The landmark designation process should be open and transparent, particularly to those property owners who will be most impacted by the decision.
All property owners should receive notice that their property is being considered for designation well in advance of the vote by the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) to calendar a proposed historic district for a public hearing. Each notice should explain the basis for the proposed district, whether the property owner’s building is considered to be contributing and why, and how it has been evaluated.
The LPC should create a clear time frame for designation, from calendaring to public hearing to decision. If the Commission does not act in a timely manner, the designation should be deemed denied.
The LPC should issue a Draft Designation Report once a proposed historic district has been calendared so that interested parties and affected property owners may review and comment in a meaningful way.
Similarly, when a historic district is designated, the LPC should issue Draft Rules or Guidelines regarding the preservation and maintenance of buildings within the district so that property owners and elected officials will have a clear understanding as to what compliance with the designation will require.
Information regarding the LPC’s designation decisions should be available to the public online. If a building or historic district has been reviewed and not designated for an extended period of time, or if a designation has been overturned by the City Council, it should be exempt from reconsideration for 10 years.