BRC Seminar Recap #2: Landmarks and Townhouse Renovations

An excerpt from: Mondays with Dexter
Over the last few weeks we have been recapping information from our recent Vandenberg -sponsored BRC free seminar. This week’s recap topic is:
How to renovate your new york townhouse in cooperation with the Landmarks Preservation Commission:
Basic maintenance does not need a Landmarks permit. For example, to repaint your front black fence black, no permit is needed. However, painting it a different color requires a permit.
Staff level permits are easy to obtain, and they allow you to perform minor work, such as a new door or new pointing. If you are doing work which does not affect the building exterior, you need a Certificate of No Effect, which is also easy to obtain.
About 5% of approvals require a Public Hearing. Some examples include adding a roof addition on a block with no other roof additions, or adding rear double-height windows. First, there is a community board hearing. Then, comments are sent to the LPC. Next, the Public Hearing is advertised. The public also has the right to look at drawings.
A new rule is being voted on soon. It would require that any changes to the scope of the house (such as any roof addition) receive a Public Hearing instead of staff approval. This is an important development for townhouse owners to note.
Using the Fast Track system on the landmarks website can avoid unnecessary miscommunication. Some permits can take as little as 24 hours for approval. More require 5-7 days, and if a Public Hearing is necessary a permit can take two or three months.
Next week: How is the townhouse market doing this year? I will reveal some of my findings.
–Dexter Guerrieri
Mondays with Dexter also offers an up-to-date summary of properties that are new to the market as well as those that are under contract or sold, the features they offer, and which ones fit your primary residential or investment criteria.