Yonkers Passes Demo Delay Bill (why can't NYC?)

From Chuck Lesnick, Yonkers City Council President, chuck.lesnick@yonkersny.gov

At my suggestion, the Landmarks Board last week implemented an executive order by Mayor Amicone that called for the Building Commissioner to notify the Landmarks Board whenever someone applies for a demolition permit in Yonkers on a property 75 years or older.The purpose of the Demolition Review Order is to keep Yonkers historical properties intact as Yonkers continues to grow and prosper.

After receiving the application, the Landmarks Board will review the property according to a number of established criteria to make an immediate determination on whether or not the property has historical significance. If a house is merely old and not historic, no action will be taken.

If it is, however, a true gem of a historical property, then a 180-day moratorium on demolition will be put in place. During this time, the Landmarks Board will work to create a landmarking application, hold public hearings, seek advice from the planning board, among other things before making a final determination as to whether to recommend it to the City Council for landmarking.

This Executive Order and the actions of the Landmarks Board does not change the existing law or procedure for landmarking. It is only expected to apply to a dozen potential historic properties per year where demolition permits are requested.

The demolition review order is a result of legislation that I proposed last year to save our true historic homes and buildings while we allow redevelopment of others and build for the future.

I’m glad the Mayor and the Landmarks Board have established a mechanism to determine which properties are truly historic and which are simply just old and have no historical impact on Yonkers future.

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