The After Hours Variance (AHV) Dashboard is a tool to track the location and saturation of after-hours variance permits issued in New York City community districts. The tool empowers community boards and district offices to advocate for better quality of life conditions in their districts.
Currently, data about the number and location of after-hours variances issued by the Department of Buildings is difficult to access. Someone can query the Department of Buildings website for the after-hours variances issued to a specific address, but to create a map that shows the saturation of permits awarded in a community district, that individual would need to query the website for every address in that district. We’ve created a script that scrapes the Department of Buildings website to collect data about after-hours variances awarded to each building in a community district. We’ve also created a dashboard to visualize this data. The dashboard compares the number of after-hours variances awarded to each address to the 311 noise complaints about after-hours construction made at the same locations. It also visualizes how businesses applying for a permit responded to the question “Is this site within 200 ft. of a residence,” enabling boards to audit how applicants are responding to the question.
We’ve scraped the data for Manhattan Community District 1 (June 28, 2018), 2 (June 19, 2018), and 7 (August 13, 2018). The Manhattan Borough President has also sent a letter to the Department of Buildings requesting that this data be made publicly available in an accessible format, so that we may build the dashboard for all districts in NYC.