Did New Construction In Brooklyn Move in Next Door? Here is how to handle it.

Construction can be noisy and overall irritating, especially when you’re living right next to it. This is the case for most Brooklynites and New York City residents. On the bright side, there are actions you can take to block out the construction and keep your discomfort at a minimum during this time. 

Collect All The Facts

First, you should find all the information you can on this new project moving in on your block. 

Some questions to ask yourself are: 

  • How tall will the building be? 
  • What kind of building will it be? 
  • Who are the developers? 
  • What is the name of the construction company? 

You should be able to go to your elected officials and the community board to answer these questions. You should contact your district manager and find your community board for your Brooklyn neighborhood.

Tell Your Neighbors And Create A Line Of Communication Throughout Your Building

Communication is going to be very important during the time construction is happening. Let your neighbors know about this new upcoming construction. Some ideas are to send an email through a tenant email list or create a bulletin that can be placed in the lobby for tenants to see as they come and go. If you don’t have an email list of tenants or have a bulletin, go the old fashion way and slip a message under the doors, so you can potentially collect emails to make communication more manageable.

Assigning one or more people to keep up with these updates is essential. The easiest way is to accept volunteers who are committed to being part of the committee to direct communication from the builders to the tenants. Another thought is to connect with other buildings around you. They are most likely worried just as much as you are and willing to share some of the load. Each building should have its captain leading. 

Don’t forget to include any Co-op or condo board presidents, building owners, managers, and supers. Another way to block out construction worry is to include an elected official like a city council member, state assembly member, or state senator who has connections with others who can help during the process.

“As Of Right” Construction Projects

Have you heard the term “as of right” involved with nearby construction? This can be a good thing. 

In NYC, an As of Right Development does not require special permits, variances, or any discretionary action from the City Planning Commission or the Board of Standards and Appeals, according to Fontan Architecture. Most construction within the city is “as of right.” These construction projects are not subject to the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP), a standardized procedure whereby applications affecting the city’s land use are publicly reviewed. In the simplest of terms, these projects are a done deal.  

Know “The Departments”: DOP, DEP, DOT

The Department of Buildings (DOB)  in New York is the agency that regulates all the work that a DOB permit is required. The licenses are attached to the new construction building in Brooklyn here and here

The DOB oversees site safety, sidewalk sheds, and permission to work after hours. Inspectors handle complaints and issue violations, and partial or full-stop work orders. Any complaints involving those mentioned above should be made by calling 311.

The DOB has added an online feature that lets you sign up for construction project status updates by email. If you want answers directly, you can attend Buildings After Hours information sessions every Tuesday from 4 PM – 7 PM at Brooklyn Borough Office (345 Adams Street, 3rd Floor Brooklyn, NY 11201).

The most apparent complaint you can imagine is noise. The noise from the construction in Brooklyn falls under the DEP or the Department of Environmental Protections. It is required by the DEP to have noise mitigation plans for every site and that these plans are available at the site. For a basic understanding, daytime construction is allowed 85 decibels as measured at 50 feet from the site. The department also requires dust mitigation plans for construction sites and will respond to 911 calls with an inspection. 

The Department of Traffic (DOT) requires all Brooklyn construction to include sidewalks, curbs, and a paved roadway. The DOT is responsible for any problems with traffic on the block of the development, road closures, or crossing guards. DOT also has to grant permission for after-hours work. 

Where can I make a formal complaint about the Construction in Brooklyn?

Any complaints should be made by calling 311. 

If the complaint is specifically about noise, it is recommended to tell the operator that it should be directed to the Department of Environmental Protections (DEP) and be specific as possible so the complaint doesn’t float around multiple agencies.  This advice can go for any complaint you know where it should be directed, so you are assured of a timely inspection and resolution to your problem. 

Are You Going To Be Taking These Steps To Block Out Construction On Your Block This Year? 

Dealing with construction will be challenging, but construction is a guarantee in this thriving city. The steps above, though, can make a difference – and you can always get in touch if you want some advice!

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