Sunday, July 1, 2007


Dear Readers,

On 6/28 several building PERMITS WERE ISSUED on the 360 Smith Street site (as reported on Gowanus Lounge in the "PM UPDATE").

For this reason, we are urging our readers to CONTACT MS. PATRICIA LANCASTER, the Commisioner of the Department of Buildings (DOB). The following letter is less than 150 words and can be very simply copied and pasted to the link below. A poster can choose an "anonymous" box, or give an email address (preferred-how else can she answer?) where Ms. Lancaster can reply back. Thank you so much for your help with this issue!

Dear Commissioner Lancaster:
RE: 360 Smith Street/127-135 Second Place,11231
As head of the DOB of NYC, we would like some answers straight from you regarding the location above:
Why, when building plans have been disapproved several times to date, have permits been issued for pre-construction items such as curb cuts, paving plans, fences, sheds and some things we laymen cannot identify?
Why do some of the job filings on the above approved items list the proposed residence as an already existing building?
Why is the height of the proposed building listed on different job filings in a variety of heights from six to eight stories?

Finally, why when our Councilman, Bill DeBlasio has announced a joint Department of Education and DOB investigation focused upon the architect of record, Robert Scarano,would the Brooklyn DOB issue permits for any project of his at all?

Here' the link to Ms. Lancaster:

In the Brooklyn Eagle article by Trudy Whitman on June 29 called "Campaign Against Architect Continues" states:
"City Council Member Bill de Blasio is asking for the community’s assistance in his campaign to convince the State of New York to revoke architect Robert Scarano’s license before plans for a residential building at 360 Smith Street are approved......" (Whitman)
"De Blasio’s email posting to the Carroll Gardens Yahoo group soliciting their aid featured sample letters to Richard P. Mills, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Education, and Governor Eliot Spitzer. The letter describes Scarano as “synonymous with bad contractors, dangerous job sites and out of scale development.” The architect, the letter continues, “has been relieved of his self-certification privileges because he consistently certified plans knowing they did not comply with all city and state regulations.” (Whitman)
As approvals to Mr. Scarano WERE granted! last week, CORD has asked Ms. Lancaster to look into matter and for you to ask her to do the same!


With the "Protect Our Homes" petition, CORD was formed in May, 2007. This petition arose as an overwhelmingly negative response to the coming of the over-sized 360 Smith Street Development at the corner of Smith Street and Second Place (Aka Oliver House; aka 131 Second Place). This petition, which had well over three thousand signatures, led to a new zoning text amendment in summer of 2008.

To: Our Elected Officials, Community Leaders, The MTA:
(MAY, 2007)

We the undersigned Carroll Gardens homeowners and residents, are appalled by the "as of right" ruling which allows owners and developers to erect buildings in our neighborhood with no regard to the impact they will present to our quality of life and the value of our homes........