Zoning map for 280 Bond Street
drawing via therockandrollplayhouse.com
WAG just sent around the following meeting information in an email:
"We are writing today to ask that you attend a very important upcoming meeting, NEXT TUESDAY, JANUARY 14TH, at 10am in Spector Hall, the Bureau of Standards and Appeals, 22 Reade Street, Manhattan.The 4/5/6 trains to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall is the closest subway station.
The DOB issued its final determination in October, 2013 (which was only done after we sued them). Advisors, community activists and lawyers encouraged us to appeal this decision based on existing case law and a trove of supporting evidence.
The appeal process starts on January 14th at our first Board of Standards and Appeals hearing. Hired experts along with with members of this committee have compiled a thorough dossier of information that supports our case. We hope you can make it. Please RSVP to let us know how many people we can expect."Here is a little background on this matter:
Back in April 2013, home owners on Sackett and Degraw Street, whose properties abut 280 Bond Street, an 5,650 SF industrial warehouse, received a certified letter informing them of upcoming construction to the building. The work would involve alterations to the existing warehouse into The Rock & Roll Playhouse (RRPH), a family-oriented and kid-friendly music venue.
The letter noted that the Playhouse would include a restaurant and "daily programming and classes for children 10 and younger."
The residents became alarmed after finding out that the Playhouse’s owner was none other than Peter Shapiro, who is known for several large clubs, including the Brooklyn Bowl, a bowling and live music performance space in Williamsburg.
After pressing for more details, the homeowners were told that besides the kids classes and family-friendly programming, Shapiro intended to operate an over-21 jazz club after 8 PM that would offer live music seven days a week, feature a full bar with a last call at 1:30 AM, 2 AM on week-ends, and would include a large 3686 SF outdoor space.
For that purpose, he would be applying for a full liquor license as well as a Place Of Assembly Certificate.
Concerned that such a large music venue right in their backyard would impact their quality of life, the homeowners organized and formed "We Are Gowanus (WAG)."
Members of WAG spent months getting petitions signed, meeting with elected officials, and appearing in front of Community Board 6.
They also reached out to the Brooklyn Building's Department to point out that the development should not be allowed under the existing R6B (residential) zoning and to point out issues with discontinued use, use of outdoor space, presence of lot line windows, construction of expanded mezzanine space and prior un-permitted construction.
WAG ultimately sued the Buildings Department to force DOB to issue its decision and the basis for it.
In a final NYC DOB determination issued on October 2, 2013, the agency was in opposition to WAG.
WAG is appealing this decision to the Board Of Standards and Appeal.
Tuesday's meeting is the first hearing of this appeal.