Sunday, March 17, 2013

Important Update And Meeting Regarding Lightstone's Proposed Gowanus Project

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Old rendering of Lightstone Development next to the Gowanus Canal (credit: Lightstone Group)
Lightstone new rendering
New Rendering Of Lightstone Development
(Via Councilman Lander's office)
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New elevation drawings for Lightstone Project. Click here for enlarged view
(Via Councilman Lander's office)
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Lightstone Development site, Canal at Carroll Street during Sandy (photo credit: Margaret Maugenest)
Second Street at canal during storm (photo credit: Triada Samaras)
Sandy flooding at First Street near Canal (photo credit: Carl Teitelbaum)

***Important Information For All Carroll Gardens/Gowanus Residents***

Tomorrow, Monday March 18
at 1 pm
Spector Hall, 22 Reade Street, New York, New York

There is some very important information that was circulated late last week on Lightstone Group's proposed large-scale Gowanus development at 363-365 Bond Street, between Carroll Street and 2nd Street.
According to Councilman Brad Lander's office, which informed several Gowanus residents on Thursday evening, Lightstone is proceeding with the project "as of right" and has abandoned the minor modification which they had previously requested of NYC's Department of City Planning (DCP).

In 2012, hoping to piggy-back on the former Toll Brothers project at the same site, Lightstone had sought DCP's approval for variations in the base height of the project, building heights and footprints of portions of the buildings, relocation of parking entrances, changes to the location and design of the open space, and changes to the number of residential units from 447 to 700.  DCP considered these changes "minor" modification's, which are subject to review and approval only by the Commission, rather than 'major' modifications that require the initiation of a new ULURP.

DCP was going to rule on this matter in November 2012, but the hearing never took place because of Hurricane Sandy. The community was told that DCP and its Brooklyn office were first waiting for the release of Federal Emergency Management Agency's new post-Sandy "Advisory Base Flood Elevations (ABFE)", which indicate significant expansion of the flood plains.
The ABFEs for the Gowanus area were published very recently.

Perhaps concerned about new flood regulations in Zone A and of legal challenges, Lightstone has re-configured the proposed 700-unit development so that it can move forward according to the site's existing zoning. To address the fact that the land sits squarely in FEMA's flood zone A and to comply with new waterfront development rules, Lightstone has pulled away slightly from the water and increased the grade at First Street.

City Planning has placed the Lightstone item back on its calendar for tomorrow, Monday March 18, at 1 pm, Spector Hall, 22 Reade Street, New York, New York. (It's the 9th agenda item).  The meeting is open, but no comments will be accepted from the public.
All important information can be found here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/luproc/reviewsession.pdf?r=031813

I urge everyone to attend. This project will most likely serve as the blueprint for the over-all rezoning for the Gowanus Canal and will create repercussions for neighboring residents.  The plan to raise the entire site will most likely increase flooding in nearby properties.  

Councilman Brad Lander, who has previously asked Lightstone to withdraw its application, issued the following comment on Friday:  “In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, I continue to believe it is a mistake to move forward with dense, high-rise, residential development without a comprehensive plan for infrastructure and land use regulations that Gowanus needs.” 



6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I wonder what "as of right" development means in this context. Does it mean that Lightstone will be bound by the restrictive declaration of the Toll approval? Is the project back to 447 condo units? Is the Fifth Avenue Committee still involved? If so, they should be ashamed of themselves especially in light of Sandy.

Agnes said...

This spot rezoning should never have been granted to Toll Bros. Sandy is still fresh in our minds, and this project, especially in view of what happened with Sandy, is a slap in our face. And the Fifth Avenue Commitee, which also wants to see sense residential development of Public Place site, has partnered with Lightstone. Shame, shame, shame.

Anonymous said...

This project is frightening. How many is it, 700..
How can this happen??

Anonymous said...

There have been recent published statements from realtors expressing concern that the Superfund cleanup will hurt rental prices here.
Anyone know what the Fifth Avenue Committee's position is on the cleanup? If they are on Lightstone's payroll one might think they are working to max rents for the developer.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:51,

Michelle de la Uz, the executive director of the 5th Ave. Committee (which is also Brad Lander's former employer) is that organzation's rep on the Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group. She is also De Blasio's appointee to City Planning. Think what you want.

Katia said...

It will be interesting to see if Michelle de la Uz will recuse herself from voting.
If ever there was a conflict of interest.