Monday, February 22, 2010

Dear Neighbor,

If you have not already done so, please see the letter below addressed to our Hannah Senesh neighbors regarding their proposed expansion.


342 Smith Street

Brooklyn, New York 11231

February 19, 2010

Emailed 2/19/10

Dear Hannah Senesh Neighbors,

We are some of the people who live on the blocks that surround your school. Some of us have been here for generations. Some are more recent transplants. What we all share is a deep affection and appreciation for this place which we call home.

When you opened your doors in September, 2007, your school community quickly revealed itself to be a very welcome presence and happy addition to our Carroll Gardens neighborhood. We were and are delighted to have you here.

Back in December of 2009, you held a meeting at your school and had your attorney address a small group of neighbors regarding your plans to expand. Although pleased with your success, we expressed our disapproval for your plan which called for your expansion to take place upon a publicly owned area, the courtyard located on the corner of First Place and Smith Street.

As we are sure you are aware of by now, the courtyard area is protected by Old Brooklyn Law. This law, which has served this community very well for over one hundred and sixty years, prohibits, among other things, construction of any type upon it.

Carroll Gardens is defined by its signature Place Blocks’, deep set front yards. This community has, over the last several years taken many painstaking steps to protect our neighborhood from the types of over development which has marred much of New York City and to our great dismay, parts of Carroll Gardens as well.

The residents of Carroll Gardens have worked and continue to work long and hard to preserve and protect this neighborhood from losing its historic architectural flavor, relevance and human scale presence in the midst of this great city. We believe that these qualities are a great part of what makes our neighborhood both desirable and special.

As we hope you have noticed by now, we Carroll Gardeners have passionate pride and deep heartfelt love for our neighborhood. We wish that you and your students will become as deeply appreciative and caring for Carroll Gardens as we are, as this is your community now too.

Your intention to proceed with plans that must include a change to our single most powerful protection is simply unacceptable.

Although we know our local elected officials have asked to meet with you to discuss your plans, we understand that you have refused to do so at this time.

We implore you to meet directly with us. Let’s sit down and have a frank and honest discussion about your needs, your plans and what you see as the future of the Hannah Senesh School within the Carroll Gardens community.

We are your neighbors. Let’s try to find a solution that works for all.

We hope that we hear from you very soon.



(Sign your name here)



Fax: 718-858-7190


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........