Overflow Crowd Opposes City Plan to Cut Public Out of Landmarks Review Process; Comment Deadline Extended

On Tuesday, scores of opponents turned out for the sole planned public hearing on the proposal by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission to move a broad range of applications for changes to landmarked properties out of the public review process, allowing the decisions to be made behind closed doors without public notification or input. The hearing lasted hours, and while the small number of supporters (which included the Real Estate Board of NY) were given prime speaking spots, opponents including elected officials like Council Speaker Corey Johnson, community boards, and dozens of New Yorkers willing to wait hours to speak far outnumbered them, pouring out of the small hearing room. Read GVSHP’s testimony opposing the plan here.
No decision was made. However, in response to the considerable pushback, the Commission agreed to extend the comment period for the proposed rules changes until May 8. GVSHP members and supporters have already generated over 1,500 letters both to the Landmarks Preservation Commission and the Mayor in opposition to the plan via our website, which was noted at the hearing.

If the proposed rules changes are adopted, hundreds of applications for changes to landmarked buildings, which currently go through the public review process, no longer would. The public would not be notified of such applications, would not be able to view such applications, and would not be able to comment upon such applications as they are currently able to. This includes many kinds of rooftop and rear yard additions, as well as other substantive changes to landmarked properties.
March 29, 2018