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PR- 065-05
February 15, 2005


Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws

“The next bill before me today is Introductory Number 403-B, sponsored by Council Members Avella, Brewer, Clarke, Gentile, Gerson, James, Koppell, Liu, McMahon, Nelson, Recchia, Sears, Weprin, Quinn, Jackson, Yassky, Martinez and Oddo.  This legislation authorizes the Landmarks Preservation Commission to assess civil penalties for the failure to maintain a landmarked property or a property within an historic district in good repair.

“This legislation serves to protect Commission designated buildings and structures against what is commonly referred to as ‘demolition by neglect.’  Demolition by neglect occurs when an owner fails to maintain a building.  It can result in the deterioration or loss of significant architectural features or, in its more pernicious expression, result in such structural damage to a building that it collapses or has to be demolished because it is a hazard to the public.

“Without the ability to assess civil penalties, the Commission is forced to commence litigation to enforce the duty to maintain.  However, the time and expense associated with litigation significantly limits the ability of the Commission to effectively address maintenance issues in all but the most dangerous circumstances.
“Intro 403-B will enhance the Commission’s ability to proactively confront maintenance issues by putting owners on notice that serious conditions exist and must be cured.

“Landmarked properties and properties within historic districts serve as a vital resource to this City, and my Administration is committed to protecting these cherished assets. However, minor deficiencies such as peeling paint and broken windows will not be the target of the Commission’s enforcement.  The intent of this legislation is to target significant deterioration. 
“I would like to thank Landmarks Preservation Commission Chair Bob Tierney and his staff for their work on this bill.  I would also like to thank the Council for guiding this bill through the legislative process.”


Edward Skyler / Jordan Barowitz   (212) 788-2958

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