Our landmarks — and our Landmarks Law — need us!City Council announces public hearing for bills proposing RADICAL CHANGES to the Landmarks Law! Preservation advocates received the following hearing notification late last week:
 Council Member Brad Lander

I am writing to inform you about a joint hearing that the City Council’s Committee on Housing & Buildings and Committee on Land Use will be holding next week, Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 10:00 AM at 250 Broadway, 14th Floor.

The hearing will cover a number of bills regarding the Landmarks Preservation Commission and landmarked buildings.  The official agenda with links to the bills being heard is available by clicking here.  The agenda will be updated and bill numbers will be assigned once they are introduced at the Council’s Stated Meeting on Monday, April 30, so please check back on the hearing webpage on Monday afternoon for an updated agenda.

-Councilmember Brad Lander
 456 5th Avenue, 3rd Floor * Brooklyn, NY 11215 * 718-499-1090

As Friends of the Upper East Side wrote, calling their friends and supporters to action, “while the Landmarks Preservation Commission certainly needs reform, important policy changes should not be made in haste.” Come to the hearing on Wednesday and let the City Council know that a handful of days’ notice is not enough!!  More, below, from our colleagues and partners in preservation, the Historic Districts Council, on exactly how you can take action …
Come to the hearing and testify in favor of preservation
    1. Even if the LPC hasn’t responded to your request for evaluation  (or especially if they haven’t), demonstrating to the Council members that ordinary New Yorkers want to preserve their communities and are crying out for help is a powerful statement. We need to show the Council that PEOPLE WANT PRESERVATION!
    2. If you have had work done on a landmarked property – please come in to talk about it. The Council members really don’t have any experience with actually working with LPC and will be taking everything the development industry says as gospel.
    3. If you are a preservation/design professional – showing up and explaining to the Council that Landmarking actually provides real value and jobs is a key thing.  The narrative which they will be hearing is “landmarking costs money”  and we need to shift that to “landmarking creates jobs”.
    4. Even if you do not want to testify, showing up with your posters/buttons/postcards/etc. is a powerful statement to the Council members. 
Contact your elected officials 
    1. Use the deadline of May 2nd to send in your Requests to LPC – and make sure to copy them to your elected official.  If LPC has not responded to your request, send in a reminder and copy your representative.  Show your Council member that people in their district want action from the agency.

To learn more about this emergent issue, contact LW! or our colleagues mentioned above, HDC and Friends of the Upper East Side.

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