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Controversial Landmarking Law Under Revision

New York

A controversial bill imposing deadlines on the Landmarks Preservation Commission is being revisited and adjusted after receiving criticism from preservationists and commission chairwoman Meenakshi Srinivasan. The proposed bill would give the commission one year to decide on each individual landmark nominated for historic status, and two years to decide on each historic district. Items not heard by the deadlines would not be able to be considered for another five years. City councilman David Greenfield and co-sponsor Peter Koo introduced the bill to address "calendaring," an obscure process that partially protects a building while the agency debates whether to officially designate it. Greenfield noted that he counted 26 items that have been sitting on the calendar since 1966. Greenfield and Koo have agreed to reduce the five-year moratorium. Additionally, Srinivasan argued that the commission might miss deadlines for a number of uncontrollable reasons, like lack of support on the City Council. She requested that the commission get three years instead of two to decide on nominations for new districts. The New York chapter of the AIA opposes the bill and would prefer the commission adopt its own solution. [Crain's]