On Thursday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission will hold a hearing, the first of four, to clear a backlog of 95 items that have been on the agency’s to-do list for up to four decades. Among them is the Douglaston extension, which in addition to 17 homes includes a Tudor-style apartment building, a church and an elementary school, most of which date from the 1850s to the 1910s. A final determination will be made next year on whether to declare these properties landmarks.
While many in the existing Douglaston Historic District, as well as New Yorkers across the city, might view living in a landmark with pride, there are those who consider it onerous. Where some see history and beauty, they see bureaucracy, expense and limitations on what they can do with their properties.
Councilman Paul Vallone, a Democrat whose district includes Douglaston, has already said he will block the expansion of the historic district in light of residents’ opposition. The City Council has final say over land-use matters, and members almost always defer to the local representative. As a result, Ms. Carroll, the commission director, anticipates the agency might not expend resources approving something that will only be defeated.