Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Statement from Munical Art Society on Gowanus Development/Alternative Plan

The first step in the comprehensive rezoning will take place
Tuesday, March 10th.

What: Gowanus Rezoning Public Scoping Meeting
Where: Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon St.
When: 3/10/2009
3:30pm-4:30pm and 6:00pm-7:30pm

This is NOT the year to be shy at these meetings as we have an ELECTION YEAR, dear voters! This means that we need to let our elected officials know that if we do not get the help we expect and deserve for our communities, from the very people we put into office to do the same, then we will surely change directions once we have a ballot in our hands. CORD

Here are a few excerpts from The Municipal Art Society of New York's ( MAS NYC) article and statement on the development of the Gowanus .

Gowanus: A Great Place to Work, But to Live? By Susanna Schaller March 9th, 2009

" The City is proposing to rezone 25 blocks along the canal to allow for a mix of uses, including residential, commercial, retail, light industrial, community facility and artist spaces. Brooklyn Borough Hall will have a hearing tomorrow about the rezoning. MAS will be there and share how the thriving manufacturing district could be a tremendous opportunity to nurture and safeguard existing businesses and create space for new industries and sorely needed job growth."


"MAS’ concern is that the City’s plan provides incentives to build eight to twelve story buildings along the northern portion of the Canal. But, is this a good place to allow mid-to high-density residential development?"

"The area lies in a flood plain, and locals who walk or bike across the canal are often met by the putrid odors rising from the canal due to the lack of adequate storm-water and sewage infrastructure. If it rains, the situation becomes even more dismal as the area’s streets become flooded by water contaminated by raw sewage. The Gowanus Canal has also been the site of intensive industrial activity for over 150 years, and those businesses left behind petroleum and other environmental contaminants that pose serious health risks." Link

MAS NYC has issued a Statement and the site features maps.

"In our statement, we propose some creative solutions that might be applied to protect and strengthen light manufacturing job growth."

Statement: http://mas.org/images/media/original/MAS-position-gowanus-rezoning-3_9_09-final-maps.pdf

The following info was received from Tom Gray at Councilman DeBlasio's ofc. today. If you have any questions re: this info. please contact Tom directly (See contact info on r.h. side of this blog)

Frequently Asked Questions:
(E) Designation
What is an (E) designation?
An (E) designation (shown below) is a zoning map designation that
provides notice of the presence of an environmental requirement
pertaining to potential hazardous materials contamination or noise or
air quality impacts on a particular tax lot. (E) designations are
established as part of a change in zoning that would allow additional
development to occur on property, or would permit uses not currently
allowed. It is not a notice of a building violation.

How does an (E) designation affect my property?
After the establishment of an (E) designation, you may continue to use
your property in any legal manner, as you did before the (E)
designation, for as long as you like. However, in general, before any
new construction or change in use can take place on your property, the
environmental requirements of the (E) designation need to be

Who put the (E) designation on the Zoning Map?
(E) designations are established on the Zoning Map by the City
Planning Commission and City Council, as a part of a zoning change.

Why was an (E) designation placed on my property?
Zoning changes are subject to an environmental review pursuant to
state and local law. If an area is proposed to be rezoned, and the
accompanying environmental analysis indicates that development on your
property may be affected by noise, or air quality, or hazardous
material contamination, then an (E) designation is likely to result.

An (E) designation can occur because the property:
• Was used as or is in close proximity to a gas station or some other
underground fuel oil tank;
• Is located in or contiguous to a manufacturing district; Has a
history of manufacturing uses;
• Is located next to a building with a history of manufacturing uses;
• Is located on a heavily trafficked street or highway; Is located
next to a railroad;
• Has some other environmental condition on the property or nearby
that is a cause for concern.
These designations assure that appropriate testing and remediation, if
necessary, occur on properties that are being rezoned.

I just found out that there is an (E) designation on my property. What
do I have to do now?
The (E) designation is not a building violation and does not affect
any legal use on your property. However, if you are planning to build
on your property, enlarge the existing building, or change the way the
property is used, you will not be able to obtain a Building Permit
until the environmental requirements of the (E) designation are

Where can I find the environmental requirements of the (E) Designation
for my property?
The Zoning Resolution includes a list of adopted (E) designations that
describes the environmental condition that needs to be addressed for
each property. This full list of adopted (E) designations, list by
Block and Lot Number: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/zone/ceqr.pdf
In order to obtain specific information about (E) designations on your
property, you will need the tax block and lot number of your property.
If you do not know your tax block and lot number, you can retrieve it
using the GeoQuery Address Translator on the Department's homepage.

For more information regarding the (E) designation requirements
affecting your property, please contact the Department of City
Planning Environmental Assessment and Review Division at (212)

How do I satisfy the environmental requirements of an (E) designation
for hazardous materials?
Satisfying the requirements may involve the submission of the results
from sub-soil testing or other documentation to the Department of
Environmental Protection (DEP). To discuss the specific tests or
documentation needed to satisfy environmental requirements for your
property, please contact DEP at (718) 595-4433. No testing should
commence before conferring with DEP.

In order to obtain a building permit from the Department of Buildings,
you will need to present a report from DEP specifying that these
environmental requirements relating to the (E) designation have been

I think that the (E) designation was placed on my property by mistake.
How can I have it corrected?
If you believe that an (E) designation was placed on your property in
error, your concerns should be expressed in writing to: Environmental
Assessment and Review Division Department of City Planning, 22 Reade
Street, NY, NY, 10007. Be sure to indicate the tax block and lot(s) of
the subject property and clearly state why you believe that the (E)
designation is in error and include any relevant documentation.

I plan to develop several lots, but only one of them has an (E)
designation. How does that affect my other lots?
In the case of a merger or subdivision of tax lots or zoning lots with
an (E) designation, involving either improved or unimproved
properties, the (E) designation will apply to all portions of the tax
lots or zoning lots.

Where can I get more information on (E) designations?
Additional questions can be directed to the Department of City
Planning's Environmental Assessment and Review Division at (212)


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........