One of the key issues that the Citizens Emergency Committee to Preserve Preservation is focusing on is, of course, LPC Commissioner Independence. Our first step was to file a lawsuit which would force the Mayor to reappoint or replace Commissioners whose terms have expired (we should have a further update on the lawsuit in April).
The next step is to develop a list of qualifications that every candidate for Commissioner should posses. After all, recent appointments to LPC have been a bit disappointing. It is our hope that these qualifications will be adopted by the next Mayor and City Council and lead to a better LPC in the future. Take a look at our proposed qualifications and let us know what you think. If you would like to sign your organization up in support of these proposed qualifications, let us know. We’ll be developing a growing list of supporting groups heading into the election.
CECPP proposed requirements for LPC Commissioners:
Commissioners appointed to the Landmarks Preservation Commission should possess:
· KNOWLEDGE of the historical and architectural heritage of the city
o Commissioners should demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the city’s cultural heritage and a commitment to the basic principle underlying the Landmarks Preservation Law: “the standing of this city as a world-wide tourist center and world capital of business, culture, and government cannot be maintained or enhanced by disregarding the historical and architectural heritage of the city and countenancing the destruction of such cultural assets.”
· EXPERIENCE in safeguarding and promoting the city’s historical and architectural heritage
o Commissioners should be thoroughly familiar with the landmarks law and with the procedures and precedents of the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Commissioners should have personally participated in historic preservation activity in New York City prior to appointment.
· INDEPENDENCE in exercising judgment strictly on the merits without regard to political pressures or lobbying from developers, real estate or other interests.
o Commissioners should be committed to the core principles of the landmarks law: “it is hereby declared as a matter of public policy that the protection, enhancement, perpetuation and use of improvements and landscape features of special character or special historical or aesthetic interest or value is a public necessity and is required in the interest of the health, safety and welfare of the people.”