Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Legislation To Improve Landmark Designation Process

Subject: Legislation To Improve Landmark Designation Process
Date: 8/29/2005 9:59:50 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: kitchen@hellskitchen.net

Sent from the Internet (Details)


The "Landmarks Hearing" bill (Intro. 705), first introduced by Council Member Bill Perkins on August 17, has earned the co-sponsorship of 12 council members to date.

Thanks to everyone who has reached out to their local council representative to support this bill to improve the Landmarks Preservation Commission's process for scheduling public designation hearings on individual buildings and historic districts.

Your hard work has paid off! If your council member is not included on the list below, please call him or her today.

Even better, add your organization's name to the growing coalition "Citizens for a Responsive Landmarks Law" and make sure your council member receives the attached one-pager describing the bill and listing the groups working to make sure the "Landmarks Hearing" bill becomes law before the end of 2005. (Groups that have already joined the "Citizens" coalition are also listed at the end of this email.)

Please do not hesitate to contact us for additional information (212-496-8110, katewood@landmarkwest.org). We look forward to hearing from you.

Intro. 705 Council Member Co-Sponsors: Charles Barron, Gale A. Brewer, Yvette D. Clarke, James F. Gennaro, Vincent J. Gentile, Letitia James, John C. Liu, Eva S. Moskowitz, Bill Perkins, Philip Reed, James Sanders, Jr., Larry B. Seabrook

August 29, 2005


We urge you to support the �Landmarks Hearing� bill (Intro. 705), which was introduced by Council Member Bill Perkins on August 17, 2005. A copy of the bill is attached.

The �Landmarks Hearing� bill will improve the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) process for scheduling public designation hearings on the individual buildings and historic districts that matter most to New Yorkers.

This bill is a direct outgrowth of extensive testimony provided to the City Council by preservationists at three oversight hearings on the administrative procedures of the LPC, which took place on October 20 and November 29, 2004, and May 16, 2005.

These hearings were held in response to widespread concerns that, as our city commemorates forty years of strong landmarks activism since the passage of the historic 1965 Landmarks Law, in recent years the LPC has fallen behind in its mission to protect the buildings and neighborhoods that matter most to New Yorkers.

This bill will empower communities to obtain public landmark designation hearings and enhance the transparency of the LPC�s decision-making process in the following ways:

Enable the City Council to vote in favor of a public designation hearing for a proposed landmark or historic district and require the LPC to calendar and hold a hearing within 60 days; and
Require the LPC to calendar buildings that have been determined eligible for the State Register of Historic Places.
Importantly, this bill would not require the LPC to designate properties. Rather,
the bill would ensure that these sites receive fair, open, democratic hearings by the
11-member body of experts appointed by the Mayor to protect our city�s most precious historical, architectural and cultural heritage, the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

We urge you to support the �Landmarks Hearing� bill and a more responsive landmark hearing process.

Intro. No. 705

By Council Member Perkins

A Local Law

To amend the administrative code of the city of New York to allow the council to direct the landmarks preservation commission to hold a public designation hearing.

Be it enacted by the Council as follows:

Section 1. Declaration of legislative findings and intent. The Council of the City of New York recognize the City is known throughout the world for its landmarks. As the largest city in the nation, and as one the oldest, the City�s landscape is characterized by a wealth of buildings and other structures that evoke an indelible sense of time and place, and that retain the aesthetic and cultural values of the society that created them.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) is the city agency responsible for identifying and designating properties within the five boroughs whose preservation will benefit present and future generations of New Yorkers. Since its creation in 1965 the LPC has designated 1,119 individual landmarks, 83 historic districts, and 11 district extensions, totaling approximately 23,000 buildings.

The Council recognizes the LPC�s achievements. Nevertheless there is mounting criticism by stakeholders throughout the community, including property owners, preservation groups, public officials, and others, that the landmarks identification and designation procedures are not sufficiently transparent. The Council has consistently found that transparency in government is one of the cornerstones of democracy. Accordingly, this local law is designed to enhance the transparency of the LPC�s decision-making process.

�2. Subdivision g of section 25-303 of the administrative code of the city of New York as amended by Local Law number 71 for the year 1991 is amended by adding new subsections 3 and 4, to read as follows:

(3) The council may, by a majority vote, direct the commission to hold a public hearing regarding a proposed landmark designation pursuant to subdivisions a and b of this section within sixty (60) days of such a vote.

(4) The commission shall, upon receiving written notice that the New York State Historic Preservation Office has found that a property that is the subject of a proposed landmark designation is eligible to be listed on the New York State Register of Historic Places, calendar a public hearing regarding such proposed designation.

� 3. This local law shall take effect immediately.

LS# 3353


Art Deco Society of New York
The Bridge � Stage of the Arts
Four Boroughs Neighborhood Preservation Alliance

Senator Street Historic District

Defenders of the Historic Upper East Side
The Drive to Protect the Ladies� Mile District
Gramercy Neighborhood Associates
Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation
Historic Neighborhood Enhancement Alliance
Stuyvesant Park Neighborhood Association
Turtle Bay Association

Beachside Bungalow Preservation Association
Jackson Heights
Garden City Society
Richmond Hill
Historical Society
Staten Island
Preservation League of Staten Island

list in formation

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