New York Consolidated Laws, General City Law - GCT § 36. Municipal improvements in streets, buildings not on mapped streets

1. A city having a population of less than one million.  No public municipal street utility or improvement shall be constructed by any city having a population of less than one million in any street or highway until it has become a public street or highway and is duly placed on the official map or plan.  No permit for the erection of any building shall be issued unless a street or highway giving access to such proposed structure has been duly placed on the official map or plan, which street or highway shall have been suitably improved to the satisfaction of the planning board in accordance with standards and specifications approved by the appropriate city departments as adequate in respect to the public health, safety and general welfare for the special circumstances of the particular street or highway or alternately that a performance bond sufficient to cover the full cost of such improvement as estimated by such board shall be furnished to the city by the owner.  Such performance bond shall be issued by a bonding or surety company approved by the corporation counsel of the city, or by the owner with security acceptable to the legislative body, and shall also be approved by such corporation counsel as to form, sufficiency and manner of execution.  The term, manner of modification and method of enforcement of such bond shall be determined by the planning board in substantial conformity with section thirty-three of this article.  The applicant for such a permit may appeal from the decision of the administrative officer having charge of the issue of permits to the board of appeals or other similar board, in any city which has established a board having the power to make variances or exceptions in zoning regulations for:  (a) an exception if the circumstances of the case do not require the structure to be related to existing or proposed streets or highways and/or (b) an area variance pursuant to section eighty-one-b of this chapter, and the same provisions are hereby applied to such appeals and to such board as are provided in cases of appeals on zoning regulations.  The board may in passing on such appeal make any reasonable exception and issue the permit subject to conditions that will protect any future street or highway layout.  Any such decision shall be subject to review under the provisions of article seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules.

2. A city having a population of one million or more.  No public municipal street utility or improvement shall be constructed by any city having a population of one million or more in any street or highway until it has become a public street or highway and is duly placed on the official map or plan, with the exception that a city may construct improvements and provide services to any public way (mapped or unmapped) if the public way has been open and in use to the public for a minimum of ten years.  The existence of the public way must be attested to by documents satisfactory to the municipality, such as reports of city agencies providing municipal services.  No certificate of occupancy shall be issued in such city for any building unless a street or highway giving access to such structure has been duly placed on the official map or plan, which street or highway, and any other mapped street or highway abutting such building or structure shall have been suitably improved to the satisfaction of the department of transportation of the city in accordance with standards and specifications approved by such department as adequate in respect to the public health, safety and general welfare for the special circumstances of the particular street or highway, or, alternately, unless the owner has furnished to the department of transportation of such city a performance bond naming the city as obligee, approved by such department, to the full cost of such improvement as estimated by such department, or other security approved by such department, that such improvement will be completed within the time specified by such department.  If such improvement has not been installed within the time specified by such department, such department may declare such performance bond or other security to be in default and shall collect, in the name of the city, the sum remaining payable thereunder.  Upon receipt of the proceeds thereof, the city shall install such improvement.  If the cost of such improvement exceeds the sum remaining payable under such bond or other security, the owner shall be liable for and shall pay to the city, the amount of such excess.  Where the enforcement of the provisions of this section would entail practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship, and where the circumstances of the case do not require the structure to be related to existing or proposed streets or highways, the applicant for such a certificate of occupancy may appeal from the decision of the administrative officer having charge of the issuance of certificates of occupancy to the board of standards and appeals or other similar board of such city having power to make variances or exceptions in zoning regulations, and the same provisions are hereby applied to such appeals and to such board as are provided in cases of appeals on zoning regulations.  The board may in passing on such appeal make any reasonable exception and issue the certificate of occupancy subject to conditions that will protect any future street or highway layout.  Any such decision shall be subject to review under the provisions of article seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules.  No permit shall be granted for the erection of any building or structure in such city unless the owner has furnished to the commissioner of transportation of such city a policy of liability insurance, marked paid, in such amounts as may be fixed by such department, insuring, indemnifying and saving the city harmless from any claims, suits, demands, causes of action and judgments by reason of personal injuries sustained by any person or persons, including death, and from any claims, suits, demands, causes of action and judgments for damages to property, occurring on any such street or highway giving access to or abutting such structure, up to the date of the issuance of the certificate of occupancy or up to the date of the completion of the improvement of such street or highway as required by or pursuant to this section, whichever is later.  In the event that the owner is covered by such a policy of liability insurance, the department of transportation may accept a certificate of endorsement extending such policy to include and cover the city.  Every permit issued for the erection of any such building or structure shall contain a statement that no certificate of occupancy will be issued with respect to such building or structure unless a street or highway giving access to such structure has been duly placed on the official map or plan, which street or highway and any other mapped street or highway abutting such building or structure shall have been suitably improved to the satisfaction of the department of transportation of the city in accordance with standards and specifications approved by such department as adequate in respect to the public health, safety and general welfare for the special circumstances of the particular street or highway or, alternately, unless the owner has furnished to the department of transportation a performance bond naming the city as obligee, approved by such department, sufficient to cover the full cost of such improvement as estimated by such department, or other security approved by such department, that such improvement will be completed within the time specified by such department.

3. Notwithstanding any provision of law, rule or regulation to the contrary, a certificate of occupancy for a one or two family residential dwelling which is otherwise in compliance with all applicable laws shall be issued by the department of buildings of the city of New York for any building abutting an unmapped street without a review by the board of standards and appeals in the following circumstances:  (a) if the corporation counsel of the city of New York has issued an opinion determining that the public way has been open and in use to the public for a minimum of ten years and has been attested to by documents satisfactory to the municipality, that the unmapped street abutting such building or structure shall have been suitably improved to the satisfaction of the department of transportation of the city of New York in accordance with standards and specifications approved by such department as adequate in respect to the public health, safety and general welfare for the special circumstances of the particular unmapped street, and that such building or structure is equipped with an automatic fire sprinkler, or (b) if the department of buildings of the city of New York determines that such one or two family residential dwelling is located within the same block and fronting on the same unmapped street in question as another building or structure that successfully appealed to the board of standards and appeals and has been issued a certificate of occupancy and provided the unmapped street fronting such one or two family residential dwelling has been suitably improved to the standards and specifications of such department of transportation, and further provided that such one or two family residential dwelling is equipped with an automatic fire sprinkler system.  Nothing contained in this subdivision shall limit the jurisdiction of the board of standards and appeals to determine the application of the zoning resolution.


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