Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ask Marty to Help Scale Back Gowanus Development

CORD received the following letter re: the proposed Toll Brothers Development in Carroll Gardens today. Please read!

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Many of us in the neighborhood have been working to establish appropriately scaled development on the Gowanus Canal. This rare channel of water in our urban fabric, gradually being cleaned up, has incredible potential for a publicly-accessible urban respite park (last month I met a fisherman who regularly catches striped bass form Carroll bridge!)

City Planning proposes 12 story residential development along the canal south of Carroll Street bridge. Though this re- zoning is not approved, Toll Brothers is moving ahead with plans to build a large development on the canal between 2nd and Carroll Streets at the 12 story height.

While many of us support re-zoning to allow residential development along the canal, most of us in the neighborhood believe the development should be limited in height so that:

- It has less impact on the adjacent historic 2-4 story brownstone fabric of Carroll Gardens

- It provides necessary sunlight and open sky required for the relatively narrow publicly accessible canal-front park.

To build their project, Toll Bros needs special approval through ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Process), which includes approval by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. Last week, John Hatheway (architect, member of the Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association and advocate for responsible development for those who don't know him) and I gave the attached presentation to Marty, advocating an 8 story height limit, which allows the same built area and affordable housing as Toll Bros. but at an appropriate height for Carroll gardens and the Gowanus park.

He and his staff were receptive. But for Marty to advocate for our proposal, he needs to know that we have support of many in Brooklyn.

If you agree with us PLEASE SEND MARTY AN EMAIL at the below address saying you are “a resident of Carroll Gardens and support John Hatheway and Chris McVoy’s proposal for limiting development on the Gowanus to 8 stories” for reasons above and any others you wish to mention.


This is likely our last chance to scale back the development! - and Marty actually reads his emails!

On Wednesday we will give the same presentation at the Borough Pres’ public hearing. It would also be very helpful if any of you could come and voice your support for our proposal at the hearing:

DATE: Wednesday, November 19, 2008

TIME: 5:30 pm

PLACE: Brooklyn Borough Hall
First Floor, 209 Joralemon Street Brooklyn, NY 11201

Thank you!

Chris McVoy,
Carroll Street
Carroll Gardens


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........