Preservation Organizations Unite to Oppose Landmarks Budget Cuts, but Mayor Proposes Even Deeper Reductions
Earlier this spring, Mayor Adams proposed budget cuts to the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) that would result in fewer landmark designations, weaker oversight of existing landmarks, and longer wait times for issuing permits with appropriate review and oversight. Village Preservation had called for the City Council to restore those cuts in its budget, and subsequently we and fellow preservation organizations jointly called upon the Council to do the same.
But now Mayor Adams has proposed even deeper cuts to the LPC and other city agencies, which would only exacerbate the problems of lack of oversight, increased wait times, and fewer necessary designations. And it’s our neighborhoods, and small businesses and small-property owners located within historic districts, that will suffer the most. It should be noted that the LPC is the city’s smallest agency, and cuts to it would arguably have the largest impact upon its work, while producing the smallest short-term savings. Additionally, cutting the staff and funding of the LPC and agencies like the Department of Buildings runs counter to the recently released plan (see here) for more oversight to protect historic landmarks (see Councilmember Erik Bottcher’s questioning of the LPC about this issue at budget hearings here).