Brooklyn City Council members Brad Lander and Stephen Levin have joined with the Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and one other City Council member in sponsoring a bill that would speed the landmark review process. The process would move online with a public database showing all actions taken by the Landmark Preservation Commission and the ability to submit applications for landmarks online, according to a story in The Real Deal.
The bill would also require the LPC to respond more quickly, with a 90-day limit for feedback on applications for individual landmarks and 180 days for proposed historic districts. “Unresolved” cases would have to be jettisoned after five years.
The Real Deal noted the proposal is unlikely to meet favor with developers. We think preservationists may take issue with it too. We support the move online, which can only help ease the process and make it more transparent.
As for the time limits, we’re not sure they are feasible without a bigger staff for the LPC. The five-year limit, for its part, seems like another approach to “dumping” the backlog — a move the LPC tried late last year but which proved highly unpopular.
In any case, we’ve noticed Landmarks moving quickly through applications for Bushwick, Prospect Lefferts Gardens and Crown Heights lately — since its new head was appointed by de Blasio. (Above, PLG’s recently landmarked Chester Court.) Three proposed landmark districts in Bed Stuy — where development has exploded in the last few months — could be next.