Thursday, April 28, 2011

Gowanus Canal CAG Charter Ratified!


Last night's general meeting of the Gowanus Community Advisory Group was held at National Grid's offices on Jay Street. The meeting focused on the presentation of the CAG charter that the Operating Procedures Committee has been working on for the last several months. As part of that process, the committee sent out via email to all CAG members and interested members of the public, a charter for their review and a request for comments. In addition, an open house meeting was held by the Operating Procedures Committee on Thurs, April 21st at CB6 where the committee entertained questions and comments from both CAG members and the public alike.
The committee then compiled all of the input from the first emailings and the open house, made some adjustments based on that very valuable input, redistributed the revised charter to all of the CAG members, via email prior to last night's meeting. Three of the four members of the Operating Procedures Committee* were even on hand an hour before the official meeting starting time of 6:30, for any and all CAG members who wished to discuss the charter right up to the beginning of the meeting.
After a presentation by the committee with committee member, Craig Hammerman as spokesman, a Q&A session began. At the end of that session, the attendees were asked if they were willing and prepared to take a vote to ratify the charter. The answer was yes. The vote was taken and the charter approved by a majority of greater than 4/5 of the present members.
What does this mean? Well, up until last night, the CAG was operating without any real guidelines in place. Although committee meetings have been held, they have not been able to really move forward because there was no agreed upon system in place that could determine how proposals would be made, and what level of approval would be needed to make decisions regarding those proposals. Now, with that system in place, the committees and the CAG as whole can confidently move forward.
CORD has provided both versions (the first draft charter and the revised one) to you. At last night's meeting, the fact that there were still a couple of typographical errors which needed to be corrected were openly presented and discussed, and as soon as the final version is ready, we will be posting that for all of you as well.
*Note-Operating Procedures Committee Members--Craig Hammerman, Steven Miller, Maria Pagano (absent last night), and CORD CAG representative, Rita Miller
(See our for Charter in full)


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........