A copy of the following letter was received by the Queens Gazette:
Commissioner Robert B. Tierney
Chair New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission
1 Centre Street, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10007
Dear Chairman Tierney:
I am writing with regard to the proposal currently under consideration by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission to designate Sunnyside Gardens in Queens as a Landmarked Historic District. After having heard from many of my constituents regarding this proposal, including approximately 400 homeowner families who have banded together as an organization known as "Preserve Sunnyside Gardens," I have come to believe that landmarked historic district status is inappropriate for this community.
Designating Sunnyside Gardens as a landmarked historic district could impose onerous rules and regulations on the private homes in the neighborhood and create undue burdens for the homeowners in the area with regard to the use and appearance of their own homes. I am sure you are aware that Sunnyside Gardens is already a special Planned Community Preservation District governed by special zoning rules designed to protect the open common green spaces and limit certain building renovations inappropriate to the overall character of the neighborhood. Landmarking Sunnyside Gardens would rescind these zoning rules, a step that my constituents appear to oppose.
It is my understanding that the current proposal to landmark Sunnyside Gardens began in part as a response to a lack of enforcement of the special preservation zoning already in place in this community. Rather than designating the community as a landmarked historic district, perhaps greater effort should first be put into enforcing existing zoning rules. Regardless of where Sunnyside Gardens residents all stand on the landmarking issue, I am certain that they all share a common desire to preserve the unique character of their neighborhood. They may just disagree on the means to achieve this common goal.
I appreciate your attention to this matter, and look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your consideration of my concerns.
State Senator, 12th District