Mayor Bill de Blasio has signed the City Council bill Intro. 775-A. Despite a unified front on the part of preservation groups and community advocates who called on the Mayor to veto the bill, it was signed into law on Tuesday, June 28, at City Hall. The law will impose timelines on the process for designating properties; something that has not been a part of the Landmarks Law in its 50-year history.
This is the most sweeping change to the Landmarks Law since the 1973 amendments that permitted the designation of interior and scenic landmarks, and allowed the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) to act at its own discretion and set its own schedule. 43 years later, the Mayor has approved a City Council action to remove that discretion and place firm deadlines on the agency’s ability to protect historic buildings. This law effectively makes the designation powers of the LPC much more limited, while providing the agency with no additional resources to perform its complex work.
The City Council voted in favor of the bill 38-10 on June 7, 2016.
HDC wishes to thank the preservation community for its vigilance in opposing this legislation, and for reaching out to your City Council representatives. It is important to remember that it is only through the efforts of the hundreds of individuals and organizations who raised their voices that the worst part of this bill, the 5-year moratorium on designation (included in the original Intro. 775 bill in 2015), was removed when this bill resurfaced.
For more information about Intro 775-A and HDC’s involvement click here