Friday, October 11, 2013

Sackett Union Condo Building: Nice Landscaping, But...

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Late this summer, before the first owners moved into Sackett Union, Carroll Gardens' newest  luxury development, the outside of the main building was nicely landscaped.  Rather than restoring the original tree pits along Court Street,  a continuous border that runs the length of the building has been installed along the sidewalk.  Liriope has been planted between the trees and the whole border has been mulched.
The effect is quite nice, but there is a bit of a problem with the landscaping.
Here is an email from a PMFA reader who explains:
"While I think that the new building on Court btwn Sackett and Union meant well with their landscaping, it is adjacent to the curb for almost the whole block. It makes it impossible to get out of the passenger side of a car without trampling it, and will be more so once it snows. Is this even allowed per NYC sidewalk regulations?Wondering if anyone else has noticed this."
Yes, others have noticed as well. A few other people in the neighborhood have brought it to our attention in the last few weeks.
As for the legality, I am not quite sure if it violates NYC sidewalk regulations.  It may be part of New York City's Green Infrastructure Plan, a storm water management plan that aims to keep storm water out of our sewer system.
Large planting beds or tree pits on sidewalks certainly help absorb rainwater. That's a good thing. But obviously, the solution to one problem creates another.

Does anyone have an answer?



17 comments:

Anonymous said...

At first I thought this was kind of irritating for when I'm trying to jaywalk across Court Street, but on further reflection I actually approve of it for the runoff reasons stated above.

Anonymous said...

I noticed this when they first reopened the sidewalk and I kind of hate it, as a pedestrian. One of the great things about Court St is the wide sidewalks, when compared to Smith St, but here they have essentially halved the space and given it to a bunch of bushes - something Carroll GARDENS has plenty of.

I like greenery as much as anyone in the hood, and I imagine they meant well. But although it's not the end of the world, this just seems like a big waste of space (and shrubs) and another case of the developer of this property not knowing the neighborhood. I think a few benches would have been a better idea.

Anonymous said...

I found myself reprimanding my kids as they got out of the car because they came close to trampling the grasses, and then realized how idiotic it was of the developer to not leave any space for people to get out of their cars. And seriously, what happens when it snows, a bunch of snow piles?

kim said...

I think it is ridiculous. They did the same thing when they built my daughter's new school. There is NOT enough sidewalk for the kids to walk,so they have to walk through it when getting dropped off. The dirt is a muddy mess in the rain and snow and people let their dogs use it as a bathroom. Not a very smart idea....

Joe Schenck said...

I think there's going to be big problems with family's with small children getting in and out of there cars! it's going to be one big mess ! is there a mud room in the building
Well, there should be at least a mudd room in the building ! why? because people with family"s are going to step right into mudd!!thats city property anyway ,howed that get away with that anyway? very thoughtless !!

jackie said...

not very smart at all ,please change it ,great for dogs and cats ,not for elderly and family"s with small children ! besides ,the city owns the side walks !! who aproved that mess ?





Anonymous said...

So far it sounds like its only a problem with people with cars....

Taksa said...

It's lovely and the sidewalk is very wide on that block, so there's plenty of space to walk, even with those uncivilized double-wide strollers and golf umbrellas. I do think that the developer should lay some nice paver stones between the grasses in a few spots so people can access their cars more easily. Or better yet, get rid of cars on that side of the street and install a CitiBike station and some racks for private bikes.

Anonymous said...

Court St. is going to be a big mess with dirt! On the sidewalk AND the street. There is much traffic during the day with people getting out of their cars.

I think a smart thing to do would be to put down some small cement "island walkways" in between the trees so that people have something to walk on getting into/out of their cars. Not sure how nice it would look, but would lessen the dirt.

Anonymous said...

This is how all sidewalks use to be before homeowners started paving over curbside green belts. I'm glad new developers are bringing them back. Regarding exiting your car, I'm sure it's acceptable to step on the grass or mulch. What if you parked right at a tree pit - wouldn't you have to somehow step onto the pit or roots. Let's appreciate this and not be so picky.

Anonymous said...

I noticed this right away. I like the look of it, perhaps they could install some nice looking stone pavers that cut across at regular intervals.

Anonymous said...

First, all sidewalk construction and landscaping is typically approved by DOB, DOT, and the Parks Dept. The sidewalk is wide enough to allow for this, and personally, the more green the better. It's no different than parking next to a tree pit.

Anonymous said...

I love the way it looks, but it IS different than the occasional tree pit. It will become a safety concern when kids and the elderly are getting out on the Court St side with cars racing by, so they can avoid the mud and snow (which will be piled up since there is no sidewalk underneath). Just saying.

Anonymous said...

Is there any thing you folks won't bitch about?

Anonymous said...

I don't see any curb cuts and the fact that he "green" area is a raised bed certainly isn't condusive to controlling stormwater...that said the developer should have provided street access to the sidewalk..otherwise this is a nice improvement..not bitching,, just a thought..

Janet Zimmerman said...

In suburban areas of Queens, these beds are simple green grass, which of course need mowing, but do not present a hazard for people getting in and out of cars.

Anonymous said...

It's a lazy quick fix. Filled with trash . I'm happy the trees made it. Regardless, there should be access from the curb to the sidewalk.