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A ‘Landmark’ Meeting: C.B. 3 Subcommittee Considers Renovations for First Time - The Local East Village Blog - NYTimes.com


A ‘Landmark’ Meeting: C.B. 3 Subcommittee Considers Renovations for First Time


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106 and 100 East 10th StMelvin Felix 106 and 110 East 10th Streets.

It’s not the closing of Mars Bar, or the opening of another 7-Eleven, but Community Board 3 reached a milestone yesterday as the Landmarks Subcommittee held its first public hearing on proposed renovations to buildings in a historic district.

The new protocol — in which the subcommittee votes on a “certificate of appropriateness” for renovations to protected properties before sending them to the parks committee and then the full community board — will be applied to the 330 buildings in the East Village-Lower East Side Historic District if the district is approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

“When Landmarks decided they were going forward with the two historic districts, we started looking at the increased responsibility because of the sheer number of buildings,” said Carolyn Ratcliff, chairwoman of the subcommittee.

But don’t expect the meetings to become as epic as the board’s S.L.A. committee meetings.

“Should the expanded district be approved, obviously there will be more applications,” said Andrew Berman, the executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. “But I wouldn’t anticipate a flood of applications any time soon.”

Last night’s inaugural hearing didn’t spark the fireworks of, say, a certain rooftop addition, though there was some debate about the two buildings under consideration at 106 and 100 East 10th Street, between Second and Third Avenues in the St. Marks Historic District. Landlord Mark Scharfman sought a recommendation to approve the installation of bulkheads on the roofs, the raising of parapets to comply with safety code, and excavation of the backyards to improve light and air-flow in the basements.

But some attendees were wary of any plans by Mr. Scharfman. Ben Posel, the neighbor sandwiched between the two buildings, bemoaned problems caused by previous renovations on the properties. Termites, leaks, and property damage were among the results, he said, adding, “There was inadequate attention on the part of the landlord.”

Mr. Scharfman’s representatives assured attendees of the meeting that a new work crew was amenable to most of the committee’s requests.

In the end, the subcommittee recommended approval of the renovations pending cooperation and improved attention from the landlord, that the exterior of the roof’s bulkhead be minimal, and that a third party monitor be in attendance during the excavation to ensure maximum care for the structure of the building.

Mr. Berman said he expected a vote by Landmarks Preservation Commission on the larger historic district by the fall.