among the allowable types of station upgrades. It would establish a maximum threshold of additional floor area for sites under the proposed authorization mechanism.
The Windermere – Windermere Properties, LLC, seeks a special permit pursuant to Section 74-711 of the NYCZR to facilitate a proposed conversion, alteration and enlargement of the Windermere apartment building, located at 400-406 West 57th Street. The Development Site is located partly in a C1-8 zoning district and the C1 Northern Subarea of the Special Clinton District and partly in an R8/C1-5 district and Preservation Area A of the Special Clinton District. The Building is an individual New York City landmark. The reconstructed building would rise to 8 stories and 91’ along the 9th Ave. and 57th Street frontages, and contain 80,022 square feet of floor area (6.43 FAR across the zoning lot), including 55,925 square feet of commercial floor area (4.46 FAR) and 24,097 square feet of residential floor area (1.92 FAR). Expansion and alteration actions would consist of: enlargement of a one-story wing at the southern end of the building, which will be extended westward and northward, the extension of the 8th floor across the entire building and a new 9th floor penthouse set back from the streetwall. Council has modified this application to strike the hotel scheme, which will result in an office development with 20 affordable housing units, in Speaker Corey Johnson’s district.
2840 Knapp Street Rezoning – Lipkaw Realty, LLC, seeks a proposed zoning map amendment from R5 to R6 zoning district, and zoning text amendment to establish a new Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Area in the Sheepshead Bay/Plumb Beach section of Brooklyn Community District 15. These actions would facilitate the interior renovations resulting in increased floor area for an existing six-story Use Group 3 nursing home facility, The Sheepshead Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. The Proposed Development does not include any new residential floor area, and is exempt from MIH requirements per §23-154 (d) (4). There are no proposed changes to the building envelope. The building would increase from 80,875 zoning square feet (2.74 FAR) to 85,971 zoning square feet (2.91 FAR) on Block 8808 Lot 45. The renovations would primarily consist of changes to the ground floor and basement and would enable the construction of a Use Group 4A dialysis center in the basement and relocation of mechanical systems from the basement to the roof of the building. Once relocated, the basement would contain a new twenty (20) space attended parking area, in Council District 48.
307 Kent Avenue – 307 Kent Associates seeks a proposed zoning map amendment from an M3-1 district to an M1-5 district for property along Kent Avenue between South 2nd and South 3rd Streets, from M3-1 to M1-4/R6A Special Mixed Use District (“MX-8”) for existing residential buildings mid-block and related zoning text amendment to amend Appendix F of the Zoning Resolution to establish a Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (“MIH”) Area for the portion of the Project Area proposed as M1-4/R6A (MX-8).These actions would facilitate the redevelopment of currently a one-story 22’ high warehouse building located on a 14,425 sqf lot, into a new, nine-story, 151’ tall primarily commercial/community facility building containing approximately 93,000 sf of floor area. The M1-5 zoning would allow a flexible mix of one or all of any of these uses as well as most other commercial and industrial uses. The portion of the rezoning area proposed as M1-4/R6A (MX-8) with the application of MIH, would permit residential use with a maximum FAR of 3.6, community facility use with a maximum FAR of 3.0 and commercial and manufacturing uses at 2.0 FAR. This district would bring into compliance two existing residential condo buildings built in 2010 pursuant to a BSA variance, in Council Member Stephen Levin’s district.
106-02 Rockaway Beach Blvd. Rezoning – RBB II, LLC seeks the proposed zoning map amendment to rezone 106-02 and 106-10 Rockaway Beach Boulevard from an R5D zoning district with a C2-3 commercial overlay to an M1-5 zoning district. The proposed action would facilitate the construction of a six-story self-storage facility with a total floor area of 135,719 SF. The development will also include a public parking garage in the cellar that can accommodated 83 parking spaces. The garage will be accessed via an 18’-wide curb cut on Rockaway Beach Blvd. Three loading docks will be located on the eastern side of the building along the Beach 106th Street frontage accessible via a new 55’ curb cut on Beach 106th Street, in Council Member Eric Ulrich’s district.
629-639 West 142nd Street Rezoning – All Applications Items Were Withdrawn.
HOUSING AND BUILDINGS
Updates construction codes
Int. No. 2261-A, sponsored by Council Member Robert Cornegy, completes the most recent code revision cycle by updating the New York City Building, Fuel Gas, and Mechanical Codes, and further amending the New York City Plumbing Code, based on the 2015 editions of the International Building, Fuel Gas, Mechanical, and Plumbing Codes published by the International Code Council’s (ICC) and, where necessary, modifying or adding new text tailored to the unique needs and characteristics of the City’s built environment.
“The bill we are voting on today, Int. No. 2261-A, which I sponsored, includes 7,400 revisions to the Construction Codes, 600 of which represent new or expanded requirements,” said Council Member Robert Cornegy. “I want to thank the Department of Buildings for organizing committees updating the codes, and effort including architects, engineers, attorneys, representatives of construction, labor, real estate, other city agencies, and stakeholder organizations. Together, members of these committees volunteered over 40,000 hours of service towards the revision of the Code. These revisions will help preserve the safety of the City’s built environment. I am proud that we live in a city full of dedicated public servants and advocates who work together for the well-being of all New Yorkers.
