January 28, 1987
Autocratic Controls

To the Editor:
It is gratifying that you have recognized that the Landmarks Commission is not a ''quasi-judicial umpire.'' Some of us, because of a more acute perceptiveness of commission activities, have long thought so.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission has arbitrarily and belatedly interfered in nonarchitectural disputes by favoring one side with a government-weighted edict. In other areas, it has intruded in citizens' personal lives by arbitrarily dictating such architectural minutiae as whether the comforts of air-conditioning or clear windows are to be granted.

Did the philosophical founders of true architectural preservation envision such autocratic controls? Is there any other government entity in our country licensed to condemn property without compensation?

Your criticism of the Landmarks Commissioners would appear to be only one of many reasons why the mandate, procedures and focus of the Landmarks Preservation Commission should be critically reviewed. LESTER L. WEINDLING New York, Jan. 13, 1987 The writer is a rental agent, primarily for commercial buildings.