Bridging Gowanus meeting has been scheduled for this Wednesday, June 25th, and I urge everyone who lives in or near Gowanus to attend.The apparent goal of Bridging Gowanus, as it has been explained to participants, is a community supported blueprint to help shape the De Blasio Administration's thinking about the Gowanus Canal as well as "build consensus around a neighborhood framework for the infrastructure and land use regulations needed in the Gowanus Canal area."
How much Mayor deBlasio can be influenced remains to be seen. After all, as our councilman from 2001 to 2009, DeBlasio was an outspoken supporter of the re-zoning of the shores of the Gowanus canal from manufacturing to residential and we can thank him for the 700-unit Lightstone project that is currently being built at Bond Street adjacent to the polluted canal. DeBlasio was also a staunch opponent of the EPA placing the Gowanus Canal on its list of Superfund sites, though the community saw it as the only hope of ever getting the waterway cleaned up.Instead of supporting his constituents, DeBlasio proceeded to support the New York City Plan which scoffed at the facts and scientific findings of the EPA.
To facilitate the conversation Pratt Center for Community Development (not to be confused with Pratt Institute) has been hired as consultant in charge of running the process.
But make no mistake, Gowanus has already been divided amongst developers who are ready to build residential development on the shores of the canal with the blessing of newly-elected Mayor De Blasio. The Bridging Gowanus process is, in my humble opinion, a carefully orchestrated process that gives the appearance of community input.
At the end, we will most likely just end up with what New York City has planned for the area since 2009.
That is why it is so important that you all come out on Wednesday, whether you live or work in Gowanus, Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill, or Park Slope,
As a community, we need to remind our politicians that before moving ahead with any re-zoning, we need a health study to gage the effects of exposure to the environmental hazards in Gowanus. Secondly, we need a hydrological study to evaluate the effect of new development in this flood prone area.
Most importantly, we need assurances from Mayor De Balsio that the City Of New York will pay and follow through on the EPA-mandated retention basins that will help reduce the Combined Sewer Overflows and improve water quality in the canal. Without these studies and without the retention basins, planning more housing in Gowanus seem "recklessly premature."
THIRD COMMUNITY PLANNING MEETING
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 25
Wyckoff Gardens Community Center
280 Wyckoff St
6:30 – 9:00 PM
Please let others know abut the meeting.