Friday, September 28, 2012

Inspiring Words from CORD Co-Founder re: Lightstone Development application

Hello from CORD!

Below is the full testimony of Rita Miller, CORD-Co Founder, who spoke at the CB 6 meeting about the Lightstone Development Project application.
For an excellent review of this meeting and the issues involved for our community please see PMFA
Last night Community Board 6's Land Use Committee asked for a supplemental environmental impact study among other things. 

"Good evening. 

"I am a Co-Founder of CORD (Carroll Gardens Coalition for Respectful Development) and serve as the CORD representative on the administrative, real estate and water quality committees of the CAG [EPA Gowanus Superfund Community Advisory Group].  In that capacity I was one of the very limited number of CAG members, as per the developer's request, that Lightstone agreed to meet with last week.
But I am here tonight as a resident and CORD member.

"It is my understanding that it is your role, as the land use committee members to assess and advise on this new application by Lightstone.  I deliberately use the word new, not only because of the changes, minor or not, but because of the fact that this proposal comes before you under a different set of circumstances than its predecessor did.
"As the CORD representative on the CAG--i have been lucky enough to learn a great deal not only about the canal, our sewer system, the superfund, that a floatable is not always a pool toy---but about how things within our government work, how rules are created and applied and mostly how we must adapt and sometimes be brave enough to fight back when we recognize that the application of the same old rules is just not working for us.

"That is really the dilemma before you this evening because tonight is not about being for or against this project.

"Tonight is not about being pro or anti development.

"Tonight is about being for or against what is in the best interests of your community, your neighbors and your own families."

"Tonight is about saying out loud--superfund designation of that canal is the best thing that ever happened here --it has changed the old rules -and is the one shot we have at getting some of our most pressing present environmental problems fixed and improving the conditions for whatever future WE participate in creating for our own community.

"We are on new ground here--this is an exciting time and you are in a position to make a real difference.

"Do you want to? Are you strong enough? Or do you want to rubber stamp a project just because the "rules" , as provided to you in such a narrow fashion, say you should...

"The EPA tells us developers are interested in the area---

"Be brave--send a message to city planning that you will not be used -- don't thank them for including you--stand up and tell them we want a comprehensive rezoning first a STUDY of the area that addresses the cumulative impact of that rezoning and any proposed projects upon our environment, our community and the proposed remedy--something this 'spot rezoned before so therefore we must plop it down now' mind set does not do--

"Tonight is the night to say, no."
Rita Miller 9-28-2012


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........