On Wednesday, September 9, a bill will be introduced to the City Council that, if approved, will deal a devastating blow to the cause of historic preservation. The bill, Intro 775, would impose strict, unfair deadlines and rigid timeframes to the landmarks application process, potentially enabling the demolition of historically or culturally significant properties.
This bill would impose a timeline on designation of landmarks, interior landmarks, scenic landmarks, and historic districts. For individual landmarks, the bill would require the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) to hold a public hearing within 180 days of calendaring the landmark for consideration, and to take final action within 180 days of the public hearing.
If Intro. 775’s provision had been in effect since the adoption of the landmarks law in 1965, more than half of our city’s landmarks would not have been designated. In our area, this includes the entire Greenwich Village Historic District, MacDougal Sullivan Gardens, the St. Mark’s Historic District, SoHo, and Westbeth, as well as districts as diverse as Bedford-Stuyvesant and the Grand Concourse, Jackson Heights and Park Slope. Without landmark designation, many of these sites and neighborhoods might have been lost.
- Write members of the City Council NOW urging them to oppose Intro. 775 > >
- Come to the hearing on Intro. 775 on Wednesday, September 9th at 11 am at City Hall (bring photo ID); use the letter here as the basis for testimony, or simply come to show support.
The Real Estate industry is firmly behind Intro. 775, which would greatly benefit demolition-minded developers. Intro. 775 would actually encourage and enable powerful real estate interests to obstruct the process and run out the clock in order to avoid possible landmark designation. Don’t let this happen!