Local Law 126: Periodic Inspection of Parking Garages 

September 17, 2021

The DOB has officially released Local Law 126 of 2021, which requires Periodic Inspections of Parking Structures.

The first inspection cycle is anticipated to go into effect January 1, 2022, and end December 31, 2023.

This law aims to protect the public from parking structure failure and improve regular and routine maintenance of these facilities which are often neglected as “out of sight, out of mind.” The law will require:

  • An assessment to be performed by a Professional Engineer (PE) and a report filed with DOB every 6 years for the Parking Garage Structures.  
  • Filing cycles will be broken down into 2 year sub-cycles by community districts. Find out which community district your building is in here

 

In addition to the formal report, an inspection checklist shall be developed by the inspecting PE for the purposes of an annual observation of the parking garage which shall be required. The annual inspections can be performed by garage or building maintenance personnel with a record of the inspections which should be made available upon request of the DOB.

Inspection Cycles:

The first inspection cycle is anticipated to start January 1, 2022, and end December 31, 2023.

  • Owners of parking structures located within Community Districts 1 through 7 in Manhattan will be required to have parking structures inspected and file the required report with DOB during this cycle.
  • The DOB will provide additional information with respect the rules, inspection cycles, filing dates, report filing fees, and civil penalties related to the new inspection requirements.

What you can do now:

We believe it is important to be prepared for this law to ensure necessary repairs are addresses to avoid possible penalties. We recommend the following to help you get started:

  • If your garage is managed by an independent operator, start engaging in discussions now about this forthcoming rule, as inspection and repairs shall require significant coordination.
  • Continuing any ongoing review and maintenance programs.
  • Have a pre-inspection conducted in order to identify repair conditions to inform your capital planning.

Exceptions:

The following structures will not be required to comply with the new inspection requirements:

  • Autobody and automotive repair shops, automotive showrooms, and automotive service stations
  • Garages with occupancy of fewer than three cars
  • Unenclosed, unattached outdoor parking lots
  • Private garages serving one- and two-family homes.

Classifications:

The QPSI will file their report with the DOB with one of the following classifications:
SAFE, UNSAFE, Safe with Repair and/or Engineering Monitoring.

When a garage is classified: Safe with Repair and/or Engineering Monitoring the following must take place:

  • Identify proposed monitoring program
  • Identify engineer per forming monitoring
  • Stability analysis with factor of safety showing structure is stable under anticipated loads

When a garage is classified: UNSAFE the following must take place:

  • Maintain Public Safety
  • Notify the DOB
  • Repairs to the condition must take place

Fees and Penalties:

Unsafe conditions must be corrected within 90 days of filing a report with an Unsafe status. An amended report must then be filed within two weeks of completing the repairs. If the repairs are not completed and an amended report is not filed within this timeframe, time extension requests are to be filed with the Department and are subject to review and acceptance.

  • Initial Report – $305.00
  • Amended/Subsequent Report – $85.00
  • Extension Request – $65.00

The following penalties apply after the filing period ends:

  • Late Filing (initial report) – $1,000 per month
  • Failure to File (initial report) – $5,000 per year
  • Failure to Correct Unsafe Conditions – $1,000 per month
  • Failure to Correct SREM Conditions – $2,000 (one time)

Qualified Parking Structure Inspector (QPSI) Designation

*As of 3/28/22 The QPSI designation has not become “official”, although the DOB is taking applicants and assigning the designation. At this time, any PE with 3 years of structural experience can file a Parking Inspection report with the DOB. We will keep the staff notified when the DOB makes the QPSI designation “official”. HLZAE is in the process of getting the QPSI designation for members of our staff. 

 

HLZAE is here to help you evaluate your structure and prepare. We can complete a walk through now and identify any areas of concern to better prepare your building for the regulation and ensure compliance. 

 

 

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