Press Release Archives - #650-96 Signs Bill on Notification of Commercial Bulidings

Archives of the Mayor's Press Office

Date: December 13, 1996

Release #650-96

Contact: Colleen Roche (212) 788-2958 or Dwight Williams (212) 788-2972


Remarks by Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani at Public Hearing on Local Laws

The next bill before me is Introductory Number 654-A, introduced by Council Members Sabini and Fisher. This bill will require owners of commercial buildings designated as landmarks, or situated within historic districts or that contain interior landmarks to notify their tenants of the landmark designation.

It is unlawful for any person to reconstruct or demolish a landmark site, a building within an historic district, or any part of a building containing an interior landmark, unless the Landmarks Preservation Commission issues the appropriate certificate or notice authorizing such work. Unfortunately, many nonresidential tenants occupying these structures are unaware of the designation of these sites until after alterations begin. As a result, the demolition or improvement may be subject to criminal fines and tenants may incur costly expenses to restore the site. This condition is detrimental to all parties.

This bill attempts to address this situation by requiring the owner or managing agent responsible for the landmark to include a notice provision in all nonresidential leases and/or subleases. In addition, where a landmark designation is made during the term of a nonresidential lease, the owner or agent must, within thirty days after being notified in writing by the Commission, send a notice informing all nonresidential tenants on the first two floors by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, and to all other nonresidential lessees by any other means to ensure proper notice is given. Violators would be subject to a civil penalty of not more than five hundred dollars per violation which shall be returnable to the Environmental Control Board. The bill also imposes an affirmative duty on the Landmarks Commission to notify the property owner in writing upon a landmark, interior landmark or historic district designation or any amendment. This bill is a sensible approach to protect the architectural and historical integrity of our Cityís structures, and provide property owners and their lessees with the information they need to ensure compliance with the law.

I will first turn to the billís sponsors; next to any other elected official wishing to speak.
I will now turn to the general audience.
Is there anyone in the general audience to be heard in support?
Is there anyone in the general audience to be heard in opposition?
There being none, and for reasons previously stated, I will now sign the bill.

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