The Designation Process
Potential landmarks and historic districts are identified by the Landmarks Preservation Commission through surveys and other Commission-initiated research. Commission surveys and research may include properties suggested by members of the public through Requests for Evaluation.
Surveys serve as inventories of the city's significant buildings, and as planning tools that enable LPC to establish priorities and set goals for designating the next generation of landmarks and historic districts.
After the Commission's Research Department conducts a survey or receives a request to evaluate a building or neighborhood, the following occurs:
1. Evaluation in Light of Commission Priorities and Other Considerations
- The agency assesses potentially meritorious properties in light of agency priorities
2. Commissioner Review and Chair Determination
- If the agency concludes the resource should move forward and potentially be considered for designation, a photograph, statement of significance, and the committee's recommendation are sent to each Commissioner for comment.
- After reviewing Commissioners’ comments and considering the resource in light of the factors identified above, the Chair decides whether to ask the full Commission to vote publicly to initiate a formal review.
- Owners are notified if a formal review is planned.
- This is the first formal step in the designation process. After a presentation by the Research Staff the full Commission votes at a public meeting whether to schedule ("calendar") a public hearing on the potential resource. A vote by a majority of the Commissioners present is required to calendar a resource.
- Anyone may testify about a proposed designation before the full Commission. Notices of public hearings are published in the City Record and sent to the property owner, the Department of City Planning, and the affected community boards and elected officials. Notices are also listed on the LPC's website.
- Before testimony begins at the public hearing, a member of the Research Department makes a brief presentation about the property under consideration for designation.
5. Discussion and Designation Report
- While a historic district or landmark is under consideration by the full Commission, the Research Department writes a detailed report about the property/ies.
- Owners are mailed a draft copy of these reports for review and comment. The Commissioners review the draft report and use it, along with public testimony, as the basis for a decision.
- The Commission then votes on designations at a public meeting. A vote by a majority of the Commissioners (six), is required to approve or deny a proposal for landmark or historic district designation.
- If six Commissioners do not vote in favor of designation the resource is taken off the calendar.
- By law, landmark designation is effective upon the Commission's vote, and all rules and regulations of the Landmarks Law are applicable.
- Within 10 days, LPC files copies of the final report with the City Council and City Planning Commission, and sends a Notice of Designation to owners and the City Clerk's Office.
7. City Planning Commission Review Report
- For all designations, the City Planning Commission has 60 days to review and submit a report to the City Council about the impacts of designation on zoning, projected public improvements, and any other City development plans.
- For historic districts, the City Planning Commission must hold a public hearing prior to issuing its report.
- The City Council has 120 days from the time of the LPC filing to modify or disapprove the designation. A majority vote is required. Council approval is not required.
- The Mayor can veto the City Council vote within five days; the City Council can override a Mayoral veto by two-thirds vote within 10 days.