By Jill Colvin
MANHATTAN — So much for a room with a view.
Thousands of residents in 16 buildings across the city have been barred from stepping foot on their apartment balconies because of safety concerns, the New York Times reported.
Among the affected buildings is a 42-story high-rise at Broadway and 70th Street, where residents reportedly arrived home last week to find notices forbidding them from using their outdoor spaces, the Times said.
The sweeping crackdown by the Department of Buildings was prompted by the death of Connor Donohue, 24, who fell from his 24th-floor Murray Hill apartment in March after his balcony railing apparently gave way.
"Following the tragic accident in March, the department has intensified its focus on facade safety and as a result we have issued partial vacate orders to buildings whose balconies pose a risk to the tenants," the Daily News quoted DOB chief spokesman Tony Sclafani as saying.
Sclafani told the Times that its inspectors have visited more than 530 buildings across the city and have discovered numerous violations, including loose railings, crumbing concrete and unsecured railing posts.
Inspectors also identified about 800 building owners who have failed to file inspection reports demonstrating the safety of their balconies, the paper said.
Residents have been warned that if they violate the warnings, the DOB will seal off their outdoor space.
At the East 39th Street building where Donohue lived, the owner has already been ordered to lock and seal all doors leading to balconies after residents were repeatedly observed using them despite the warnings.