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Buildings Dept. Expands Digital Permits / Approvals to Include Minor Alterations

Frank Lovece in Board Operations on November 15, 2013

New York City

Nov. 15, 2013

"Thanks to the expanded NYC Development Hub, any construction project in New York City can be approved from the comfort of your own office," DOB Commissioner Robert LiMandri said in a statement. "It is no longer necessary for industry members to visit our offices in order to submit paper plans and other documents. Whether you’re constructing a new building or renovating a kitchen, architects and engineers can have their plans reviewed by our plan examiners with the click of a button. The Department has completely digitized the approval process for construction permits."

Who Does What

A previously instituted version, Hub Self-Service, allowed New York State-licensed architects,engineers and licensed contractors to professionally certify plans for minor renovations and receive an approval and a construction permit within 24 hours. The newly introduced Hub Full-Service "offers electronic service including Plan Review, the Hub's Development Commissioner, Elizabeth Skowronek, tells Habitat. "This is in contrast to professionally certified plans, which do not require a review by the Buildings Department."

Alteration Type-2 and Alteration Type-3 are defined as minor work that does not affect "use, egress or occupancy," so the alteration can't be one that would change to a building's Certificate of Occupancy. Type-2 is a minor alteration that requires several types of work, such as a new bathroom that involves both plumbing and construction, says a DOB spokesperson. Type-3 is a minor alteration that involves just one type of work, such as a curb cut or erection of scaffolding. All Type-2 plans and most, though not all, Type-3 plans must be submitted by a registered architect or licensed engineer.

After-Hours Variances

The process allows online application for permits for electrical work, plumbing work under $25,000 and after-hours variances. As well, associated fees can now be paid online.

A co-op board or condominium association's architect or engineer must be registered to e-file, as explained at the DOB's e-filing user guide, and all plans must follow the Department's Drawing Standards for Plan / Work Applications. The DOB has an online guide to permits, and other details about using Hub Full-Service can be found at the Hub's Industry Filing Guide.

Alteration Type-1 projects, which involved major construction, have been able to submit plans this way since 2011.

 

This article was updated Nov. 18 to reflect comments by Elizabeth Skowronek.

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