The NY Cooperator September 2019
P. 1

September  2019  COOPERATOR.COM  This past spring, New York City took   a huge step in confronting the threat of   climate change with its own version of a   ‘Green New Deal.’ On April 18, the City   Council passed the Climate Mobilization   Act, a package of bills aimed at getting   the Big Apple to do its part in fighting   global warming. The centerpiece of the   legislation is the citywide requirement   for buildings 25,000 square feet and   larger  to  reduce  their  greenhouse  gas   emissions 40 percent by the year 2030,   and 80 percent by 2050. Building owners   and landlords who don’t comply with the   new efficiency standards will be heavily   fined. The emissions caps go into effect   starting in 2024.  “Buildings that are 25,000 square feet   or larger make up just two percent of the   1.1 million structures in New York City,   yet account for 30 percent of our over-  all greenhouse gas emissions each year,”   City Councilman Costa Constantinides   (D-22), the sponsor of the legislation,   tells   The Cooperator.   “We’ve seen clear   science that says we’ve got to reduce our   carbon output. The alternative – do-  ing nothing – will let sea levels rise to a   degree that puts JFK Airport underwa-  ter and turns tens of thousands of New   Yorkers  who live  near  our  coast  into   refugees.”  Not everyone is welcoming the new   emissions law – now known as Local   Law 97 – with open arms, particularly   condo and co-op owners who feel they   are being singled out to shoulder the   continued on page 10   While the ‘Green   New Deal’ and other   long-term climate solu-  tions are being debated   at the federal level, some   states and municipali-  ties are getting in on the   action as well, setting   legal emissions bench-  marks that will have a   real impact on the lives   of multifamily commu-  nity residents – includ-  ing those in co-ops, con-  dos, and HOAs.   For example, New   York City passed the Cli-  mate Mobilization Act   in May of 2019, setting   emission caps on build-  ings larger than 25,000   square feet beginning in   2024, with the goal of an   80 percent reduction in total emissions by 2050 – the year scientists warn will be a   point of no return if we fail to drastically reduce carbon emissions and curb climate   change.  Writing for   The New York Law Journal  , William D. McCracken, a partner with the   Manhattan-based law firm Ganfer Shore Leeds & Zauderer, makes the case that attor-  neys are well-situated to help association boards understand – and abide by – emis-  sions standards that may seem intimidating at first. He notes in the piece: “Lawyers   are fiduciaries, and they have an obligation to help their clients avoid a nightmare   scenario wherein a building fritters away the next few years \[and then\] finds itself   seeking a building permit behind 37,000 other properties, using unproven or incom-  petent professionals because its preferred choices were fully booked long ago, and   incurs million dollar fines year upon year.”  Community living comes with lots of   rules  and  regulations—many  of which   are codified in largely static, hard-to-  amend governing documents like pro-  prietary leases  and condominium decla-  rations. Others are laid out in the more   flexible context of house rules, which can   (and should!) continue to evolve as times   change and community values and demo-  graphics shift. House rules can cover ev-  erything from when your monthly charges   are due, to what types of pets (if any) you’re   allowed to keep, to the times and days you   can move into or out of your unit – and a   whole lot in between. Living by the rules   may be easy for some, difficult for others.   What can a board do to enforce their own   community’s standards and no-no’s? Fines   and fees are one option.  How Widely Used are Fines and Fees?  According to Daniel Wollman, CEO   of Gumley Haft, a large co-op and condo   management firm based in Manhattan: “I   can’t think of more than two co-op build-  ings that we manage that levy fines. The   number is slightly higher in condominium   buildings  because  there  tend  to  be  a  lot   of renters in condos. On the whole, with   more renters \[in a building\], there’s less   of a proprietary interest on the part of the   residents.”  Humberto Roque, a management ex-  ecutive with The Duo Condominium at   AKAM On-Site in Dania Beach, Florida,   says that in his market: “Fines are very   prevalent. Most condominium asso-  ciations use fines as a form of discipline   with owner/members, with the fines usu-  ally outlined in the governing documents.   These  documents  can  be  amended  when   necessary to refine, add or eliminate fines   and fees.”   Marcy Kravit, who is also with AKAM,   explains that Florida’s condominium stat-  The Cooperator   spoke with McCracken about the responsi-  bilities of attorneys outside of New York City in regard to their   clients’ energy emissions; their general ability to act as climate   stewards; and the root of his own personal interest in environ-  mental issues. We also checked in with attorneys both in New   York and beyond to discuss what they feel their roles will be in   all of this going forth.  Climate Legislation   and Emissions Issues   How Attorneys Can Advise Boards   BY MIKE ODENTHAL  Local Law 97  Buildings Must Meet Greenhouse   Limits Starting in 2024  BY DAVID CHIU  Fines and   Penalties  Using Them Fairly and   Effectively   BY A J SIDRANSKY  THE COOPERATOR  EXPO  2019  WHERE BUILDINGS MEET SERVICES   250+ EXHIBITORS, SEMINARS,   FREE ADVICE & NETWORKING  NEW YORK’S BIGGEST & BEST   CO-OP & CONDO EXPO!  JACOB JAVITS CONVENTION CENTER — TUESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 10–4:30    FREE REGISTRATION: COOPEXPOFALL.COM  205 Lexington Avenue, NY, NY 10016 • CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED  continued on page 8   continued on page 14 

   1   2   3   4   5