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Landmarks Commission Deserves $1 Million Budget Increase

preservation lobby day 2007

The MAS joined almost 70 other groups in co-sponsoring the First Annual NYC Preservation Lobby Day on Wednesday, May 9, 2007. All of the groups have joined together to request a $1 million increase in the LPC’s Budget.

Last year, led by Council members Lappin, Avella and Reyna, the City Council increased the budget of the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) by $250,000 for the current fiscal year. See this chart on the increase. Consequently, the LPC was able to hire five new staff dedicated to research and designation and is on target to designate more than 1,000 historic buildings by the end of this fiscal year – a 2,000 percent increase in the number of buildings designated in 2005. We need to make sure that this year the LPC gets a larger increase so they can continue designating buildings at the same pace, and increasing their efficiency in issuing permits.

Here’s why the LPC needs more funding:

– Because of inadequate funding, the LPC’s staff is overburdened. Although applications for permits have more than doubled since 1990, the LPC staff has been cut by almost one third. As a result, the commission’s regulatory workload has skyrocketed. See these visual explanations on the budget.

– The dedicated staff of the LPC has kept up with the rising tide of permits—at the cost of the designations needed to preserve the qualities that make New York special. The number of sites that the LPC designates as landmarks each year has been trending down, despite continued community demand for more designations. Read this fact sheet on why increasing the budget is important.

– The LPC’s budget is miniscule: less than one one-hundredth of one percent of the City’s expenditures. Even with a $1 million increase, the LPC’s budget will remain less than one one-hundredth of one percent of the City’s expenditures.

Help us make Lobby Day a success:

1. Please call, send a letter or e-mail your Council Member and ask them to support increasing the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s budget by $1 million for the coming fiscal year. [If possible, please copy us into your correspondence.]

Your voice is important. Help us make historic preservation in New York City more effective and efficient by participating in Preservation Lobby Day.