Borough President James S. Oddo has partnered with City Council Minority Leader Steven Matteo and the NYC Council to eliminate the creation of new private streets on Staten Island.
Today, Council Member Matteo will introduce a bill, drafted by Borough Hall in consultation with Council staff and Councilman Matteo, that will sound the long-awaited death knell for poorly-designed private streets that have hampered quality of life and threatened public safety throughout the borough for more than half a century. The Borough President believes this local law will universally address all related concerns and eliminate private roads from the palette of loopholes utilized to pack the borough with gloomy, inappropriate overdevelopment.
After decades of effort and countless years of meetings, letters, lawsuits and finger-pointing, Borough President Oddo summed up his tireless efforts: “Let’s say we’re going back to the future. We have come to a point in time where we should only focus on what we need to do to make it right for Staten Island.
“This local law will reinforce compliance with State and City statutes, consistency with the administration of the law, and bolster the quality of life for the residents of the Borough.
“Staten Island has stumbled through the last 50 years trying to address growth spurts, continuing quality of life issues, ownership and traffic disputes, and a distinction between roads that are privately owned and those that we actually can perform public street improvements on. It is never too late to preserve the quality of life for those continuing to call Staten Island their home.
“Let’s move on from the traffic congestion, utility and infrastructure complications, unchecked storm runoff flooding adjoining properties, and the surcharging of undersized city sewer and water mains.”
"The bills introduced today aim to address long-standing issues regarding private streets," noted Council Member Matteo. "I look forward to working with all stakeholders with the goal of creating a clearer and ultimately better process for street construction which will help ensure all roads in our borough are built to proper standards and regularly maintained."
The following highlights the provisions of the proposed local law:
- Private Streets will no longer be permitted for new borough developments. Streets will have to go through a street mapping process which is subject to the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) with input from the public, community boards and elected officials. The design will also be scrutinized and approved by city agencies having jurisdiction before permits can be issued and construction begins:
All new streets will:
+ Be placed on the city map which identifies streets adopted by the city
+ Be open to the public
+ Be fully accessible for immediate emergency response to your main front entrance
+ Conform to all standards for city streets, making them safer than private streets
+ Require regular curbs, sidewalks and crosswalks
+ Have city fire hydrants, lighting and signage
+ Have independent mail delivery to mailboxes
+ Be routinely maintained by city agencies when the developer elects to deed the street area to the city including: independent refuse pick-up, snow plowing, street lighting and electricity, street tree maintenance, fire hydrants, and where applicable, even sewers.
+ Not require the formation of a Homeowner’s Association for the road, which can be deeded as a city street. This means the property owners will not have to shoulder the burden of taxes on the street area
+ For the first time ever, require a construction permit from the Department of Buildings (DOB)
+ Be memorialized on filed paperwork and certificates of occupancy so a potential homebuyer will be able to distinguish the services provided that is not available on private streets
+ Include defined easements for utilities
Owners of existing private streets will be required to:
+ Maintain the surface of all roads to Department of Transportation (DOT) standards
+ Maintain and enforce all signage, house numbering, and approved parking locations and restrictions, for the safe delivery of emergency services
+ Remove ice and snow from streets and sidewalks based on specific city guidelines
+ Respond to violations issued by DOT for non-compliance
+ Pay individual monthly civil penalties for non-compliance that are not corrected