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New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission has an admirable history of protecting the city's historic character. Increasingly in recent years, the commission has backed away from proactively designated sites of historical, architectural, or cultural significance as city landmarks. At the same time, the commission has shown greater deference to the owner of a property when deciding whether to designate, and to the wishes of the owners of designated properties in matters of regulation, notwithstanding that owner consent is nowhere in the landmarks law. At the same time, the commission has introduced new definitions, such as “period of significance,” contributing/non-contributing, and “style – none,” which render some structures in historic districts vulnerable to a lower standard of regulation or even demolition.


Reprinted from Environmental Law in New York with permission. Copyright 2018 Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., a LexisNexis company. All rights reserved.


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