Eleven bills in all were introduced that take aim at significantly changing the procedures of the Commission, which when taken together, "will effectively hollow out the Landmarks Law from the inside out," testified Preservationist Theodore Grunewald.
At the heart of the showdown is the adversarial relationship between developers and preservationists, specifically around the perceived economic benefits of preservation versus redevelopment, as they gird for a fight over Midtown upzoning and Park Avenue.
And it's one particular bill that has preservationists up in arms. "According to Intro Bill Number 846, new guidelines would require City Planning to review Landmark Commission designations in economic terms to 'analyze the impact of the designation' and 'specifically consider the relationship between the development potential of all properties affected by the designation, both public and private.' The bill would provide City Council a rationale by which to deny landmark designations by pitting long-term planning goals against individual or district landmarking," writes Stoelker.