Local Law 33 of 2007 requires that the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) keep the New York City Construction Codes up to date with the ICC’s International Codes. To accomplish this, DOB organizes a series of Construction Codes Revision Committees, consisting of industry professionals, that review and prepare suggested revisions to the New York City Construction Codes, including revisions that increase safety and cost savings and promote innovation for buildings. In 2019 the Council passed a local law updating the New York City Plumbing Code and in 2020 the Council passed a local law updating the New York City Energy Conservation Code.
The bill also contains provisions that modify the Codes’ General Administrative Provisions and New York City Electrical Code.
The proposed legislation improves building construction standards for new buildings and resolves issues relating to the application of some provisions of the new codes to the alteration of existing buildings. Proposed Int. No. 2261-A includes amendments that promote sustainability and resiliency, enhance affordable housing, and strengthen tenant protection.
Int. No. 2261-A will take effect 12 months after it is enacted into law and would apply to work related to applications for construction document approval filed on and after such effective date, with some exceptions, including that some provisions would take effect on January 1, 2022.
Requires training for security and fire guards at shelters
The security guards who work at shelters, whether employed directly by government or through a nonprofit human service provider, can encounter a range of incidents, some of which are violent, and they often interact with clients who face mental health issues. However, the security guard training mandated by the State does not include any special education, training or other provisions for security guards working in these settings.
Int. No. 1995-A, sponsored by Diana Ayala, will require such trainings.
- Require shelter operators that contract with the Department of Homeless Services (“DHS”) to ensure that all security guards and fire guards receive 40 hours of training in addition to the minimum training required under the State’s general business law within 120 days of hire. The trainings would need to be conducted by a security guard training school approved by the State’s commissioner of the Division of Criminal Justice Services and by instructors with at least three years of security guard or law enforcement experience;
- Permit the content of such training to be determined by the DHS commissioner, so long as it includes: techniques for interacting with individuals experiencing homelessness or those in a mental health emergency or crisis; sexual harassment prevention; and training on improving interactions between shelter employees and DHS clients;
- Require shelter operators that contract with DHS to ensure that all security guards and fire guards complete an eight-hour refresher training annually, of which two hours must include techniques for interacting with individuals experiencing homelessness or those in a mental health emergency or crisis;
- Require every contract with a shelter operator after the effective date to include a provision mandating security guards and fire guards receive their regular hourly wages while receiving such trainings; and
- Require shelter operators to submit quarterly reports to the DHS Commissioner regarding the number of security and fire guards who have completed such trainings, and an annual certification verifying compliance with training requirements for each guard.
This legislation will take effect 180 days after it becomes law.
Pays prevailing wages for security and fire guards
Int. No. 2006-A, sponsored by Council Member Francisco Moya, will require security guards at contracted shelters be paid prevailing wages. Security guards at nonprofit-run shelters typically earn just over the minimum wage, while those employed directly by the City earn about $18.45 an hour – or $7,000 to $8,000 more per year. Security guards at nonprofit-run sites are also not provided with the same benefits afforded to those employed directly by the City, and often cannot afford medical insurance or other benefits.
This bill will:
- Require shelter operators that contract with the Department of Homeless Services (“DHS”) to ensure all security & fire guards are paid no less than the prevailing wage;
- Require shelter operators to submit annual certifications to the DHS Commissioner and comptroller that all such guards were paid a prevailing wage, including records of the days and hours worked and wages and benefits paid to each such guard;
- Require shelter operators to keep original payroll records for each such guard for at least six years and make such records available at the request of the Comptroller or DHS;
- Require shelter operators to post written notices prepared by the Comptroller in English, Spanish and other relevant languages in each shelter detailing the wages, benefits and other protections to which such guards are entitled;
- Prohibit contracted shelter operators from entering into security guard subcontracts in excess of $20,000 without prior approval from DHS;
- Empower the Comptroller to monitor contracted shelter operators’ compliance and to investigate violations and verified complaints pertaining to compliance. The Comptroller would also be empowered to utilize several different enforcement mechanisms against non-compliant shelter operators based upon the outcome of such investigations; and
- Require the Comptroller to submit an annual report to the Mayor and Speaker summarizing the results of such investigations during the preceding fiscal year.
“New York City cannot be the capital of the world if our own don’t have economic capital and are struggling to make ends meet. Prevailing wages for shelter security and fire guards is one way we move towards creating an equitable standard of life that everyone deserves and should have, no matter where you come from, where you live or where you work. I am always proud to stand with my brothers and sisters. I applaud 32BJ and their president Kyle Bragg and thank Speaker Corey Johnson as we continue our fight to build a fairer and more equitable city,” said Council Member Francisco Moya.
This legislation would take effect immediately, except the provisions pertaining to payment of prevailing wages and limits on subcontracting would take effect 180 days after it becomes law.
Requires 311 to file and refer complaints to NYCHA
Int. No. 2330-A, sponsored by Council Member Fernando Cabrera, will require the 311 Customer Service Center to allow the public, including residents of New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments, to contact the center to file complaints or service requests relating to NYCHA in the same manner as such complaints or service requests are routinely accepted by 311. Those complaints or service requests would then be referred to NYCHA. The bill would also require data on such complaints or service requests to be made public.
“Today. the Council has an opportunity to bring fairness and accountability to NYCHA residents. Vote yes today, don’t stand in the way of helping New Yorkers.” said Council Member Fernando Cabrera.
This local law would take effect 120 days after it becomes law.