Thursday, May 8, 2008

Borough President's hearing on Text Amendment last night

CORD is so proud of all the Carroll Gardens neighbors who turned out for the Borough President's hearing last night (May 7, 2008) in support of the Text Amendment!
We are so pleased to have some of the testimonials delivered in person, or in writing here for you to read and enjoy.
Please feel free to write or otherwise contact the Borough President at: ..
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz
(718) 802-3700

and tell him how you feel about correcting the wide street loophole!
Read, enjoy and be proud of your neighbors below:
We will continue to post some of the testimony daily. If you would like to see your testimony published here on our blog please send it to: Thank you! CORD

For the Hearing on Wide-Street Amendment

My name is Martin Rowe and I and my wife, Mia MacDonald, are very recent homeowners on Second Place between Court and Smith. We are here today to express our support for the proposal to align our block and other wide-street blocks with the other narrow-street blocks in Carroll Gardens. We see this as a way to ensure the essential character of our neighborhood as one of low-rise, compact houses with streets that allow the trees to grow, the sky to be seen, sunlight to enter our front and back yards, and that honor the intentions of the original planners.

Mia and I have lived in Carroll Gardens for fourteen years: first on Woodhull Street, then on Third Place, and now on Second Place. We love this neighborhood’s lack of big box stores and big box buildings, and the many small businesses located here—including mine. All of this is under threat: high-rise apartment buildings, numerous banks, and pharmacies are proliferating because of a belief, which we think is misguided, that regulation of any sort will threaten the value of our homes and our individual liberty.

Mia and I understand these are deeply held convictions, and we honor them. But we bought our house not because we saw money in the plot underneath it or the air above it or the space behind it. We bought it because of its character, one the previous owners had lovingly fostered for twenty-nine years, and because it was in this neighborhood, was filled with books, and had a beautiful garden at the back and front. We bought it despite its off-kilter stairs and idiosyncratic electrical wiring. We firmly believe that if we care for this house, it will increase in value; just as, if we care for this neighborhood, everything around us will become more valuable—in all senses of the word. In doing this, we believe we will have a home—in all senses of that word, too.

Life and community cannot be just about speculation—or the jealous guarding of our own space. We share these streets, the light and air, as a community. That’s why we believe this amendment is important and overdue, and why we hope that others will support it, too. Thank you.


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........