In January 2013 we launched a 15 month project of engagement and outreach with the Sunset Park community about preservation to learn what residents think about the dramatic exterior changes being made to 100+ year old rowhouses and how they feel about landmarking to protect the row houses.
What we did:
- Canvassed 15 blocks and spoke with more than 400 homeowners.
- Held more than 16 outreach events throughout the neighborhood, in the park, on the sidewalks, and at the Fifth Ave Street Fair.
- Gave 7 walking tours highlighting the history and cultural diversity of Sunset Park and discussing the need for both affordable housing and preservation.
- Met with elected officials.
- Met with community organizations and institutions to discuss and listen to their views on preservation.
March 2014 - submitted our Request For Evaluation (RFE) to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which you can see on our Downloads page.
March 2015 - took the Landmarks Preservation Commission on a trolley tour of the study area.
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On January 22nd, 2019 the LPC voted to calendar 4 historic districts in Sunset Park.
What is "calendaring”? It’s the first legal step in the process of landmark designation. The LPC formally makes its intent to consider a district for landmark status by voting to add a public hearing date to its calendar. This doesn’t mean the date of the hearing has been set yet, but from this point on a district is considered “calendared” and any new Department of Building permits filed on a property in the proposed district is sent to the LPC for review. Though the LPC doesn’t yet have authority to modify or reject permits, they have 40 days before the DOB acts on the permit. During the 40 day window the LPC can, if it believes the proposed work would be harmful, move ahead with the landmark designation sooner than expected, thereby forcing the permit to go through the official LPC approval process, or the LPC can reach out to the owner and try to convince them to alter their proposal, or the LPC can just let the permit be issued.
The next phase can take up to 2 years, legally. But the LPC hopes to achieve it much faster than that! The LPC will do research on every building in the 4 areas (about 500 buildings). We hope to soon hear a date announced for a Public Hearing, in which the public can testify in support of the historic districts. After that, a Public Meeting is held in which the LPC votes to designate landmark status.
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