Preservationists Fuming Over LPC Plan to Cut Public from Landmarks Process

Posted on: March 26th, 2018 at 5:15 am by

35 Cooper Square before it was demolished, January 2011

The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission is in the process of altering some of its rules, and it’s striking a chord with worried preservation-minded folk.

The amendments in question originate in Title 63 of the Rules of the City of New York. The biggest proposed issue involves removing the public from the process entirely – including at the community board level – all in the name of efficiency. The Commission would rather applicants (for landmarks and historic districts) not go through the “time-intensive” Certificate of Appropriateness public hearing process for work types regularly approved by the Commission, utilizing established criteria.

Those in opposition to the sudden turnaround fear that this change is too broad a revision, basically making it open season for landmark determinations to take place behind closed doors, without any public accountability.

The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation notes that if the proposal passes, “there would be no public notification, and no opportunity for the public to comment upon, provide evidence about, or even know about many of these applications. They would instead be decided behind closed doors at ‘staff level’ by the Commission – a process tightly controlled by the LPC Chair.”

Ironically, the public hearing about this plan is tomorrow (March 27) at 9:30am at the LPC hearing room, Municipal Building, One Centre Street, 9th floor. If you can’t make it to the meeting, you can still be heard. Full amendment info can be found here.

 

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