Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz
and tell him how you feel about correcting the wide street loophole!
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May 6, 2008
Hon. Marty Markowitz
As both an architect at Pentagram Architecture and a resident/owner on one of the so called ‘Wide Streets’ in Carroll Gardens it would seem that my economic and career interests would favor the current zoning language allowing outsized development on these blocks. But I am absolutely opposed to it and I urge you to do everything in your power to undo this egregious loophole.
The peculiar ownership condition on these blocks (with the city owning the front courts and the streets therefore being defined as ‘Wide Streets’ in the zoning code) should not be allowed to stand. It is a clear unintended consequence of generalized regulations and benefits no one who really cares about the neighborhood.
There are those who claim that owners will be losing valuable rights: but how can a mistake be considered a ‘right’? The process of continuously correcting such errors is one of the basic functions of good government.
There are those who claim people will not be able to build back a home destroyed by fire: but only a very small percentage of the homes currently exceed the proposed regulations and even those can be built back under most conditions. Should we destroy a neighborhood to protect the negligible risk to a single home?
There are those that claim that residents don’t know about the ‘rights’ they are about to ‘lose’. But on my block alone most of my neighbors not only know about this, but have actively campaigned for the change. They realize that their economic interests are actually in favor of preservation, not destruction.
What kind of homeowner wants to build a building nearly twice the height of his neighbors? One who is selling his home to a developer and leaving the neighborhood, most likely. Should we be working to protect the ‘rights’ of owners who want to profit at the expense of the neighborhood they are abandoning?
The rest of
With your help, and with the voices of all of us who love the neighborhood more than we would love the chance to ‘cash in’ on an unfair loophole, we can begin to protect Very truly yours, James Biber
Very truly yours,