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Procedural Updates as to When a Letter of No Objection Shall Be Issued

Procedural Updates as to When a Letter of No Objection Shall Be Issued

Design 2147, Ltd. is frequently asked questions pertaining to letters of No Objection (LNO), so we are updating our extended family that the Department of Buildings (DOB) has established a revised operational procedure as to when an LNO shall be issued.

To see the updated operational procedures as to when the DOB will or will not issue an LNO to the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), see below:


The DCA licenses industries for operation within New York City.  For many of these industries to obtain a license, DCA requires substantiated use of the property as appropriate under the Zoning Resolution (ZR).  This information is typically found on a building’s Certificate of Occupancy (CO) or, in its absence, on specific documentation from the DOB attesting to the existing or proposed use of the property.  In cases where a building does not have a CO, the DOB may issue an LNO to confirm legal existing use.

LNO Limitations

Typically, the DOB issues LNOs to confirm the legal use of a building built before 1938, but there are instances where LNOs may be issued for buildings built after this date.  LNOs do not attest to the ability to operate a code-compliant business.  The DCA reviews a LNO application using existing records such as block and lot records or previously filed jobs along with any other documents supplied by the applicant.

Guidelines for Issuance of LNOs for DCA submissions

A building’s CO should provide sufficient detail to establish the ZR Use Group and Building Code (BC) occupancy classification to determine the acceptability of a proposed DCA industry use.  For example, if only “stores” is listed on a building’s existing CO, such a description can be understood to be ZR Use Group 6 and BC occupancy classification Mercantile (M), which would also match a proposed use of “electronics store”.

The following describes when the building’s existing CO is sufficient to establish a premise’s use.  The following also describes when an LNO may be issued or when the CO must be amended:

LNO MAY be issued

  • Existing CO use description is incomplete or it is unclear whether the use is a good match with DCA requirements
  • No Existing CO, but use is conforming under the ZR

LNO will NOT be issued

  • Existing CO use description is consistent with conforming ZR use and is a good match with DCA requirements
  • Existing CO use description is not a good match with DCA requirements.  NOTE that the existing CO must be amended per AC 28-118.3
  • No Existing CO and insufficient record of the use

DCA Requirements

Currently, prior to a DCA license being issued, DCA mandates specific language that must appear on a property’s CO, temporary CO, or LNO.  Such language can be either:

  • A ZR Use Group and a specific description of the occupancy (e.g.  Amusement Arcade would be Use Group 15 and “Arcade” or “Amusement Arcade”, or
  • A list of acceptable ZR Use Groups with more general descriptions (e.g. Scrap Metal Processor would be Use Group 18, “Auto Wrecking, “Junk Yard” or “Scrap Metal”

To view the complete article including the summary of DCA requirements, click here.