City Council looks to renovate New York’s Landmarks Law

The proposed changes have led to infighting among preservationists
June 04, 2016 03:00PM

Stonewall Inn NYC

The Stonewall Inn is an example of property that could become a cultural landmark

With New York’s Landmarks Law turning 60, the City Council is looking to rewrite the rules for how the city preserves historic buildings.

The Council has proposed a half-dozen recommendations it says would streamline and expand the landmarks process, according to the New York Times. It will vote this month on a bill creating timelines for the approval process.

But proponents of preservation and even some members of the Landmarks Preservation Commission are critical of the proposal.

Meenakshi Srinivasan, the chairwoman of the commission, called a number of the proposed changes overreaching, according to the Times.

“We appreciate that the Council recognizes the work of this administration to address the backlog, acknowledge cultural landmarks and increase transparency and efficiency in commission processes,” Srinivasan said. “The agency will continue to review the recommendations.”

The proposal contains ideas that the Council hopes will protect historic buildings while promoting new development. Those changes include adding time limits on the public review process for potential landmark buildings and historic districts; eliminating the five-year limit on reconsidering rejected properties; and protections that would go into effect as soon as a property is under consideration for preservation. [NYT | Curbed]Christopher Cameron