Landmarks must promulgate rules that encourage a more timely and transparent processing of landmark nominations. Upon receiving a Request for Evaluation, or an official landmark nomination submitted by the public, Landmarks’ Request for Evaluation Committee would screen the nomination to determine if further consideration was appropriate. If further consideration was warranted, the Committee would send the nomination, a photograph, a statement of significance, and the Committee’s recommendation to each Landmarks Commissioner for comment. When all comments were received, the Chair of the Committee would, at his or her discretion, decide if the full Commission should formally consider the nomination on the record.
Citizens Emergency Committee to Preserve Preservation filed an article 78 petition, claiming that Landmarks’ handling of Requests for Evaluation required modification. Justice Marilyn Shafer granted the petition and ruled that Landmarks’ failure to make timely decisions on certain nominations was arbitrary and capricious. Shafer decided that Landmarks had an obligation to publicly consider every nomination and render a prompt decision. The court ordered that all nominations be submitted to the Committee within 120 days of receipt, and further ordered that all Committee recommendations be reported to the full Commission at a public hearing.
Citizens Emergency v. Tierney, Index No. 103373/2008 (N.Y.Cty.Sup.Ct. Nov. 21, 2008).
CITYLANDComment: Landmarks intends to appeal, as it believes full Commission review for every Request for Evaluation amounts to an unworkable burden.