The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission has updated its Permit Application Guide on the form of a new comprehensive handbook, LPC Permit Guidebook: How to Get Staff-Level Approvals. The guidebook together with new application forms are a result of new rules and amendments that were adopted last year. The subtitle of the guidebook – “How to Get Staff Level Approvals” is a signal that the Commission’s goals is to increase the number applications approved by staff. In the service that, the new guidebook in intended to provide applicants with as much information as possible before an application is submitted. The requirements, standards and application process have been organized into a single, well designed book. In fourteen color coded chapters, the guidebook covers virtually every possible category of landmark projects, including Window and Doors, Excavations, Sidewalks, and Additions. It contains excellent graphics and details to aid potential applicants planning restoration or new features to a landmarked building. The introductory part of the book explains the Permit process with details on the revised applications types:

Standard Form:
Interior or exterior work or to correct or legalize a LPC violation

FasTrack Form
Interior and select exterior work

Expedited Certificate of No Effect Form
Select interior work only

Post Approval Form
To amend or sign off previously approved work or to submit drawings for a Certificate of Appropriateness.

The distinction between a standard application that can be handled at staff level and an application that requires a public hearing is not entirely clear in the Guidebook; and this question will need some further clarification. The addition of the Post Approval form is a welcome change for owners and architects who had struggled with what was a haphazard non-system in the past. Overall, it is apparent that the Commission is moving in the direction of more transparency, efficiency and helpfulness to architects and their clients.

To read or download the new Permit Guidebook, click on the link below:
https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/lpc/downloads/pdf/LPC-Permit-Guidebook.pdf

Jane McGroarty AIA