Saturday, December 29, 2007

CORD makes the GL Top 15 Brooklyn Stories in 2007!!

There is Good News and Bad News this weekend:
First the good news! We (Carroll Gardens) made an impressive ninth place showing in the Gowanus Lounge Top 15 Brooklyn Stories in 2007. From GL Friday, 12/28/2007:
"9) The Carroll Gardens Development Revolt. The plan to build at 360 Smith Street sparked a serious movement to put the downzoning of the entire neighborhood on the fast track. This one isn't over by a long shot."

Now for the bad news: GL's Number 4 on the List was "The Brooklyn Construction Crisis" which if you take the time to read (even for only 5 minutes!) may very well terrify you! Too much is wrong with all the new construction in Brooklyn right now and too many innocent residents and homeowners are unnecessarily bearing the emotional brunt as well as the financial costs and burdens of the city's blunders. And SAFETY and INFRASTRUCTURE are being ignored completely!

It will take sustained effort in Carroll Gardens to keep the pressure where it belongs: On our Councilman DeBlasio and on our other other elected officials in Brooklyn who supposedly do represent us and do care about us. We are not convinced yet. We are hearing all the right words and seeing no tangible results.

Several important things have been on the table for 360 Smith Street for example but they seem to disappear before they ever become reality. The Plaza jurisdiction issue for example, and the wide streets legislation. What ever happened to these critical aspects of our fight to save the plaza and the corner at 360 Smith Street from an overbearing, out of context building? Well they were there for a few seconds, and then they sort of vanished in the U.S. mail someplace. Councilman DeBlasio says he is doing "everything he can" to take care of these things. These are empty words. And what about SUBWAY SAFETY?? and the fact that the architect for 360 Smith Street which is OVER THE SUBWAY TUNNEL was so severely criticized by the Councilman (even before we knew his name ourselves here)? Shall we trust this project now?

After 7 months of fighting at 360 Smith Street we are still in the dark. And we are only the tip of the construction iceberg as development projects loom virtually everywhere in Carroll Gardens.

Meanwhile downzoning is no longer on any fast track or so I hear. I hope I am wrong. And landmarking "will take time, lots of time" (time we do not have). Again please prove us wrong. So the fight will surely continue................We in Carroll Gardens have set a record this year for community activism and involvement. This is already something to be extremely proud of! we dare say that for many of us, yes, our neighborhood DOES matter to us that much!!! This is important stuff! We just hope that some politician somewhere will take us seriously. We have heard recently that "overdevelopment" will be the coming election's big issue and we believe it.


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........