Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Carroll Gardens Community Member Writes:

We at CORD are very grateful to have this powerful and clear letter from one of our neighbors to publish for others to read as well.

We encourage more people to do the same! Please send us your thoughts, concerns, memories, of Carroll Gardens etc., so that we could keep in touch with another. You can use our address at for your submissions.

Letters like the one below are seen and read by so many different people in our community including our electeds. We encourage you to use your voice to fight with, and to join us!

United, we can fight more effectively for the preservation and much- needed respectful development of our beloved Carroll Gardens! Register for our free newsletter on the right hand side of our blog at This way you will be sure to get all the latest news and communications from CORD.

Thank you.

A Community Member Writes:

As a trained architect and urban planner, but more importantly, as a concerned 20-year resident of Carroll Gardens, I write to register my utter incomprehension of the real estate development scenarios being played out in my Brooklyn neighborhood. The scale and density of the developments planned and conceived for the Carroll Gardens area, since it's creation a part of 'brownstone Brooklyn', are grotesquely out-of-place and severely at odds with the realities of the current economy. Just as the laissez-faire de-regulation and greed of the financial industry fanned the flames of the present economic disaster, ill-conceived planning motivated by the greed of outside developers will lead to the unraveling of Carroll Gardens' charming neighborhood fabric.

In the same year that our fire-house has been abandoned due to the inadequacies of City funding, the Toll Brothers development alone aims to add some 500 additional housing units to the area. At the same time that the MTA threatens service cuts and austerity measures, the current wait for morning and evening F-line service has entered the realm of the ridiculous, with the subway platform crowds swelling as already fully packed trains pull into the station. So, now, add a significant percentage of these developments' occupants into the mix, and an already bad commute just becomes that much worse. I implore you to join our rush-hour commute from Carroll Street to Manhattan one weekday morning between 8:00 AM - 9:15 AM, and enjoy the wait for a train that just might offer enough space to squeeze onto. Meanwhile, with the rush to development at both the Clarett Group and Oliver House sites, the community has so far been left with nothing more than huge holes in the ground --now more blight than benefit. On-street parking has become increasingly more difficult, as crossing both Court Street and Smith Street has become more dangerous.

These being just a few examples of the contradictory logic at play here, there appears to be a disconnect, whether political or financial in nature, I don't know. However, the irony of these facts is not lost on the neighbors of Carroll Gardens, as we remain actively engaged in the fight to protect the unique character, historic charm, look, feel and sense of community which is our neighborhood.

Whereas our Mayor seems to speak frequently of 'quality of life', I can only assume that the billionaire quality of life is far more immune from these mundane daily concerns than our working middle-class quality of life.


Carroll Gardens Resident


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........