Inside Third & Bond: Week 85


This week, Hudson talks pavement and mailboxes...

Last week, we received approval for the Third + Bond Builder’s Pavement Plan. Before any of you get ants in your pants: in order to get a new building permit, the BPP must be filed but does not need to be approved.

The BPP is a drawing showing the work to be done to the public realm in conjunction with construction activity on a private lot. The BPP shows sidewalks, curbs and roadway to be reconstructed as well as street trees to keep or be planted. Stormwater catch basins, bus stops, pedestrian ramps, and utility poles are also shown on the BPP.

Often, the BPP is designed by the civil engineer who also does the water and sewer site connection design. It’s logical that these two things go hand-in-hand, since the paving has a direct effect on stormwater run-off and thus the sewer system. Unfortunately, there isn’t a tremendous amount of innovation allowed in either right now. There are a few pilot projects in Queens where DOT is allowing a larger than normal tree pit in order to provide more permeable space to absorb water, but it isn’t a practice that seems easily approved outside of the pilot. So, our BPP is pretty conventional.

Once the BPP is approved, the approved plan is given to the contractor who will pull the permit for the actual work to be done. For example, the approved BPP might require that you will replace ½ of the street width plus 5 feet (common standard), but you can’t actually put a jackhammer to concrete until you have street opening (opening the road bed) and street closing (closing to traffic) permits from the Department of Transportation. Street trees require their own permit from Parks & Rec (Amy Poehler is such a doll!) and sign-off.

Once the work is complete, you call for a field inspection from DOB. You have to pass the field inspection to get your Temporary Certificate of Occupancy. When the paperwork for the BPP catches up, you call for an appointment with the in-office BPP reviewer. His sign-off is necessary in order to get a Permanent Certificate of Occupancy.

We spent as many as four years...

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