Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Rationality and Democracy in Brooklyn, USA last Thursday 8/28/2008

Last Thursday evening, Aug. 28th, the Land Use Committee of CB 6 rationally decided that developer Billy Stein shouldn't continue with his current plan until another hearing takes place in mid-September.

From the Found in Brooklyn Blog: Democracy in Brooklyn, USA.

"The developer of 360 Smith Street took his case to build his building tall than allowed by new zoning language to the Land Use Committee of Community Board 6 last night and lost. The vote against the developer’s appeal (which will got the Board of Standards and appeals in any case) was unanimous with three abstentions." (edit)

"A contingent of residents went to the meeting, according to special GL Correspondent, and spoke against the allowing the building to go to 70 feet rather than the currently allowed 55 feet. Community representatives also apparently pointed out errors in the BSA application. The local group CORD turned in 500 letters opposing the application to be allowed to continue to the 70-foot height." (edit)

See Also: The Gowanus Lounge Blog:

"Carroll Gardeners Rallying Troops for August Dog Days Meeting"

"Community Board Committee Says No to 360 Smith Developer"

CORD would like to thank all of the 500 plus people who signed letters of support. These letters were handed in (as reported above) last week to CB 6. We will also be handing in the originals to the Board of Standards and Appeals when that hearing comes.

CORD would also like to thank all of the people who volunteered to collect their neighbor's signatures--and if they were not able to get them all back to us by last Thursday nite's meeting, they can still return these letters to us and we will see that they are turned in to the BSA. (See cut-n-paste below.)

CORD would like to also thank State Senator Marty Connor (and Oscar Jonas) and Assemblywoman Joan Millman (and Claire) for their much appreciated support last week.

And of course, CORD would like to enthusiastically thank all those who came out last Thursday to the CB 6 land use committee meeting and who spoke out against the appeal of the developer Mr. Stein with such clarity and passion. This is truly what Democracy in Brooklyn is made of!

If you did not get a chance to sign the letter yet and wish to do so,
please cut-n-paste the letter below (or compose one of your own) and email to CORD at

Attention: Ms. Meenakshi Srinivasan, Chair

Board of Standards and Appeals

40 Rector Street, 9th Floor,

New York, NY 10006

RE: 360 Smith Street (aka 131 2 Place)

BSA CAL # 202-08-BZY

Dear Chair Srinivasan, Esteemed Board of Standards and Appeals Members,

I am a resident of Carroll Gardens. I was shocked when I first learned of the size of the proposed project to be built at the above mentioned site. I never realized that a building of this mass could be placed on our small, residential streets. I was astonished that this type of development would even be permitted!

I wholeheartedly supported the Carroll Gardens Zoning Text Amendment because I believed in the importance and necessity of reining in this type of out-of-scale development.

I understand that Mr. Stein, the owner and developer of the site has requested additional time to complete his now stopped, now non-compliant project.

This out-of-character building represents the very reason I supported the text amendment in the first place. I am not anti-development. I do feel, however, that this project, which according to the Department of Buildings’ determination, has only completed “approximately twenty per cent (20%) of its foundation”, certainly could and should be scaled back to comply with the new, more appropriate and hard-won zoning.

I, along with hundreds of others, actively participated in getting the fifteen blocks affected by the amendment properly categorized as “narrow” for zoning purposes. It is an affront to me and the others who worked so diligently, to permit this project, which is barely begun, to be allowed to attain its proposed height and bulk.

I respectfully ask that you vote against this application. Thank you.



Thank you all for your continued support!



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........