NY Sun: Preservation Groups Seek $1M Budget Increase
Preservation Groups Seek $1M Budget Increase
By Special to the Sun
May 10, 2007
With development booming across New York City, preservation groups are seeking a $1 million increase to the city's Landmark Preservation Commission's 2008 operating budget.
During a rally at City Hall yesterday, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer said that the Commission's staff is overburdened and inadequately funded. Presently the Commission has 69 full-time staff members and receives in excess of 9,000 permit applications per year.
The Municipal Art Society says the Commission's staff has kept up with the rising tide of permit applications at the expense of new landmark designations. The number of sites that the Commission designates has therefore been trending down, according to the urban planning organization.
Last year, City Council members Jessica Lappin of Manhattan, Tony Avella of Queens, and Diana Reyna of Brooklyn sponsored a one-time $250,000 increase to the Commission's budget. The Commission used the additional funds to hire five staff members dedicated to survey and research work that leads to designation. At the rally yesterday, Ms. Lappin said Mayor Bloomberg should make the $250,000 increase permanent and add another $750,000 to the operating budget.