Yesterday, Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer offered testimony  at a hearing of the New York City Council Land Use Committee, raising her deep concerns about the current version of Int. 775. In its current form, the legislation sets up hard deadlines for the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s consideration of items on its calendar, and would ban any and all items not designated within the set time frame from reconsideration for at least five years, regardless of whether a decision was made on the item’s merits.
Borough President Brewer issued the following statement after the hearing:
“As I testified yesterday, I think Land Use Chairman Greenfield, Landmarks Chairman Koo, and I share a common goal – property owners, residents, and preservationists alike all deserve a more transparent and predictable landmarking process, with real timelines. That said, the current draft of this bill does more harm than good.
“I’m encouraged that Chairmen Greenfield and Koo indicated their willingness today to listen and consider changes to the bill. I think we can accomplish our common goal of a better landmarking process without undermining the work of the Landmarks Preservation Commission or dramatically weakening the Landmarks Law. With the input and help of all stakeholders, including real estate, community boards, and our city’s passionate and sophisticated preservation advocates, I think we can come up with effective reforms that make sense.
“I offer my thanks and congratulations to the many preservation groups who mobilized to raise concerns about this legislation and made their presence felt at yesterday’s hearing, including the New York Landmarks Conservancy, the Historic Districts Council, Landmarks West!, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, and Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts. In addition, I thank my fellow elected colleagues who submitted testimony, including Assemblymembers Richard Gottfried, Deborah Glick, and Jo Anne Simon.”
Brewer identified three key problems in Int. 775 that a good compromise would need to address. Read more…