A big money maker for the city might be what is keeping you up at night. Last year, the city approved 99 percent of applications for after hours construction, generating $25.3 million in application fees, the New York Post reported. That's up 20 percent from the $21.1 million in 2014. The Buildings Department approved 59,895 variances in 2015, rejecting only 431 and only revoking 142. They're required for work between 6 p.m. and 7 a.m. and all hours on weekend. Projects with after hours work include some of the city's biggest – 220 Central Park South, 1 Wall Street, 111 West 57th Street, and Central Park Tower at 217 West 57th Street.
The policy has resulted in 3,773 noise complaints, but that only resulted in 54 violations. The Post said DOB is supposed to approve such variances only when construction is being done at schools; for high-risk work adjacent to public spaces; when work would impede traffic or pedestrians; and for projects "where expediency benefits the public."
"The system is out of whack because the permits are so routinely granted," said City Council Member Daniel Garodnick. "It has become more like an entitlement for builders."
"After-hours variances are granted primarily when it's safer or less disruptive to a neighborhood to perform the work at night or on weekends," a DOB spokesman told the Post.