There has been much speculation of who might take the place of Meenakshi Srinivasan who announced–somewhat suddenly–that June 1st would be her last day of public service.
CRAINS featured an opinion piece by the president of the Real Estate Board of New York calling out areas like the Upper West Side for having such high percentages of landmarked buildings. While a brief glimpse of a map of our district will readily disprove this statistic, there are other points to argue.
LW! Vice Chair Susan Nial penned the following response: (Appearing in Crains May 10th, 2018)
“When the Chair of REBNY writes passionately about how landmarking results in exclusionary zoning, one has to wonder if one has stepped though the looking glass, but then one remembers we live in a Trumpian World where might makes right and hot is cold, a time that makes 1984 look positively rational. REBNY, the real estate board that works hard to protect tax breaks for billionaires and create more Transfer Development Rights for developers so that Supertalls can be built to house more Billionaires, is concerned about exclusionary zoning. Horse feathers! Nothing is more ridiculous and more offensive to the intelligence of the average reader that this kind of disingenuous balderdash.
The City no longer balances the interests of its citizens; rather it balances the interests and the wallets of lobbyist and donors. In 1916, zoning regulations were put in place to protect the light and air of everyone, but now the only people that have a right to light and air are those who can live atop a Supertall with 150 foot voids. Mr. Banks may think that the “little” people down here in the shadows will fall for his despicable attempt to divide us up. We don’t and we shouldn’t because once we allow it, he and his fellows will take what’s left and leave us with nothing.
The Mayor should appoint an LPC Chair that believes in preservation because that is the legislative mandate of the LPC. He won’t because neighborhoods can’t afford big name lobbyists! That’s too bad. It’s corrosive and destructive.
It’s time for all of us to stand up to bullies like Mr. Banks! It’s time to put our preservation hats on!”