Support HDC & Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer’s solution
Landmarks Preservation Commission’s Back list of Considered Properties
The public has the opportunity to provide feedback on the LPC’s proposed Administrative Action to eliminate the agency’s back list of Calendared properties but we have to act soon. We have until May 1, 2015 to contact the Landmarks Commission with suggestions on how best to consider this back list. HDC remains gravely concerned that the agency might still issue No Action Letters for these properties at a single Public Meeting, as originally proposed in November 2014. This strategy would be terrible public policy and completely unacceptable.
HDC has joined with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and a coalition of preservation groups to formulate an action plan to fairly and transparently consider all the properties currently on the LPC’s back list in a timely manner. Our plan, which has been communicated to LPC Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan, is as follows:
• Items on the calendar for 5+ years should be brought to a Public Hearing with public testimony, with 60 days notice;
• Public notice must include address, block, lot, community district and prior date(s) of public hearings at minimum; where possible, the LPC’s official statement of significance, record or public support or opposition from original hearings;
• Items for consideration should be grouped geographically – preferably by Community District – with a minimum of 2 hearings held for Brooklyn, Manhattan, Staten Island and Queens;
• Public Hearings for these items can occur during regularly scheduled Public Hearings;
• After the Public Hearing, at the following session, the LPC should vote on the record to a) designate an item; b) keep an item on the calendar for one year for more study and a decision; c) not designate after hearing public testimony and LPC staff presentation or d) issue a “no action” letter.
Please take this opportunity to have your voice heard and tell the Landmarks Commission how to proceed with their back list.
Email LPC Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan at email@example.com by May 1, 2015.
Learn more about these properties – Landmarks Under Consideration
What do these points mean?
In pursuit of true transparency and public participation, HDC and Borough President Brewer ask that a 60-day public notice and comment period prior to a public hearing for any property on this “backlog.” We also ask that the LPC consider these properties at a Public Hearing, which will include public input, ensuring that these properties will be evaluated in the same manner as more recently proposed properties. All of these properties have been judged to be worthy of consideration as New York City landmarks and they deserve that consideration, based on their merit, be given to them. Anything less would not be appropriate.
Most of these properties were calendared and first considered before mass-communication technology existed for the dissemination of information about these landmarks. In the interest of the public, the extensive research compiled by LPC’s predecessors, including initial hearings’ files and statements of significance should be made publicly available at the beginning of the 60-day window. Given the length of time and the rising interest in landmark designation since the 1960’s, we feel it should be a requirement to hear public testimony.
In acknowledgment of the LPC’s limited resources, we propose holding these Public Hearings not on individual properties, but rather geographically. Hearing clusters of properties in the same or neighboring community districts will conserve time while allowing advocates from specific communities to speak up about their resources. The LPC regularly allows lengthy presentations by private applicants to landmarked properties. We feel the same courtesy should be extended to this finite list and the LPC should make time to hear these items on regularly scheduling Public Hearing days. After the Public Hearing, at the following session, the LPC must vote on record in the same manner to designate a new property or keep an item on the calendar for a maximum of one year.
Let’s celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Landmarks Law by demonstrating the growth and evolution of the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s dedication to its landmarks, the Law itself, and its transparency.