City Retreats on Plan to Cut Public Out of the Process, Rolls Back Landmarks Rules Change Plan

After a firestorm of opposition from community boards, elected officials, and neighborhood, preservation, and good government groups, yesterday the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) retreated from many of the most controversial elements of their proposed changes to the rules governing the landmarks public review and approval process. Specifically, the LPC removed proposed provisions which would have taken significant proposed changes to landmarked structures such as some rooftop and rear yard additions out of the public review and approval process, allowing such decisions to be made purely at staff level inside the agency. Had this happened, the public, elected officials, and community boards would be unable to comment upon, see, or in many cases even know about the proposed changes to landmarked buildings, as they do now. The LPC also rolled back proposed rule changes that would have allowed the removal of beloved historic features like cast-iron facades and cast-iron sidewalk vault lights from landmarked buildings and historic districts, and removed proposed rules changes allowing staff to decide upon substantive changes to buildings they deem “no style” or “non-contributing.” 

GVSHP had condemned these proposed changes as anti-transparency and anti-good government, testifying against themorganizing opponents to attend the March 27th public hearing on the proposal, and generating nearly 4,000 letters to the city in opposition to the plan.

Thank you to everyone who wrote, attended hearings, and pushed back on this plan!  You can find more information here and here
May 30, 2018