Saturday, August 11, 2007

Letter from City Planning

Hello from CORD!
Today we received another answer back from one of the NYC departments we contacted with our CORD petition: the Department of City Planning.

Dear Concerned Citizen:
Thank you for your letter regarding the neighborhood of Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Brooklyn is experiencing an incredible resurgence and reaping an unprecedented level of investment, and development. While we welcome growth, this wave also puts pressure on many lower density neighborhoods across the borough currently suffering from out of context development. The Department of City Planning seeks to balance between the needs for the future growth of the city and preserving the character of these neighborhoods throughout Brooklyn, including Park Slope, South Park Slope, Fort Greene/Clinton Hill, Dyker Heights, Bay Ridge and Bedford The Department works closely with communities in arriving at a fine grained block by block zoning proposal addressing the unique context of each neighborhood.

We are aware that members of the community are concerned about the proposed building at 360 Smith Street. As you note, this development is proceeding "as of right" under the current zoning. I appreciate your request for a review of of the current zoning in this area. We agree that such a study makes sense, and are committed to pursuing it, but because of the numerous neighborhood re-zoning efforts we have underway in communities throughout Brooklyn, we are unable to commit to a precise timeframe. Please note that any moratorium, whether temporary or permanent, is required by law to go through the Uniform Land Use Public Review Process, as well as an environmental review.
Very sincerely,
Amanda H. Burden, Director
Department of City Planning
It seems ironic that while any building moratorium is required by law to go through the Uniform Land Use Public Review Process as well as an environmental review, (lengthy, public reviews) an "as of right" building development, even a massive one such as the one at 360 Smith Street, does not!


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........