Friday, May 16, 2008

Coming June 4th: the NY City Planning Commission Hearings!

CORD hopes that reading the words of your neighbors through these testimonies each day serves to inspire you to participate in the next phase of the zoning amendment process.

On Wednesday morning, June 4th, the City Planning Commission will be holding their hearings regarding the Carroll Gardens zoning text amendment... we are one step closer to closing a loophole that needs to be resolved once and for all----we are almost there....we will give you more details as the date approaches...
We will need your support. Perhaps, you will be willing to speak before the commission. Perhaps, you will choose to share your thoughts with the commission via a letter. Let your friends and neighbors words be your guide. Please do not be afraid to participate.

Listen to what your neighbors have to say, listen to how they feel about where we live and let your voice be heard as well. This is your chance to make change happen. Take it.


Link to Text Amendment Fact Sheet prepared by CORD and CGNA

Testimony of Triada Samaras
2nd Place
Brooklyn, NY 11231

I am testifying in favor of the zoning text amendments that would change the designation of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Places as well as 2nd Street, Carroll Street, and President Street between Smith Street and Hoyt Street from a wide street designation to a narrow street designation.

I am a 15 year resident of Carroll Gardens, and a co-founder of C.O.R.D. (Carroll Gardens Coalition for Respectful Development). C.O.R.D. was organized a year ago in the wake of the devastating news that a massive building was about to land on our corner at Oliver House, 131 Second Place (a.k.a.360 Smith Street). I can not fully explain how disturbing the news of this ill-conceived Oliver House was to those of us who live, walk, and congregate within feet of that corner. This site is the heart of Carroll Gardens and its transportation hub.

So many of us wondered: What kind of fuzzy math was used that would allow a developer to construct this mammoth sized structure? Furthermore, we heard the even stranger argument that the developer was building AS OF RIGHT, and that the community had no say in the matter!

It is obvious to any young child with a tape measure, that Second Place, can barely accommodate one car at a time. It is not meant to be developed in the same way as a wide street like Court Street is. This calculation defies common sense and everyday logic.

Has the City considered the damage that oversized buildings designed for wide streets can do to fragile, smaller homes designed and built for narrow streets? What about the obvious safety issues involved in constructing a building as massive as Oliver House? Is the city considering the effects of the increased population on our fragile infrastructure?

Looking back to when I bought my house 15 years ago, I wondered aloud with my neighbors: How many of us would have bought our homes on these narrow streets knowing a loophole existed calculating them as wide? I dare say very few.

Hadn’t we specifically chosen to purchase homes on narrow, side streets AWAY from the wide streets? Yes, we who moved to Carroll Gardens had sought a reprieve from the large structures and denser neighborhoods found in Manhattan. We decided to live here as an alternative. We are now financially, emotionally, and psychologically invested in Carroll Gardens.

Thousands of CG residents have signed a CORD petition to support a resolution to impose an immediate building moratorium in Carroll Gardens. Hundreds of people also signed letters in support of the zoning text amendments. These residents are demanding a stop to the over-development insanity in Carroll Gardens.

PLEASE close this wide streets loophole at once! Please approve this text amendment IMMEDIATELY before more irreversible damage is done to our narrow streets with front gardens, and to my favorite place on earth: my neighborhood and my home – Carroll Gardens!

May God Bless and 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........