City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden
Per an email I received last night from Kevin Parris, Land Use Coordinator for Borough President Marty Markowitz, the Toll Brothers mega project at 363-365 Bond Street has been approved without conditions.
(Pardon Me For Asking, but how come we did not hear about this sooner from our Community Board and our Councilman?)
Surprise? No! Land Use Chair Amanda Burden and her board seem to rubber stamp most everything that is put before them. They make a great show of listening to the community members who take time off from work and family to give testimony, but then they decide as they please anyway. Most probably, the decisions are foregone conclusions and an exercise in futility if one opposes a development as a New York City resident.
I suppose we should not feel as though our voices are the only ones being ignored. Our own Borough President's recommendations were not taken into account. Because you know, none of that matters to Ms. Burden and her fellow Board Members. They just do what Mayor Bloomberg wants them to do: rezone the entire city for even MORE development.
Below is the email from Kevin Parris which landed in my mailbox yesterday.
Borough President Marty Markowitz has asked me to reply to your email regarding the proposal by Toll Brooklyn to develop 363-365 Bond Street. The borough president appreciates you taking the time to provide him with your comments. On November 19, 2008, the borough president conducted a public hearing on the Toll Brooklyn application. Prior to the hearing he also met with residents that presented a worthy alternative plan for the Bond Street site. Several dozen emails were also submitted to the borough president.
On December 17, 2008, the borough president submitted a report to the City Planning Commission and the City Council recommending approval with certain conditions; most notably, a reduction in the height of the project. The borough president’s recommendation also addresses other issues. This includes the need to strengthen the affordable housing commitment by Toll Brothers as well as the condition of the Bond Street sewer interceptor and issues of sewer backup and flooding experienced by neighboring residents. This recommendation was based on the borough president’s review of the Toll Brothers proposal; a review of the alternative plan; and, consideration of the oral and written testimonies received. A copy of his recommendation is attached.
On February 17, 2009, the City Planning Commission approved the Toll Brothers proposal without conditions; disapproving the borough president’s recommendations. The borough president is most appreciative of the time you took to share your views with him. He believes that his recommendation would have made for a better proposal, and he hopes the City Council will realize that it would serve the project best while at the same time addressing the concerns expressed by the community. Feel free to contact me if you have specific questions pertaining to the attached report. Thank you for sharing your concerns with the borough president. The subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises is expected to conduct its public hearing on Wednesday, March 4th, 2009.
Land Use Coordinator
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz
209 Joralemon Street
Brooklyn, New York 11201
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