Fighting to Maintain Opportunity for Public Comments on Landmarks Applications

GVSHP and fellow preservation organizations are pushing back against recent changes in practices and procedures by the Landmarks Preservation Commission which have the effect of severely limiting the public’s opportunity to provide written comments upon applications being heard by the Commission.  Read the letter recently sent by GVSHP and sister organizations here; read the letter from Councilmember Corey Johnson here.

In short, the LPC is now requiring that all public comments be received by 1pm the Monday before the Commission considers items. However, the actual applications (or revised applications) which are the subject of the Commission’s deliberations are often not posted online until late the Friday before, after business hours.  This leaves the public all of four business hours to find the application, review them, and submit written comments to the LPC before the deadline – a window so restrictive as to make the opportunity for written public comments almost negligible (note: rules for testifying in public at the Commission hearings, which only a fraction of people are able to do during the work day, remain unchanged).

These applications range from everything from small but often important changes to landmarked properties to proposals for demolition and large-scale new construction in historic districts.  GVSHP is calling upon the LPC to extend the comment period by making the applications available online to the public earlier, allowing comments to be submitted later, or both.  So far we are yet to receive a response from the LPC, making it important that all concerned New Yorkers contact the Mayor and the LPC Chair urging them to change this policy.

April 11, 2017