81-686 Contribution In-Kind for Certain Public Realm Improvements
The Chairperson of the City Planning Commission shall allow, by certification, in conjunction with a certification pursuant to Sections 81-642 (Transfer of development rights from landmarks to qualifying sites) or, where applicable, 81-643 (Special provisions for retaining non-complying floor area in commercial buildings), the applicant for a development or, where permitted, enlargement on a qualifying site that is immediately adjacent to a sidewalk improvement identified in the Public Realm Improvement Concept Plan to undertake such improvement, and to deduct the cost of such improvement from their contribution to the Public Realm Improvement Fund, provided that the provisions of this Section are met.
(a) The following requirements shall be completed prior to application for certification by the Chairperson:
(1) the applicant shall submit preliminary plans for the proposed improvement to the Chairperson, the Department of Transportation (DOT), and the Public Realm Improvement Fund Governing Group (the "Governing Group");
(2) DOT shall provide a letter to the Chairperson and the Governing Group containing a conceptual approval of the proposed improvement including a statement of any considerations regarding the construction and operation of the improvement;
(3) construction documents and cost estimates shall be prepared for such proposed improvements by a professional engineer, and submitted to the Chairperson, the DOT and the Governing Group;
(4) upon review, the DOT and the Governing Group shall either approve such construction documents and costs estimates or detail discrepancies to be resolved by the applicant; and
(5) upon approval of the construction documents and cost estimates by the DOT and Governing Group, and prior to the issuance of a building permit as set forth in Section 81-642 and in this Section, the applicant shall execute agreements and legally enforceable instruments running with the land, setting forth the obligations of the owner and developer, their successors and assigns, to design and construct the improvement in accordance with the requirements of the DOT. A certified copy of such legal instruments shall be sent to the Chairperson.
(b) Upon submittal of all the items in paragraph (a) of this Section, along with drawings indicating the portion of the building utilizing transferred floor area pursuant to the provisions of Section 81-642 or, where applicable, 81-643, the Chairperson shall certify that a development or, where permitted, enlargement on a qualifying site may undertake an improvement to an adjoining sidewalk.
The execution and recording of legal instruments in accordance with paragraph (a) of this Section shall be a precondition to the issuance of any foundation permit or new building permit or alteration permit by the Department of Buildings allowing a development or, where permitted, enlargement on a qualifying site undertaking a contribution-in-kind pursuant to this Section.
(c) Upon certification by the Chairperson, monies equal to such agreed upon cost estimate between the applicant, DOT and the Governing Group shall be deposited by the applicant into an escrow account or other similar account established by the Governing Group, which shall not be commingled with the Public Realm Improvement Fund ("the Improvement Fund").
(d) No temporary certificate of occupancy shall be granted by the Department of Buildings for the portion of the building utilizing transferred floor area pursuant to Section 81-642 until the Chairperson of the City Planning Commission, acting in consultation with the DOT and the Governing Group, has certified that the improvements are substantially complete and usable by the public. No permanent certificate of occupancy shall be granted by the Department of Buildings until the improvements have finally been completed in accordance with the approved plans and such final completion has been approved by the Chairperson, the DOT and the Governing Group.
(e) Upon completion of the sidewalk improvement, the monies secured in the escrow account or other similar account established by the Governing Group shall be released to the applicant.
(f) In the event that an applicant utilizing the provisions of this Section has not completed the sidewalk improvements within five years of obtaining a new building permit or alteration permit from the Department of Buildings, the Governing Group shall release the monies in the escrow account or other similar account to the Improvement Fund.