Thursday, May 22, 2014

Comments On Petition Asking Lightstone To Curb Relentless Construction Noise On Bond Street Tell Of Real Impact On Community

Rendering Of Lightstone Group's Mega 700-unit development at 363-365 Bond Street in Gowanus

Video posted by Gowanus resident on You Tube

The petition by Gowanus residents asking Lightstone Group to curb excessive noise from driving 1200 piles into the ground at their 700 unit, 12 story development at 365 Bond Street has had some effect already. Councilman Brad Lander's office has just announced on his site that the developer has agreed to move the start time of construction from 7am to 8am.  The statement reads:

"Thank you to all the constituents who have reach out to my office regarding the pile driving at the Lightstone site. Residents in the area have been pushing hard for some relief from the noise, and I have been in repeated touch with the developer urging them to address this problem.
I am pleased to report that as of yesterday, they have agreed to change the start time from 7am to 8am. I know that's only small comfort and I will keep pushing for more noise mitigation at the site. You should also be aware that this phase of the project will only continue for another month or so.
I remain frustrated by the level of noise at the site right now and I know you are as well. I have repeatedly asked if the developers would be willing to attend a community meeting so that they could hear from residents directly. In the long term, we need to work together on a set of reasonable standards for construction in residential areas."

Though that is some comfort for the residents who live near the development, Lightstone Group has yet agreed to use special sound reducing equipment, which would curb the actual noise of pile driving.
Below are some of the comments left by the 290 residents who have signed the online petition in the past three days.
This is only the on-line count. There are sheets and sheets of signatures collected door to door, person to person. Below is a complete, un-edited list of the comments our neighbors have shared next to their signature.
Collectively they tell the story, family by family, of the suffering happening inside each home every day Lightstone continues to drive 80 foot piles into the Gowanus marshland.


282 The builders should be courteous enough to use whatever means are reasonably available to reduce the construction noise and make this project less disruptive to the community.

281 I have young children who are unable to nap in our apartment any longer. I either need to take them to a park or beg friends/neighbors on other side of the hood to let me crash there during the day with them. It is annoying to me but to them it is a devastating turn of events for their development and my ability to have them in our home.

278 If the noise can be abated, there is no reason not to do so. This project is too large for the neighborhood to begin with, but if we have to live with it, at least make it a quiter neighbor during construction.

269 I’ve been losing my mind over the past few weeks due to the noise. Can't sleep,medidate, work from home from this and nobody deserves that.

266 Please stop this excessive noise and hindrance to the community's quality of life. All we ask is to be respected.

263 We understand it's an added expense and hassle, and thank you in advance for thinking of your neighbors

261 The construction is causing the foundation of our building to shake constantly. Damage is being done--literally the walls and floor of our building noticeably move as if an unending, mini earthquake is taking place everyday. PLEASE stop the noise and damage taking place.

254 Honestly, the noise is brutal. It is the construction equivalent of being stuck in a room with someone grinding their teeth to a metronome.

247 The sound caused by this work is making locals' lives miserable. Please get a fix to this ASAP and stop work until the fix is put in place!!! If there is such a thing as a noise shroud available, why isn't it being used?

240 The pile driving is deafening and literally shakes our house on a daily basis starting at an ungodly 7am. It's a nightmare.

233 please tone down the noise !!!

224 The noise is absolutely deafening and extremely disruptive the residents that live in the neighborhood. Your consideration would be greatly appreciated.

219 I live in Cobble Hill, send my child to school in Carroll Gardens, and work in the Gowanus and Park Slope neighborhoods. I can hear the incessant sound of piles being driven wherever I go--from Clinton Street to 5th Avenue. Please make it stop!

206 7AM is way too early for loud noises!

204 The noise is awful, meeds mitigation.

200 The noise is excessive and offensive. Not everyone sleeps during the night. I work overnights and need to sleep during the day. I can hear the noise through my ear plugs it's so bad. They need to install sound-deadening equipment, so the noise is not so loud. I live near Smith Street, quite far from the site, and the noise is extremely loud.

199 The sound is deafening. Perhaps we should record it and force our elected officials to try to work with its constant din.

