Property Rights Foundation of America®

News Brief - Summer 2004:

Mayor Bloomberg's Rules Attack Landlords and Small Businesses

This summer, a new law designed to protect children from lead poisoning in New York City went into effect. "The law presumes that any dwellings built before 1960 have lead paint, leaving owners liable for remediation and possible damages. If a child is found to have an elevated lead level, and there is no documentation that the residential unit is free of lead paint, it is assumed that lead paint in the unit is responsible," said Damian Testa, president of Kay Insurance Associates, according to the Wall Street Journal, in August. After a huge outcry by businesses saying that they'd have to close, according to the Daily News, the City had to issue a moratorium on its new awning rules in July. The Building Department had issued hundreds of summonses to enforce its rules on small businesses where the awnings had been in place for decades. Ninety percent of existing awnings would have become illegal. The New York Times in July reported that owners of 60 newsstands said that they would have to close when the City passed a new law "to crack down on the so-called street furniture that some people say clutters sidewalks."

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