landmarks permit nyc lpc required?

Does my Work Require a Landmarks Permit?

Does Work on a Landmark Building Always Require a LPC Permit?

The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC, or aka Landmarks) has been issuing approvals and permits since their founding in 1965. The LPC strives to preserve historic districts and properties (or landmarks) by regulating the work done within them and on them. In most cases, Landmarks permits are issued when work affects historically protected features. Different permits exist, but are not applied for specifically, rather they are granted a type when the project is submitted. Interior projects are regularly issued Certificate of No Effects (CNE) while exterior projects are issued Permits for Minor Work (PMW) or CNEs. A Landmarks review ensures that work is done to adhere to various standards imposed by the LPC.

When are Landmarks Permits Required?

Landmarks permits are required whenever there are DOB permits being issued for the work. Although this requirement exists, there are some permits required from Landmarks when no DOB permit is issued. Most of this work covers both exterior and interior work, or anything that isn’t included on the list of exempt work. Some examples of work that will require permits includes:

  • Facade maintenance
    • Repointing bricks, patching masonry elements, restoring brownstone, restoring the facade’s masonry/wood elements
  • Exterior Alterations
    • This includes changing windows (in some cases), installing/replacing/restoring stoops, altering yards, and installing window AC units with brackets.
  • Interior Alterations
    • This typically includes interior renovations, as the work must satisfy LPC requirements. These permits are quicker to obtain than those of exterior alterations.

Permits are issued on a case per case basis. Some buildings may require LPC permits for the same work as other buildings that didn’t require it. It may be difficult to ascertain whether a project requires a permit or not. This includes “minor” projects which require contacting the LPC. For example sometimes permits are required for replacing windows, while other times they aren’t. If you are unable to contact the LPC, please contact us with your project. We find it better to look at the list of when Landmarks permits aren’t required, as these are clearly defined guidelines.

When aren’t Landmarks Permits Required?

Working on a Landmarked building will typically require permits, but the listed items are exempt from permits. In order to fully understand if a Landmarks permit is required, an application needs to be submitted. If you are unsure whether your project needs a permit please contact us. We have developed this list in combination with the LPC Townhouse Manual, used to inform owners on all things landmarked townhouse.

Doors and Doorways

  • Painting doors or door frames the same color;
  • Sanding or refinishing doors or door frames that are already stained or varnished;
  • Repairing wood door and frame components by filling with wood putty or similar materials;
  • Replacing or installing new locks or hardware on doors;
  • Replacing broken glass
  • Weather stripping

Windows

  • Weather stripping/Caulking/Puttying
  • Replacing/Repairing broken glass, suspension systems (cords, pulleys, etc.), other window hardware
  • Repairing window architectural components by partial replacement, scraping, filling, or sanding
  • Painting window sash or frames the same color
  • Installing most interior storm windows or panels
  • Installing interior security gates or grilles and/or regulation child guards

Facades – Masonry/Wood Wall Surfaces

  • Repairing previously-painted areas the same color
  • Removing a small amount of graffiti with a non-abrasive chemical formulated for graffiti removal and low pressure water wash
  • Air Conditioning Units – May be installed only when external brackets are not required

Facades – Cornices

  • Removing scaling paint or superficial rust from wood or metal cornice
  • Painting cornices the same color
  • Repairing or replacing cap flashing
  • Patching holes and dents in cornices to restore their original appearance

Roofs

  • Caulking joints of dormers, skylights, and other roof elements
  • Replacing or repairing flashing at roof edges and around dormers and other roof elements with the same kind of flashing material
  • Replacing or repairing skylights, chimneys, roof hatches, and other features which are not visible from the street
  • Resetting coping stones on parapet walls
  • Replacing or repairing flat built-up bituminous roofs
  • Removing, replacing, or installing gutters and leaders

Fences

  • Patching and minor repairs to damaged metal work which do not change the original appearance and do not includeremoval of any parts
  • Removing paint or rust from metal by scraping
  • Painting metal surfaces the same color
  • Replacing corroded bolts, hinges, and latches
  • Removing a small amount of graffiti with a non-abrasive proprietary chemical and a low-pressure water wash

Wooden and Masonry Stoops, Fences/Handrails

  • Removing paint from wood by scraping and painting wood surfaces the same color
  • Caulking wood joints
  • Removing a small amount of graffiti with a non-abrasive proprietary chemical and a low-pressure water wash

Yards, Areaways, Sidewalks and Driveways

  • Maintaining lawns or shrubs/Planting new lawns or shrubs in existing unpaved area
  • Repairing or repainting cellar access hatch covers the same color
  • Placing and planting pots, planter boxes, or window boxes (Although this may require revocable consent in some situations)

Have concerns about your project requiring Landmarks Permits?

We made this list as inclusive as possible to cover any typically asked questions. Most people want to know what can be done without a permit, hence the large list. Contractors and construction professionals require consulting for these topics as it isn’t clear from time to time. Work on landmarked buildings is highly regulated, and as such, so are the professionals working on them. Violations for work without a Landmarks permit will affect the ability to refinance a property and be costly/time-consuming to resolve.

Direct Access Expediting has worked with many restoration contractors over the years, adhering to all standards. With over 20 years experience consulting and expediting for construction professionals, we will be able to assist you. Please call us at (212) 732-5984 or contact us on this page.

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