senate Bill S522

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Authorizes the environmental control board to adjudicate disputes between adjoining real property owners over the blocking of a driveway in the city of New York

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to cities
Jan 09, 2013 referred to cities

S522 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A3433
Current Committee:
Law Section:
New York City Charter
Laws Affected:
Amd §1049-a, NYC Chart; amd §237, V & T L; amd §24-346, NYC Ad Cd
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S690A, A2662A
2009-2010: S5513, S6213B, A8054

S522 - Bill Texts

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Authorizes the environmental control board to adjudicate disputes between adjoining real property owners over the blocking of a driveway, the ownership or use of which is shared by such adjoining owners in the city of New York; further appoints another hearing officer to the board who shall be an attorney; defines the term "blocking".

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BILL NUMBER:S522

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the New York city charter, the vehicle and traffic law and the
administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the
"open driveway act" regarding the
environmental control board adjudication of disputes concerning the
blocking of a driveway; and providing for the repeal of such provisions
upon expiration thereof

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
This bill, which is referred to as the "Open Driveway Act," grants the
Environmental control Board the power to adjudicate disputes arising
between adjoining real property owners over the blocking of a
driveway, the ownership or use of which is shared by such adjoining
property owners. This bill also defines "blocking" to mean the
parking or standing of a motor vehicle in a manner that prohibits the
ingress or egress of other vehicles authorized to use such driveway.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Subdivision d of Section 1049a of the New York City Charter is by adding
a new subdivision c-1 which:

(1) Requires the environmental control board to adopt rules and
regulations to adjudicate disputes regarding a blocked driveway
arising between adjoining property owners who share ownership and use
of a such driveway, and requires such rules and regulations to
provide that the board:

(a) Provide proper notice to persons who are affected by the
adjudication.

(b) Render a decision that includes a determination of the rights of
the parties concerning the property.

(c) Impose penalties in accordance with a schedule of monetary fines,
which will not exceed one hundred fifty dollars, whenever a blocking
of a driveway is determined to have occurred.

(2) Requires the board to appoint a hearing officer who shall be an
attorney with a background and experience in real property to
adjudicate these disputes.

(3) Defines "blocking" as the parking or standing of a motor vehicle
in a manner which prohibits the ingress or egress of other vehicles
authorized to use such driveway.

(4) Nothing in this subdivision shall he deemed to diminish or
extinguish a person's right to a trial by jury.

(5) Requires that if any provision of this subdivision or application
of which is held invalid, the remainder of this subdivision and
section shall not be affected thereby.


Amends subdivision a of section 1049 of the New York City charter
section 5 of question 2 of local law number 60 of the City of New York
for the year 2010 is amended to increase the number of mayoral
appointees to the environmental control board from six to seven and
requires that the additional member be one who shall be an attorney
with a background and experience in real property law.

Amends section 237 of the vehicle an traffic law by adding a new
subdivision 13 which:

(a) Requires said disputes regarding shared blocked driveways be heard
and determined by the environmental control board prior to the
issuing of a notice of violation for such dispute.

(b) Defines "blocking" in same manner as above.

JUSTIFICATION:
Many residential properties, especially in urban areas throughout the
state, have shared driveways, or access to available garages and
parking spaces via common alleyways. These shared spaces are private
properties, and current law does not provide for local authorities
to intervene to expeditiously resolve these disputes.

For example, if one party blocks the space with a vehicle or other
object and refuses to move it upon the request of the other neighbor,
the only civil way to resolve the problem is for one party to take
the matter to court. Unfortunately, this never solves the problem
quickly enough when one party needs ingress or egress to the spike.
On occasion, this situation has led to violent physical confrontations
between neighbors, resulting in criminal charges. In other instances,
individuals such as senior citizens have been the victims of
intimidation and are denied the right to ingress and egress. and
local authorities are unable to assist in resolving the dispute,

Accordingly, this bill amends the New York City Charter to give the
Environmental Control Board (ECB) the power to hear and decide these
cases in an expeditious manner Moreover. the bill will require the
ECB, which is comprised of individuals with specialized expertise, to
hire two attorneys with a background in real property law one to
serve on the board and one to act as
a hearing officer on these cases. While the Parking and Violations
Bureau will be responsible for issuing violations to offenders, the
ECB will be solely responsible for hearing these cases and imposing
fines not to exceed $150.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
S.5511 of 2009
05/13/09 Referred to Cities
01/06/10 Referred to Cities
S.690A of 2011
01/05/11 Referred to Cities
01/04/12 Referred to Cities
02/10/12 Amend and Recommit to Cities
02/10/12 Print Number 690A

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
None.


EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect on the 90th day after it shall have become
a law, shall expire on July 1, 2019 when upon such date the
provisions of this act shall be deemed repealed; provided, however,
that the Environmental Control Board and the Parking Violations
Bureau in the City of New York shall promulgate rules and regulations
necessary to effectuate the provisions of this act prior to such
effective date.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                   522

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. SAMPSON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Cities

AN ACT to amend the New York city charter, the vehicle and  traffic  law
  and  the  administrative  code of the city of New York, in relation to
  the "open driveway act"  regarding  the  environmental  control  board
  adjudication  of  disputes  concerning the blocking of a driveway; and
  providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  This  act  shall  be  known and may be cited as the "open
driveway act".
  S 2. Section 1049-a of the New York city charter is amended by  adding
a new subdivision c-1 to read as follows:
  C-1.  (1)  THE ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL BOARD SHALL ADOPT RULES AND REGU-
LATIONS TO ADJUDICATE DISPUTES ARISING BETWEEN ADJOINING PROPERTY OWNERS
WHO HAVE OWNERSHIP IN AND USE A SHARED  DRIVEWAY,  WHERE  SUCH  DISPUTES
ARISE  FROM  THE  BLOCKING  OF SUCH DRIVEWAY. SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS
SHALL PROVIDE, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THAT THE BOARD:
  (A) PROVIDE PROPER NOTICE TO PERSONS WHOSE INTEREST IN  REAL  PROPERTY
ARE AFFECTED BY THE ADJUDICATION;
  (B)  RENDER  A DECISION THAT INCLUDES A DETERMINATION OF THE RIGHTS OF
THE PARTIES CONCERNING THE PROPERTY; AND
  (C) IMPOSE PENALTIES IN ACCORDANCE WITH A SCHEDULE OF MONETARY  FINES,
WHENEVER A BLOCKING OF A DRIVEWAY IS DETERMINED TO HAVE OCCURRED.  MONE-
TARY FINES SHALL NOT EXCEED ONE HUNDRED FIFTY DOLLARS.
  (2)  FOR  PURPOSES  OF  ADJUDICATING  THESE  DISPUTES, THE BOARD SHALL
APPOINT A HEARING OFFICER WHO SHALL BE AN ATTORNEY WITH A BACKGROUND AND
EXPERIENCE IN REAL PROPERTY LAW.
  (3) FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SUBDIVISION, THE  TERM  "BLOCKING"  SHALL
MEAN  THE  PARKING  OR  STANDING  OF  A  MOTOR VEHICLE IN A MANNER WHICH

