Friday, January 13, 2012

Best Comment Of The Day: Sitting In A Fishbowl

Anonymous has left the following comment on the post "After More Than Five Years, 'Remuddling' of 132 Second Place Almost Complete":
Yes, building hulking extensions is becoming very popular in CG. Aside from the brick wall, light & air issue, it more importantly robs its neighbors of privacy. It happened next door to I feel like I'm sitting in a fishbowl when I'm in my backyard. Neighbors look down on my yard from their thrones on their deck.


Anonymous said...

Very sad. The CG back yards are being used to expand at the expense of quality of life for current residents. One reason to perhaps get active in community - if that does any good.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if there's anything that can be done. I've been to a community board meeting when an extension project was on the docket. Several people, including myself, raised objections, but it fell on deaf ears. The project proceeded (with just a few cosmetic changes that were essentially meaningless). When the DOB issues permits for these extensions, it doesn't take into consideration any quality of life impact on neighbors.

Anonymous said...

The real estate lobby is the strongest lobby in NYC. And any square inch they can squeeze through implementing profitable rules and regulations turns into great wealth for developers - that includes anything - our air, sky, open spaces, building on brownfields, you name it. But someday, there has to be some end - but what we'll have at that time will be a greatly reduced quality of life, that's for sure. Unless...???

Michael Brown said...

@anon 10:13 you must have been at a landmarking meeting, since permitted enlargements would not otherwise trigger a public hearing (nor should they!)

Michael Brown said...

@anon 2:58 It pains me to say this, but it is mentalities such as yours that have contributed to the policies that have driven us to the brink of collapse as a nation.

The ONLY place growth should be permitted is in dense urban areas such as ours. Only with the existing infrastructure investments, transportation improvements and readily available services that you find in urban areas can growth truly be accommodated without having an adverse impact on the environment, our economy and, yes, our quality of life. Only here can existing societal investments and capital be properly leveraged to create lasting and strong, resilient communities.

The alternative is paving another cornfield to make way for another subdivision, which needs another federally finded highway to get to, which needs a new, tax subsidized Walmart to service, which needs taxpayer subsidized loans to finance the purchase of...the endless downward spiral we now find ourselves in.

Only by growing our urban areas can we truly be green and start to get back to the garden.

p.s. The REBNY are shills of the largest developers and property owners in the city. They would not care one iota about a small, legal extension in an area with extremely restrictive zoning like ours.

Anonymous said...

12.39 -You are out of you ever-frigging cotton-picking mind. Hong Kong - have you been there lately? It's disgusting. Overbuilt. Once charming. There has to be a limit to how much growth a community can take before the quality of life is not what the people who got into the area in the first place want. An infrastructure can only take so much. Have you taken the F or the R lately and seen the backup of people who get off at Carroll St. and at Union St.? You think the sewage systems can take more crap? There isn't enough crap going into the Gowanus watershed as is? I repeat, the real estate lobby is the strongest lobby in the city, and they only have one thing in mind - and that is not the quality of your life, but how to squeeze as many bucks out of whatever they can. Period.

Michael Brown said...

And your solution to population growth is...population control? more suburbs? A city like Hong Kong is the greenest city you can build; because it enables the retention of open space and farmlands elsewhere.

It seems your mentality is that you don't want your way of life disturbed, and damn everything else. Not only is that shortsighted, but it is selfish.

I appreciate the quality of life that we have here, but also am able to step back and realize what is best for society as a whole, not just me.

Margaret said...

I am not going to continue this discussion, Michael. Your attitude is damn the urban areas, any need and desire for quality of life is selfish. But the profit gained by the greedy developers is only for the good of people whether the people like it or not. City Planning should take into consideration multiple aspects - including quality of life - and the argument is not reduced to people being selfish if they don't like what the profit-makers want. Selfish is one of those words that really turns me off when people use it to name call and counter protestations. The person whose privacy has been reduced (which is what started this thread) is not being selfish. The developer who built into the backyards is. That was done purely to make greater financial gain - true selfishness.

Michael Brown said...

My attitude is to focus development in urban areas, not in our wilderness and farmland. You seem to believe that we can continue as a society to have two and three story rowhouses (which were built by speculative, money hungry developers at a time when the nation's population was not even 100 million) three stops on mass transit from Manhattan at a time when we are blowing past 300 million people. If we continue outward, rather than upward, expansion, we will soon further bankrupt ourselves, further indebt ourselves to Saudi Arabia and China, and continue to grow more and more obese as a nation.

I believe that those are all more important factors to consider when zoning an area than people's loosely defined privacy.

But you are free to disagree.

Anonymous said...

CG was rezoned so instead of expandig up, properties need to build into the rear yard if they want to use the floor area allowed by the new zoning. The worst example of this is 118 President St.

CM Lander voted in favor of the rezoning so we can thank him for this.

It is far easier (and better for all) to add an additional floor but five floors are too tall / not allowed in the new zoning.