Monday, September 22, 2008

BSA PUBLIC HEARING this WED!/ A Powerful Letter from a Carroll Gardens Member


The public hearing sessions at the BSA/Board of Standards and Appeals for :
360 Smith Street /aka 131 Second Place/ aka Oliver House
will take place this coming Wednesday!

What: Two applications* for 360 Smith Street/ aka 131 Second Place/aka Oliver House

When: September 24, 2008 at 10:00 AM

Where: BSA/Board of Standards and Appeals, 40 Rector Street, 6th Floor, Hearing Room E, NY,NY 10006

Directions: F train to Jay st/Boro Hall. A train to Braodway/Nassau. Short walk.

*Applications #202-08 BZY and #212-08-A will both be heard then.

As it is a public hearing, the public can speak. Three minutes are allotted for each speaker.

We will need your support at this public hearing!
Perhaps, you will be willing to speak before the BSA; perhaps, you will choose to share your thoughts with the Board via a letter.
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!.

The public is also encouraged to write to the BSA.. THE BSA WILL ACCEPT WRITTEN STATEMENTS UP UNTIL SEPTEMBER 24.

For specific guidance regarding comments, submissions, etc, contact Toni Matias 212-788-8752.

A powerful LETTER from a CG Community Member re: our Councilman DeBlasio's non-support at the BSA Public hearings for 360 Smith St this week:

Dear Mr. De Blasio:

Please don't BAIL OUT Billy Stein. Please testify on behalf of Carroll Gardens residents against the height variance. This has been a very hard week for the ordinary tax payer. We are being asked to bail out business speculators at the expense of what our tax dollars would have given us for education, health care, social security, investment in jobs, alternative energy research and infrastructure. We are being asked to sacrifice and inevitably pay more taxes because of it. I have been paying my mortgage and taxes on time for 25 years and now face a 30% reduction in my property value because of speculation gone bad in the markets. Mr. Stein has the right to build Oliver House ,we do not want to deny that, but he should build to conform to the law and to fit into not burden the community. Don't make our community suffer to save Mr. Stein a reduction in profit. We have all been asked to give too much already this week. It is time the government and the law to do something for taxpayers who have not and do not manipulate the system. Mr. Stein has speculated in building Oliver House. The text amendment which we fought hard for should limit his height, our hard work should be rewarded not disregarded. It is time for government to favor us and not make us suffer for the loss of another speculative deal gone bad.

You may feel this is an overly dramatic analogy. In some ways it may be. However, I honestly believe that in our guts and hearts there is a sense of betrayal by elected officials to the influence of money and power and that the little guy is the inevitable loser. This is too big an issue for you, Mr. De Blasio to be neutral on. The vast majority of the Carroll Gardens community has been fighting out of context development very hard and has logged in many hours and tremendous effort to save the character of the neighborhood. The text amendment has been the only tangible achievement. The amount of bitterness and disappointment if this BSA variance is granted will be profound. How much do you want to ask us to bear, how far do we have to stretch to get some sense of control and power over what happens right here where we live and pay taxes. We have fought a good democratic fight within the system ,we have put up with a lot, spent a lot of time and have had to learn a lot to achieve this small accomplishment. Please, Mr. De Blasio stand up with us now, your testimony could be crucial. Many of us have responded to your request for support, we plan on supporting you in the future. We desperately need you now.


Vincent Joseph

Union-Sackett Block Association


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........