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00101-01-3

S. 522                              2

PROHIBITS THE INGRESS OR EGRESS OF OTHER VEHICLES AUTHORIZED TO USE SUCH
DRIVEWAY.
  (4)  NOTHING IN THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL BE DEEMED TO DIMINISH OR EXTIN-
GUISH A PERSON'S RIGHT TO A TRIAL BY JURY IN THE FIRST INSTANCE FOR  THE
DETERMINATION  OF A CLAIM TO REAL PROPERTY PURSUANT TO THE REAL PROPERTY
ACTIONS AND PROCEEDINGS LAW, THE CIVIL PRACTICE LAW AND RULES,  AND  ANY
OTHER APPLICABLE LAW.
  (5) IF ANY PROVISION OF THIS SUBDIVISION OR THE APPLICATION THEREOF TO
ANY PERSON OR CIRCUMSTANCE IS HELD INVALID, THE REMAINDER OF THIS SUBDI-
VISION AND SECTION SHALL NOT BE AFFECTED THEREBY.
  S  3. Subdivision a of section 1049-a of the New York city charter, as
amended by section 5 of question 2 of local law number 60 of the city of
New York for the year 2010, is amended to read as follows:
  a. There shall be in the office of administrative trials and  hearings
an  environmental  control board consisting of the commissioner of envi-
ronmental protection, the commissioner of sanitation,  the  commissioner
of  buildings, the commissioner of health and mental hygiene, the police
commissioner, the fire commissioner and  the  chief  administrative  law
judge  of the office of administrative trials and hearings, who shall be
chair, all of whom shall serve on the board without compensation and all
of whom shall have the power to exercise or delegate any of their  func-
tions,  powers and duties as members of the board, and six persons to be
appointed by the mayor, with the advice and consent of the city council,
who are not otherwise employed by the city, one to  be  possessed  of  a
broad  general  background  and experience in the field of air pollution
control, one with such background and experience in the field  of  water
pollution  control, one with such background and experience in the field
of noise pollution control, one with such background and  experience  in
the  real  estate  field, one with such background and experience in the
business community, ONE WHO SHALL BE AN ATTORNEY  WITH  SUCH  BACKGROUND
AND  EXPERIENCE  IN REAL PROPERTY LAW, and one member of the public, and
who shall serve for four-year terms. Such members shall  be  compensated
at  a rate that may be specified by the chair and approved by the mayor.
Within the board's appropriation, the chair  may  appoint  an  executive
director,  subject  to the approval of the board, and such hearing offi-
cers, including non-salaried hearing officers, and  other  employees  as
the  chair  may from time to time find necessary for the proper perform-
ance of the board's duties.
  S 4. Section 237 of the vehicle and traffic law is amended by adding a
new subdivision 13 to read as follows:
  13. (A) IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK, TO ISSUE A NOTICE OF VIOLATION  WHEN-
EVER  THE  BLOCKING  OF A DRIVEWAY HAS OCCURRED, WHERE THE OWNERSHIP AND
USE OF SUCH DRIVEWAY IS SHARED BY ADJOINING PROPERTY  OWNERS;  PROVIDED,
HOWEVER, THAT SUCH VIOLATIONS SHALL BE HEARD AND DETERMINED BY THE ENVI-
RONMENTAL  CONTROL  BOARD PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION D OF SECTION ONE THOU-
SAND FORTY-NINE-A OF THE NEW YORK CITY CHARTER.
  (B) FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SUBDIVISION, THE  TERM  "BLOCKING"  SHALL
MEAN  THE  PARKING  OR  STANDING  OF  A  MOTOR VEHICLE IN A MANNER WHICH
PROHIBITS THE INGRESS OR EGRESS OF OTHER VEHICLES AUTHORIZED TO USE SUCH
DRIVEWAY.
  S 5. Subdivision b of section 24-346 of the administrative code of the
city of New York, as amended by local law number 35 of the city  of  New
York for the year 2008, is amended to read as follows:
  b.  Any  person  who  violates  or  fails  to  comply  with any of the
provisions of this chapter and chapter four of this title or any  order,
rule  or  regulation  issued  by  the  board or commissioner or with the

S. 522                              3

conditions of any permit issued by the commissioner within the  city  of
New  York shall be liable for a civil penalty of not less than fifty nor
more than one thousand dollars for each violation.  In  the  case  of  a
continuing  violation  each [days] DAY'S continuance shall be a separate
and distinct offense. The environmental control  board  shall  have  the
power to impose such civil penalties. A proceeding to impose such penal-
ties  shall be commenced by the service of a notice of violation return-
able to such board. Such board, after a hearing as provided by the rules
and regulations of the board, shall have the power to enforce its  final
decisions and orders imposing such civil penalties as if they were money
judgments pursuant to subdivision d of section one thousand forty-nine-a
of  the  New York city charter. A civil penalty imposed by the board may
also be collected in an action brought in the name of the  city  in  any
court  of  competent  jurisdiction.  The  board, in its discretion, may,
within the limits set forth in this subdivision, establish a schedule of
civil penalties indicating the minimum  and  maximum  penalty  for  each
separate offense.
  S  6.  This  act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall
have become a law, and shall expire July 1, 2019 when upon such date the
provisions of this act shall be deemed repealed; provided, however, that
the environmental control board and the parking violations bureau in the
city of New York shall promulgate rules  and  regulations  necessary  to
effectuate the provisions of this act prior to such effective date.

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