By the Numbers: Many Complaints to DOB in Burg & Greenpoint Go Uninspected
We have to say that Brooklyn 11211 did superb work pouring through very interesting data about how the Department of Buildings does, or doesn't, do its job in Williamsburg (and citywide). 11211 concludes that the odds of a construction project being caught in the act of doing things like pounding steel beams at 8:30AM on a Sunday morning in Williamsburg and Greenpoint are not terribly high. It found that of 436 complaints (of all types) called into 311 in 2007, only 53 percent were inspected during the month in which the complaint was made "which means they might as well stay uninspected." Nearly 40 percent of the complaint resulted in no action being taken, generally because the inspector found no illegal work in progress: "The vast majority of these complaints were not inspected for days. Which means, once again, they might as well have not been inspected at all." It continues:
When you combine these uninspections with the noninspections, fully 77% of the complaints for after-hours work turn out not to have been inspected in a timely manner. Is it any wonder that only 6% of complaints citywide result in violations? At a maximum, 25% of all complaints are inspected in a timely manner (i.e., in a time frame in which its reasonable to expect that the violation might still be occurring). On that basis, DOB has a slightly more impressive rate of violations of 30% (sure, its 30% of 25%, but still, it looks better). Although at least in CB1, the majority of the violations issued actually have nothing to do with after hours work. Instead, inspectors wind up issuing violations for other infractions. All told, only 11 stop work orders were issued in all of 2007 for after-hours work. In CB1, chances are there are at least 11 sites operating illegally on any Sunday.In some parts of Williamsburg, in fact, there are more sites that are working on Sunday than are silent. There's a great deal more to the detailed analysis of the complaints and responses.