The Historic Districts Council is alerting people to what it feels could be a debilitating attack against the Landmarks Preservation Commission and the preservationist movement in New York City. The HDC informs that there will be a hearing tomorrow (Wed., 5/2) at 250 Broadway to contemplate 10 separate bills. The alleged sum of the legislation, if enacted, would overwhelm the LPC and serve to severely compromise the commission's role in protecting historic buildings and areas.
These bills are aimed at making the LPC ineffectual and providing faulty intellectual rationales for the Council to reject designations at the behest of developers. The HDC warns that while the proposals seem utterly benign on an individual basis, the enactment of all ten bills simultaneously would threaten to destroy the current landmarks environment.
This is a deliberate attack on the Landmarks Law , which was intended by its drafters to “stabilize and improve property value; protect and enhance the city’s attractions to tourists and visitors and the support and stimulus to business and industry thereby provided; and strengthen the economy of the city”. This is how Landmark designation worked in 1965, and it’s how Landmark designation works today.
Also alarming is the fact that public attendees at tomorrow's meeting will only be allowed to speak for 18 seconds per bill (for a total of 3 minutes) to discuss the policy impact of their passage. HDC has a breakdown of what the new landmarking timeline will look like if all of the bills are passed by the City Council.
· What The City Council Bills Really Mean [HDC]
· What the new Landmarks Designation Process Would Look Like [HDC]
· Preservation Watch coverage [Curbed]