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Landmarks Preservation Commission proposed Rules Amendment

WHEREAS, The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) has proposed amendments to existing rules and new rules relating to HVAC, new window openings on secondary facades, rear yard additions, temporary permits, rooftop additions, bracket signs and storefront signage, expedited certificates of no effect, new sash and frames in historic district buildings, and revocation of approvals; and

WHEREAS, The LPC has stated that the amendments are being proposed in order to reflect current practices and policies at the LPC, to streamline the review of certain applications and to add new rules to address perceived inadequacies of the existing rules; and

WHEREAS, The proposed amendments would allow certain work on landmarked properties that currently requires a public hearing and approval by the LPC commissioners to be approved by LPC staff without community input; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five recognizes the need to be cautious when granting additional authority to the LPC staff to make decisions without public review and input from the Community Board and the public at large; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five also recognizes that LPC staff already has certain decision-making authority which reduces the time and expense of applicants when making routine applications for certain types of work in accordance with LPC guidelines; and

WHEREAS, LPC is in the process of developing on online Public Application Filing and Outcome Notification System, so that future actions taken by the Commission will be subject to increased Public Review, thereby alleviating some of CB 5's concerns; and


WHEREAS, Community Board Five has reviewed the proposed rule amendments and considered comments from both the LPC and independent preservationists; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five believes that the proposed rule amendments are on the whole sufficiently detailed to provide specific guidance for LPC staff decisions and will positively streamline the review process, which will both benefit applicants and allow the LPC commissioners to focus their public hearings on extraordinary and problematic proposals; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five recommends that the LPC in its continued consideration of the proposed amendments take the opportunity to clarify any potentially ambiguous language to further assist the staff review process; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That Community Board Five recommends approval of the Landmarks Preservation Commission's proposed rules amendment.

The above resolution passed by a vote of 27 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining.

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