Changes to NYC Parking Garage Inspection Rules
An amendment to the NYC Rules requires every parking garage in New York City to undergo an initial inspection before August 1, 2024, even those that originally weren’t due for another three years.
Recap of Local Law 126
In brief, New York City passed Local Law 126 in 2021, which updated the Rules of the City of New York (RCNY) to require periodic inspection, repair, and report filing for all parking structures, at least once every six years. Inspection filing windows were set up in staggered subcycles, much like those of the New York City Facade Inspection and Safety Program (FISP). Garages in lower Manhattan (Community Districts 1-7) have the earliest deadlines, with a filing window from January 2022 through the end of this year (Subcycle 1A). Subcycle 1B opens in January 2024 and ends December 31, 2025; it encompasses the remaining districts in Manhattan, as well as Brooklyn. The Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island fall in Subcycle 1C, which doesn’t begin until January 2026 and closes at the end of 2027. For a color-coded map of these subcycles, along with the full requirements of the parking garage inspection rules, see “How to Comply with NYC Local Law 126 Parking Garage Inspection Rules,” issued October 2022.
To carry out these parking garage inspections, the rule established a new credential, Qualified Parking Structure Inspector (QPSI), which the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) issues to licensed engineers with at least three years of parking structure experience who pass a formal certification process. As part of the periodic evaluation, the QPSI creates an Annual Observation Checklist with elements to be inspected each year between inspection cycles. In the filing report, garage conditions are categorized as Safe, Unsafe, or Safe with Repairs and/or Engineering Monitoring (SREM). Unsafe conditions must be corrected within 90 days, and SREM conditions need to be addressed within the timeframe set by the QPSI, with a follow-up condition assessment and amended report filing within three years.
Amendments to the Rule
On October 17, 2023, the DOB adopted a new rule, effective November 23, 2023, that makes important changes to the parking garage inspection requirements.
Initial Inspections Due August 1, 2024 for All Garages
For garages not slated to have an inspection until 2024 or as late as 2027, concerns that potentially unsafe conditions could go unnoticed for years led the DOB to mandate an additional, earlier inspection. Under the new rule, all garages must undergo an initial inspection no later than August 1, 2024. For parking structures in Subcycles 1B and 1C, this means a one-time initial inspection in addition to the regularly scheduled inspection during their filing cycle.