Landmarks increases fees

Landmarks last raised fees for new building and alteration applications in 2009. On March 8, 2011, Landmarks approved an increase in permit fees for new buildings and alterations. Landmarks published the rule in the City Record on December 16, 2010, and January 27, 2011. Landmarks last approved a fee increase in September 2009. 6 CityLand 125 (Sept. 15, 2009).

The change increases fees for permits related to new one- to three-family dwellings from ten to fifteen cents per square foot. For all other new buildings, fees increase to from twenty to 25 cents per square foot. For all building types the fees will not be less than $100 per structure. A flat fee for building alterations costing up to $25,000 would rise from $50 to $95. Landmarks increased an incremental fee for each additional $1,000 spent on alterations above $25,000 from four to five dollars. As examples, the fee for a proposed $15,000 storefront alteration would be $95, while the fee for a proposed $300,000 rooftop addition will rise from $1,150 to $1,470.

In January and March of 2011, Landmarks held two hearings on the fee increase. Chair Robert B. Tierney clarified that the fees only apply to work requiring permits from the Department of Buildings. According to Tierney, the underlying premise for the increase was to support the operations and work of Landmarks “in times of budgetary fiscal stringency.”

Preservation groups testified both in favor and in opposition. The New York Landmarks Conservancy’s Andrea Goldwyn supported the increase and suggested that Landmarks consider imposing higher fees on “larger, more complex projects,” such as those requiring the City Planning Commission’s approval. The Historic Districts Council’s Simeon Bankoff stated that his group was “unalterably opposed” to fee increases because it placed an unfair burden on property owners for advancing a public good.

Landmarks unanimously approved the increase. Commissioner Michael Goldblum called the fees reasonable and conservative, and Commissioner Margery Perlmutter suggested possibly imposing higher fees on developers that repeatedly appeared before Landmarks.

LPC: Agency Rule Making, Citywide (March 8, 2011).

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