Comptroller Says New Yorkers Getting 'Cheated'...
The New York City Department of Buildings has failed in maintaining and inspecting privately owned public spaces, or POPS, according to an audit from Comptroller Scott Stringer's office. The report revealed that a majority of building owners are not complying with city regulations.
"There are 333 POPS sites in New York City, and 182 of them, our auditors found violations," Stringer said.
These sites could be areas and amenities like plazas, benches or water fountains provided by private developers for public use. Developers often build public spaces in exchange for more leeway in zoning regulations. Stringer said builders are not keeping up their side of the bargain.
"New Yorkers are literally getting cheated out of tens of millions of dollars in public space – and the city is willfully choosing to do nothing about it," he said.
Auditors found that the city inspected only 58 of POPS locations in the past four years, and 41 of those did not meet city requirements.
City Council members David Greenfield and Ben Kallos said they want to prevent oversights like this by forcing the Department of Buildings to inspect public spaces once a year and raise fines on buildings that do not comply.