Disclaimer: The Guidebook is not a legal document and is intended as an educational piece only. Those who are concerned about their regulatory circumstances should seek the advice of a land use attorney.
The NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) is responsible for enforcing zoning regulations. Over time, enforcement and penalties have been levied inconsistently and irregularly against non-conforming uses, such as a resident who cannot produce an artist certificate.
For residential units, a DOB inspection only occurs if a violation is reported. In the event of such inspection, DOB has not evicted residents who are unable to produce an artist certificate but instead issues a fine, which varies in size based on the circumstances.
Enforcement of non-conforming retail businesses, such as those who exceed square footage limitations, is similar to the residential case. In general, DOB issues fines and violations but stores are able to continue operating.
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