197 How unsurprising that this corrupt development project, whose representatives pledged at various public meetings to work with the residents of this community, is now jeopardizing the well-being of that same community. The fact that this developer is not required to use a noise shroud is yet another example of a wealthy corporation capitalizing on every possible dollar with total disregard for the health and well-being of everyone else. The noise is unbelievable, continues all day up and down Bond Street, and echoes for blocks on either side of the canal for several avenues. So much so, that if any of the developers lived in the area and had to put up with this health hazard I venture to guess that this 'development' would never have happened. I challenge our representatives and city officials to set up shop for one day across the street and see how well they are able to conduct business, study, get their children to sleep, or quite frankly hear anything at all at the day's end. The perpetrator gives no appearance of changing and with the health of so many in jeopardy, the government must act or consign itself to the same moral bankruptcy as the wrongdoer.

194 Unbearable. It must stop.

193 You should start later and end earlier. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too loud.

190 It's insane that the city of ny allows this to take place. Sad that this is the sign of the times we live it: absolutely no concern for anything but their own interests.

174 Please stop!!!

170 Starting too early!!!

158 It's just too damn loud!!

151 please stop the construction.

148 Many of us work at home. The pounding makes it extremely difficult to concentrate. We need to do our jobs as much as you do. Thank you for your consideration of this matter.


138 Please, do something about this noise & construction. It is inhumane. 9 hours plus is awful & making people who work nights or day time, home students crazy not to mention the elderly. Think of people's well being & sanity before $$$ for once!!

133 The noise is unbearably loud even from multiple blocks away. Surely we can ask them to start later in the day and install some sound-reducing shrouds??

129 People need to work and sleep. None of which can be with this racket going on day in and day out.

149 My friend lives right next to this. She cant work, sleep, meditate or be at home because of all the noise and the piledriver. She cries on the phone when we talk. Its been goin in for 3 weeks now. She cant live like this. Please listen to the residents of the block and change your noice time to fit the people living/working there.

128 Stop the madness.

120 This is greatly affecting the community surrounding the Gowanus

119 Very annoying to hear and feel that pounding noise for 6-8 hours! My whole house shakes, Annoying!! My grandson who is 3 yells for the noise to stop!

118 My whole house shakes, very very loud, Annoying!!

113 We are going crazy. THIS NEEDS TO STOP. please!!! There is no peace in our house, we are exhausted from the early wake up and my husband works from home. We are miserable until this is over.

111 This is way to loud, house vibrates and my 3 yr old can't hear himself think!!!

110 Please make them commence work at 8 am so my children can get proper rest.

108 Excessive noise and vibration for 12 hours a day has to be stopped.

104 City dwellers have the right to live without compromise.

101 I work nights and get home after 3am or 4 am. each day I am woken up at 7am by this deafening constant noise that shakes my home for many many hours a day. Since I am a freelance artist I have a home office. It has been impossible to try to work and get work. I at times watch small children for my friends/ family members and the children cannot sleep with this racket

93 It is ridiculous this type of extremely noisy work is allowed to commence at 7am when many people who work normal hours are still sleeping. The 8am - 4pm restriction is more than reasonable. I commute, but can't imagine what it would be like if I worked at home.

92 I live directly across the street from the construction site and the pile driving literally shakes my apartment. My shower doors are glass and I fear they are going to shatter and cause injury.

87 This is making the neighborhood unbearable to shop and enjoy the park

78 The noise of this pile driving is unacceptably high given how densely populated the area directly around it is (there are homes less than a hundred feet away).

66 Stop the noise !!!! Allof it

62 Enough is enough already this is horrible

57 This is noise pollution. It is excessive and constant from 7:00 in the morning until 6:00 in the evening. To have permission to be able to disrupt an entire community is offensive. The developer should be ordered to have a deadening apparatus, commonly called a 'noise shroud' for all remaining pile work on this.We are beyond upset over this noise and disruption. We vote.

54 The noise is unsettling and very disturbing.

52 Very damaging to the quality of life of the existing taxpaying community!

50 Please limit the noise with sound dampening features and between the hours of 8:30 -5:30.

46 We need safe, and responsible building practices that serve the needs of all our community stakeholders.

44 I do not want work to begin before 9 AM.

40 It's finals week, and studying at home is impossible. Helical piles and other methods are much quieter. Lightstone has made no accommodation for the surrounding neighbors. I fear the construction to come.

39 Back to signature list The noise makes my home inhabitable. Helical piles and other methods are much quieter. Lightstone has made no accommodation for the surrounding neighbors. I fear the construction to come.

