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Vallone drafting landmark legislation

Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) is drafting legislation to protect landmarked districts after the Department of Design and Construction mistakenly installed a pedestrian ramp in a landmarked portion of Douglaston.

“The City must preserve the character of neighborhoods throughout construction projects,” Vallone said in a prepared statement. “What good is a landmark designation or historic district if a simple oversight can quickly erase what has been fought to be protected?”

The sidewalk and steel-faced curb that were installed by the DDC at the corner of Grosvenor Street and Douglas Road will have to be replaced with the concrete sidewalk and granite curbing required for the landmarked district.

The pedestrian ramp will be replaced with an appropriate one sometime this season, according to DDC spokeswoman Shavone Williams.

“In regards to the landmarked pedestrian ramp, the restoration will effectively replace all materials that were originally used in the ramp,” DDC spokesman Dan Leibel told the Chronicle. “Granite curb and pigmented concrete will be installed in the reconstruction of the ramp, as both materials were originally present.”

One of the bills would require the Landmarks Preservation Commission to notify city agencies when a property or area is designated as a landmark or historic district.

The second bill would require the agencies to review the list of historic districts or landmarks in coordination with the LPC prior to proceeding with work that would impact the spaces. If upgrades are planned by a city agency for infrastructure, the agency would be required to inform the owners of the landmarked property or within the historic district and the appropriate council member and community board.

“We don’t have an exact date but they should be introduced by the end of the year,” Vallone spokesman Lionel Morales said.

The Douglas Manor Association met with Vallone about the issue before the lawmaker began drafting the legislation.

“It’s unfortunate that additional resources now have to be spent to correct this mistake,” Vallone added.

Read complete story at Queens Chronicle.