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Battling the Landmarks Preservation Commission (“LPC”) and a Powerful Landlord Pays Dividends for the Cooperators of a Residential Building

In a landmarked district, the cooperators of one building looked out upon the courtyard of a mostly commercial building owned by a powerful landlord. The landlord petitioned LPC to build a two-story extension covering the courtyard. Such structure would remove the light and air to the cooperative’s building and cause potential security concerns to the residents. Initially, LPC rejected the landlord’s proposal finding that the structure was too tall and not consistent with the historic shared use of the courtyard. On a second application, LPC approved a modified proposal which contemplated the ground floor extending the entire courtyard with a smaller second story structure.

Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. brought suit on behalf of the cooperators to block the approval of the modified plan alleging that LPC had not followed its own rules and regulations when it approved the second proposal. The Supreme Court eventually ruled in LPC’s favor. However, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. then appealed and secured a stay pending appeal blocking construction in the courtyard stopping construction for almost two years. This led to a settlement where the landlord agreed to limit the use and activity on the first-floor structure and to cover the structure with an aesthetically pleasing roof garden. The landlord further committed to leaving the design in place for a substantial period of time. The persistence and creative lawyering by the attorneys at Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. resulted in a favorable settlement for the clients.

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