Sunday, November 1, 2015

CORD says...New York City Seizing personal property through Eminent Domain is Unnecessary, UNFAIR, and Fiscally Irresponsible!

The following is a CORD letter written to Judith Enck, Administrator for EPA's Region 2 Office in New York. In addition to the the other recipients cc-ed above, this letter was also sent to Mayor DeBlasio, Governor Cuomo, Senators Gillibrand and Schumer, Councilman Brad Lander, Councilman Stephen Levin, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, and State Senator Velmanette Montgomery

CG/Carroll Gardens 
CORD/Coalition for Respectful Development

Judith A. Enck
Administrator for EPA's Region 2 Office
New York 
Date:  November 1, 2015

Dear Ms Enck,

Our names are Lucy DeCarlo, Rita Miller and Triada Samaras. We are all Carroll Gardens residents living just a few blocks from the Gowanus Canal.

We are also the Co-Founders of CORD, the Carroll Gardens Coalition for Respectful Development, one of the group of Organizations that came to speak with you so long ago while advocating for the Canal to be placed upon the NPL.

We find it totally confusing and discouraging that now, after so much hard work, dedication and planning by your Agency, there is a discussion, indeed a serious possibility, of making considerably major changes to the timeline and plan proposed in the ROD.

We are not engineers, or architects or even plumbers. But, we are all property owners in Carroll Gardens. We value what we own. We respect our property and the property of others.  We appreciate what it takes to obtain it and to maintain it.

One of the reasons CORD so whole heartedly supported the ROD was because it not only provided the type of Canal cleanup we so desperately needed, it addressed the CSO issue and  managed to present all of this in a cost effective manner. 

Now we hear that our tax dollars could be wildly spent to purchase, through seizure, privately owned property--from what we understand to be unwilling sellers--to place the tank on their property rather than the perfectly located city owned property.

How ironic that the city's two biggest arguments against Superfunding the Canal in the first place were that it would take too long and it would cost too much.

Now that your Agency has successfully gone through the steps, and in record time, the City is touting seizing personal properties.  This will certainly take time when the rightful owners understandably put up a fight while spending OUR MONEY to fight them, making the deal and eventually purchasing the property to boot.

This is simply unacceptable.

We do not believe the Thomas Greene Park amenities will be lost forever because of the placement of an underground tank.

We do not believe that an interim park/pool amenity cannot be provided during the actual work. 

And we do not believe that the City of New York (with or without the participation of National Grid) could not spend our money in a more sensible, respectful, beneficial and productive manner by eventually providing a better park/pool than what is there now after the EPA's work is done.

We certainly could understand and would support a plan to do that.

As residents and more importantly as tax paying property owners, we ask you not to take our neighbor's properties away from them when one of the chief Responsible Parties already has the ability to provide the space themselves.

Very truly yours,
Rita Miller, Lucy DeCarlo, Triada Samaras
CG CORD Co-Founders
Brooklyn, NY  11231


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........