The City Council’s land use committee on Tuesday approved a bill that would set a deadline for designating historic properties and districts as city landmarks.
The bill would require the Landmarks Preservation Commission to designate an individual property within one year of putting the property on its calendar, New York YIMBY reported. For historic districts, Landmarks would have two years to hold a public hearing and vote. The commission can approve a one-year extension for individual properties but can’t extend the deadline for historic districts. An earlier version of the bill also included a five-year moratorium on reconsidering properties that missed the deadline, but that measure was eliminated from the latest version of the legislation.
Currently, Landmarks doesn’t have deadlines, which may explain why some properties have languished on the commission’s calendar for decades. Earlier this year, Landmarks began plowing through a backlog of nearly 100 properties that dated back to the 1960s.
Some Council members touted the bill as a way to bring efficiency and transparency to the landmarking process. Council member David Greenfield said the measure will give Landmarks “plenty of time” to consider a landmark. Others, including Councilman Ben Kallos, voted against the bill, citing that the legislation should have included an extension option for historic districts.
“Raise your hands – has anyone ever needed an extension an exam, a paper, your taxes?” he said. “I think having extensions would be helpful.” [NY YIMBY] — Kathryn Brenzel