This month, I have two positive developments to share with you that impact New York City restaurants. One is about the Landmarks Preservation Commission and the other concerns peddle assisted electric bicycles.
The NYC Hospitality Alliance is happy to announce that the Landmarks Preservation Commission (“LPC”) has proposed amending their Rules to speed up the review and approval process for minor alterations for businesses located in landmark districts. The proposal includes a reform that we have advocated for, which is to expand the type of renovations that are eligible for expedited review and approval at the LPC staff level. We anticipate that the proposed reforms will be approved.
While not included in the proposal at this time, we are also advocating to allow certain minor interior renovations to proceed without the need for any approval, so long as the application is certified by a professional architect. In addition to the testimony we submitted in support of these reforms, we thank our member, BCD, who submitted comments regarding technical aspects of the proposal. We thank LPC for their role in ensuring that our city’s historic buildings and districts remain preserved and harmonized with new and creative development while seeking ways to reduce regulatory burdens on small businesses.
Last month Mayor de Blasio’s administration also proposed a rule that would allow the use of pedal-assisted electric bicycles. This is good news because delivery is an important source of revenue for NYC restaurants and a quintessential service for New Yorkers.
Unfortunately, the use of pedal-assisted e-bikes that can help delivery workers get around town is illegal. Restaurants and their delivery workers can be fined and have their e-bikes confiscated for using them. This is a shame because pedal-assisted e-bikes provide the user an efficient and less grueling way to deliver food. That’s why we’re happy to announce that Mayor de Blasio’s administration is in the process of changing their rules to allow their use in NYC, a move advocated for by the NYC Hospitality Alliance. Throttle e-bikes would still be prohibited under the proposal.
By the time this article is published the official proposal may be released, and while we support the concept, we’ll review it carefully to ensure it presents only a welcome regulatory reform.