In an unexpected turn of events, the owner of 210 East 62nd Street submitted written notice to the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) stating they will would like to withdraw their application scheduled for tomorrow's public hearing. FRIENDS was informed by the Commission that the owner has decided to comply with the existing Certificate of Appropriateness (CofA) permit approved in 2016. This means they will be required to remove all work built in violation of the CofA, including the rooftop addition and the inflated interior floors.
We understand that the Commission intends to amend the existing permit, in order to make it more detailed and stringent, with a schedule of compliance dates and site visits. This will, however, be done behind closed doors, at staff-level and without any community input. FRIENDS is appalled by this incredibly frustrating outcome, given the applicant's history of noncompliance. The long-lasting disregard for the building, the community, and the Landmarks Law, by the owner should not be rewarded, and this project deserves intense scrutiny by the public and the Commissioners.
By allowing the applicant to withdraw its current application, LPC is actively removing the community from the decision-making process. It is exceptionally difficult for the public to find detailed information and stay updated regarding staff approvals, and the community is not able to review drawings or make comments. We are concerned about the lack of transparency of staff-level approvals and believe the Commission should vigorously pursue a proper outcome for this building after the owner's malfeasance.
FRIENDS is closely following this application and will be monitoring the Commission and the owner in order to ensure the preservation of this building and its character. Click here to read the testimony FRIENDS had planned to deliver prior to the application withdrawal.