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New Legislation Proposed by Vallone Will Protect Our Historic Districts

The Department of Design and Construction (DDC) has been upgrading and replacing infrastructure in the Douglas Manor Section of Queens. Due to an unfortunate oversight, the DDC mistakenly replaced a pedestrian ramp within the Douglaston Historic District, at the intersection of Grosvenor Street and Douglas Road, without realizing the construction was occurring in a landmarked district. The newly installed steel-faced curb and sidewalk will need to be replaced with the required historic district granite block curbing and concrete sidewalk. The Douglaston Manor Association met with Council Member Vallone to address this issue and in response, the Council Member is drafting two pieces of legislation aimed at preventing this type of mistake from occurring.

The first bill will require the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) to notify City agencies when designating an area or property as a historic district or landmark. The second bill will require City agencies to review the list of landmarked properties and historic districts in coordination with the LPC before proceeding with any work that may impact those areas. If the City agency plans to implement upgrades to infrastructure, they will also be required to send notice to the appropriate Community Board, Council Member and any owners of the landmarked property or within the historic district.

“The City must preserve the character of neighborhoods throughout construction projects. What good is a landmark designation or historic district if a simple oversight can quickly erase what has been fought to be protected?” said Council Member Vallone. “It’s unfortunate that additional resources now have to be spent to correct this mistake. Communication is critical in ensuring that we can protect our landmarks and my legislation will go a long way to preventing an error like this from happening in the future.”