The Commission held its first public hearing and with the much appreciated expert guidance of Warren Berbit, we sent our recommendation to designate part of the property of 253-257 Spook Rock Road, the Fant Farm, as a local historic landmark to the Village Board.
Our thanks to Craig Long for the detailed historical background and to the Olsens, mother and son, for a wonderful history lesson.
Applications for designation of local landmarks are available at Village Hall
Historic Preservation Minutes
HISTORIC PRESERVATION IN THE VILLAGE OF MONTEBELLO
By Trustee Marc D. Citrin
In 1978, the United States Supreme Court, in the case of Penn Central Transportation Co. v. The City of New York ruled that the New York City Landmarks Preservation Law, which was enacted to protect historic landmarks and neighborhoods from development that destroys or fundamentally alters their character, was not a “taking” of private property under the Fifth Amendment that required the municipality to provide compensation to the owner of the property.
Since that time, municipalities throughout the country have enacted laws to preserve the historic nature of buildings and neighborhoods within their communities. In Montebello, the Board of Trustees adopted a similar law in 2004 with the creation of the Historic Preservation Commission. Although the Village is only twenty years old, it contains many properties with historical and aesthetic interest or value in American history, architecture and culture.
The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) consists of three members who are charged with the duty to review requests for designation of a local landmark or historic district. The request for designation may be made by any person through submission of a written application setting forth the basis for the designation. The HPC may also act on its own to recommend designation of a local landmark or historic district.
The criteria for designation of a landmark include an association with events in local history or the lives of significant historical figures; distinctive architecture or a unique location or physical characteristics. A historic district should contain multiple properties that meet one or more of the criteria and by reason of those characteristics, constitute a distinct section of the Village.
Upon recommendation of landmark or historic district status by the HPC, the Village Board holds a public hearing before making a final determination on the historic preservation application.
Since the creation of the HPC in 2004, the Village has designated the mansion at Montebello Park as its first local landmark. In addition the HPC has recently recommended the Fant Property (Red Barn) on Spook Rock Road for designation. The Village Board is scheduled to hold a public hearing on that application on March 15.
Historic preservation, by designation of landmark status, insures that significant and unique properties within our Village will retain their characteristics for the benefit of all residents.