LPC Announces Plans to Amend Initial Proposal for Rules Changes!

 
This week’s public hearing at the Landmarks Preservation Commission included an update regarding the agency’s proposed rules amendments, which were reviewed at a public hearing on March 27, 2018. Members of the LPC staff summarized its responses and resulting recommendations based on extensive public comments on the proposal, which ranged from fierce opposition to enthusiastic support, with many shades of nuanced critique in between. Read FRIENDS’ full statement HERE.
 
This briefing followed outcry from the city’s preservation community, Community Boards, elected officials, and the public who felt that the rules, as proposed, would diminish the LPC’s transparency, and would not uphold the high standards for stewardship to individual landmarks and buildings in historic districts outlined in New York City’s pioneering Landmarks Preservation Law. Click HERE to read a joint letter of opposition penned by FRIENDS and our preservation colleagues. 

YOUR VOICES HAVE BEEN HEARD! 

The LPC has significantly revised the proposed Rules Amendments. In response to public comment, many of the most controversial elements of the plan are being reconsidered, including  staff-level material selection for restoration work, oversight of vault light removal, and authorization of certain rear yard and rooftop additions. In addition, potentially harmful language regarding the treatment of  so-called  “no-style” and  “non-contributing” buildings has been removed outright from the proposed rules. A  draft of the revised text is forthcoming. The LPC has shared a document containing all of the feedback from the extended comment period on its website, as well as the full presentation describing the revisions shown at the public meeting on Tuesday. 

Last week the LPC also launched an improved permit application search tool on its website, as well as a brand new interactive web map containing up to date permit information for all designated buildings. These enhanced search tools allow users to refine permit application searches by work type, historic district, and Community Board boundaries, which will allow for greater transparency for applications being handled at staff level.
 
This course change from the LPC is evidence that our thoughtful advocacy makes a difference! FRIENDS wishes to thank all of those who spoke out on the proposal. Your collective comments have resulted in the LPC taking a critical second look at the proposed rules changes and altering them to better serve our city’s tremendous historic building stock and the public who so dearly cares for it.
 
No date or timeline for the completion of the new draft or a Commission vote have been announced, but in the meantime, the presentation shared at the hearing may be accessed HERE. FRIENDS will send out an update as soon as more information has been made public.