Tuesday, October 14, 2008


This article is published in:
CRAIN'S NEW YORK BUSINESS this week (also at newstands this week)

by Matthew Sollars

"An ambitious plan to redevelop two blocks along Brooklyn's fetid Gowanus Canal is drawing the ire of local residents who worry that the proposal is moving too quickly and contains buildings that are too tall.

"Toll Brothers has asked the city to rezone the blocks to allow mixed-income residential buildings, two of which would top out at 12 stories. The national real estate developer argues that the project conforms with a 25-block rezoning the city proposed in May.

"Why is it necessary to have buildings so tall that they dwarf the historic core of Carroll Gardens and show no respect for the nature of Gowanus?" asks Triada Samaras, co-founder of Coalition for Respectful Development. She also contends that the Toll Brothers plan should be delayed because the broader rezoning hasn't been finalized.

"This site can and will set a precedent for what is to follow there," Ms. Samaras says.

"Last month, the land use committee of Community Board 6 deadlocked on whether to rezone the two blocks, primarily over the height issue. The board has until mid-November to vote or propose changes to the developer's plan.

"Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz will then hold hearings. The plan will go to the Department of City Planning for approval next year and on to the City Council.

"Bob Zuckerman, a member of Community Board 6, acknowledges local opposition but insists that the area would benefit from the 140 units of affordable housing that Toll Brothers has pledged to include. And, like many residents, he believes that the canal won't be cleaned up until the adjacent land is developed." (M.S.)



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........