How does a neighborhood become an historic district?
The process of designating an historic district starts when the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) begins to consider an area worthy of special protection. However, rarely does the designation of a neighborhood happen without substantial community involvement.
• When the public, a community member, or a group wishes an area or property to be considered for designation, a Request for Evaluation(RFE) must be submitted to the LPC. This request is a single-page form that asks for information about the property or area. The RFE can be downloaded off of the LPC Web site (http://www.nyc.gov/html/ lpc) or requested by phone (212-669-7817) or by mail (One Centre Street, New York, NY 10007).
• The LPC reviews the RFE, makes site visits, does further research and decides if a district is worthy of further consideration. The community can also make known to the LPC that there is strong support for this designation in the form of letters, phone calls or e-mails to the Commission. It is also recommended that community members meet with the LPC chair and staff to tour the neighborhood.
• Once the LPC decides that an area is worthy of further consideration, “calendaring” is the first official step in the designation process. Calendaring is the action of establishing that an item will be scheduled for a Public Hearing. This is also when boundaries of the potential district are proposed by the LPC.
•The Public Hearing is the opportunity for members of the community, elected officials and interested parties to give testimony for or against the designation of the proposed district. Sometime after the Public Hearing (in most cases), the LPC will take a vote on the district. If the vote is favorable, a Designation Report is issued and the new historic district is now protected.