Permits and approvals for sidewalk sheds in NYC

  • March 29, 2019
  • dominickciccarelli
Side Walk

Sidewalk sheds, otherwise known as scaffolding are temporary structures, which are usually made up of steel pipes and heavy-duty plywood. These structures are built to pedestrians or property any any debris that might fall from overhead renovation and construction. According to Dominick Ciccarelli, a licensed contractor with New York State, if property owners are constructing a building more than 40 feet high or demolishing a building above 25 feet high, they must install a shed to protect people or property. However, these sidewalk sheds must be removed as soon as the construction or demolition work is completed. Below Dominick Ciccarelli explains the NYC Construction Codes and permits for installing sidewalk sheds.

Permits and approvals

Although sidewalk sheds installation requires the Department’s prior work permit and approval, in case of an emergency, owners can build a shed. However, they must file a permit application within 24 hours.

Before the Department of Buildings gives approval and the work permit, you get authorization from other City agencies as well. For instance, the Office of Construction Mitigation and Coordination at the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) requires a Building Operation Permit for sidewalk sheds.

Technical requirements for NYC Building Code §3307

  • Length – It should be 20 feet into adjacent properties at buildings above 100 feet
  • Width – 5 -feet minimum and sufficient for foot traffic
  • Lighting – Passageway need to be provided with natural or artificial light at all times
  • Passageway Height – 8-feet minimum clearance
  • Deck storage – It may be considered as illegal and is generally not advisable to store material on top of a shed.
  • Shed Deck Strength – It should be at least 300 pounds per square foot
  • Loading Areas – Make sure you keep all loading openings barricaded, protected, guarded, or closed.
  • Egress – Fire exits/escapes should never be blocked.
  • Street Signs – Always make sure the DOT street signs are visible to pedestrians and drivers

Permit durations and renewals

The initial work permits for sidewalk sheds are usually valid for a year or until the insurance of the contractor expires. According to Environmental Control Board violations, the homeowner may be charged with as high as $8,000 per violation after their permits expire.

In case of a sidewalk shed permit renewal, you need to file a written request, sealed and signed by a New York State registered architect, to the PW2. You must pay the required fees to the appropriate Department borough commissioner or to the LAA/Permit Renewal Unit. Once approved, you need to print out the renewed permit and upload it on site.

If you’re seeking to install sidewalk sheds in NYC, make sure you’ve prior approval and work permits to avoid penalties.