37 My 108 year old house is shaking and vibrating Everyday from this pile driving.

35 Please do what you can to help us keep our sanity while working at home, for our children and for the elderly of the community who cannot easily leave their homes near the site. Our quality of life is gravely affected during the hours the piles are being driven and we need the noise to be better contained.

32 There are quieter methods of pile driving including helical. This construction will be ongoing for many many months. Some considerAtion needs to be taken for residents.

14 The noise is just the start of my concern. As for the future development of the area, I wonder how the neighborhood can be more involved in sharing thoughts regarding scale of these structures, parking contingencies, and other aspects that impact our community. At what point does the neighborhood get asked about granting the zoning variance that allows this size and type of construction to be built? I know it took me, and others, by surprise.

12 The pilings that are being driven are shaking the foundation of our house and the noise levels are impacting our children's daily lives with lack of sleep and difficulty doing their school work. I've lived near large construction projects before and never experienced anything like this. This would not be acceptable sounds levels in manhattan projects so should not be allowed here. Trucks are driving the wrong way up residential streets and safety precautions are not being adhered to properly. This isn't acceptable.

9 The noise is shattering the nerves of our family and shaking our house

6 The installation of a Noise Shroud is a reasonable request to limit the incessant noise from the pile drivers. A noise shroud is a fairly common remedy. See:

You can access and sign the petition here.


Anonymous said...

"104 City dwellers have the right to live without compromise."

Such entitlement.

I would personally like to help #269 meditate.

That is all.

Anonymous said...

Entitlement? Please get over yourself. Thank you.

Bklynebeth said...

Dear Misters Anonymous,

You are #264, the 'comment' equivalent of being stuck in a room with someone grinding their teeth to a metronome.

And I'm going to take a wile guess you do not live or work anywhere near the pile driving.

Jim said...

Now that the nerve racking noise is commencing at 8am, that's a loss of approx. 10 pilings an hour which comes to around 80 a month, give or take a few, further delaying the process. I would have preferred they stay with 7am and just get it over with.

Anonymous said...

The community demand was for the piles to be shrouded to reduce the noise level. The 8am start time is NO RELIEF to those having to spend their day in the vicinity of this work--especially the kids at PS32.

Lander got the agreement from the developer to help them out of having to manage their unacceptable noise levels, while at the same time appearing as if he is helping out the community.

Lander wants to give these large developers the rights to drive piles alone the whole length of the Gowanus. If there isn't a decent standard for using quality noise shrouds to dampen this noise, it will continue to sound like a war-zone here for decades or until the sea rises too hi for pile driving.

Jim said...

Anonymous @12:43 PM -

"Lander got the agreement from the developer to help them out of having to manage their unacceptable noise levels, while at the same time appearing as if he is helping out the community." "Lander wants to give these large developers the rights to drive piles alone the whole length of the Gowanus."

Can you provide proof of that?

Margaret said...

To Jim, yes, Lander wants to look like the good guy, but his intention is to help developers develop the beejeezus in Gowanus - i.e. public Place site - and you will hear we need affordable housing as the pretext for exploiting our open skies with ugly repressive heights.

Jim said...

Margaret -

Beyond your personal opinion and wisdom, how do you know that?

Margaret said...

Jim, I have lived in Gowanus for 30 years, been at meetings with Brad Lander, have asked questions at community meetings, read papers. And no personal opinions needed, it's all out there where Brad Lander is coming from, and what he intends to do.

Bklynebeth said...

Jim - I received a direct email from Lander's office saying he had negotiated with Lightstone for a later start time. You can also see his own site here:

Also, it is publicly known that Lander's Fifth Avenue Committee (FAC) was awarded the contract for the affordable housing in the Lightstone development. Not illegal, but still, of note.

To the commenter who is miffed at the later start time, there are two demands the community is making: 1- start one hour later and 2- use noise reducing methods so we are not exposed to dangerous levels of sound. Both of these measures will likely extend the time it takes to complete the pile driving which we are fully aware of. So does the fact they were ordered to stop for 5 days because in fact, the DEC was out and found the level of noise to be above the legal threshold.

I personally, living a few doors from the site, prefer 12 weeks of muffled pile driving that does not damage my hearing or jolt me out of bed to 10 weeks that does.