Monday, July 16, 2007

The De Blasio Show Coming To A Street Corner Near You!


What are you doing at 11 Am today? Well, if you are not doing anything, Bill de Blasio would like you to join him once again to protest Robert Scarano, the " I know it's illegal, but I will do it anyway" architect whose firm has designed a Communist era apartment building which will be going up at 360 Smith Street right in my neighborhood.
This is the second time that Bill De Blasio is organizing such a demonstration/photo op. The first time was back in June when he held a news conference in front of 360 Smith.
Back then, Carroll Gardeners were thankful and hopeful that De Blasio was actually going to help save the neighborhood by actively pushing to get Carroll Gardens down zoned. It did not take long for residents to become suspicious about why De Blasio is putting so much effort into going after the architect instead of actively working on protecting Carroll Gardens from further development. Even the incredibly dedicated people at C.O.R.D. have figured out that they cannot count on De Blasio's help. After delivering their petition, they had a hard time getting his office to return their calls.
I think that Carroll Gardens has seen through his diversionary measures very quickly. Here is a pro-development politician seemingly protecting a brownstone neighborhood from development, except not. Because he is not going after the developer, but the architect. Unfortunately, he has been able to fool enough people into thinking that he is helping. Its actually pretty brilliant on his part.
Judging by the rumblings in this part of Brooklyn, De Blasio's failure to step up to the job of Councilman for Brownstone Brooklyn, the incredible dysfunction that rules his office as well as his lack of response to problems big or small, may have finally caught up to him.

Press release from De Blasio's office:

New York City Council Member Bill de Blasio
July 16, 2007


Brooklyn Councilmember Bill de Blasio will join local elected
officials and community activists to demand that the New York City
Department of Buildings (DOB) stop work on all Robert Scarano projects
while he is under investigation for professional misconduct. Scarano, an
architect with a long history of violating zoning codes, building codes,
and practicing unsafe construction, is currently under investigation by
the State Education Department.
Just recently the DOB approved plans for 360 Smith Street, where Scarano
is the architect. Last month, Councilmember de Blasio joined community
activists demanding that Scarano's license be revoked. De Blasio is
still calling on the State Department of Education to strip Scarano's
architecture license because of his unscrupulous building practices and
repeated violations of the building code. In 2006, the City's buildings
department charged Scarano with violating zoning or building codes on 25
projects in several Brooklyn neighborhoods Robert Scarano.
When: Tuesday, July 17, 2007 at 11a.m
Where: Department of Buildings, 210 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn
Who: Council Member Bill de Blasio, local elected officials, community
Tom Gray
District Director
City Council Member Bill de Blasio
(718) 854-9791
(718) 854-1146 Fax


Anonymous said...

I certainly sympathize with CORD - I and many others have been waiting approximately six months for a meeting with the developer of 333 Carroll St. that De Blasio's office was supposed to arrange.

Kelly said...

Surprise, surprise. You are likely not going to get anywhere with his office. How about calling the Cobble Hill Courier? talk to Gary Buiso and tell him you have a story for him. Also, Elisabeth Hayes at the Brooklyn desk of the Daily News.
Somehow, bad press seems to get these political types into high gear. Is there any news on 333 Carroll Street? Last time I checked the DOB web site, there was still a stop work order.

Anonymous said...

I know I am going nowhere with his office especially when they had to check the district maps to confirm that 340 Bond was in their district.
Every few weeks I email the 333 "list" to find out the status of the meeting and to remind De Blasio's office that we are not letting this drop and won't go away. The last I heard (at the first 360 rally) was that the developer had left a message for our CM's chief of staff. There is still a SWO on 333 Carroll. Also heard that they did over build and if it is too expensive to take down a triple height story they can leave up and call it decorative steel.

Went through the same rigamarole with 460 Union a few years ago - numerous phone calls, petitions, emails that went unresponded to until we couldn't be ignored. And it wasn't just me contacting De Blasio it was many others. Then there was a meeting with the developer. Sound familiar? Fortunately, this was a BSA case and the BSA turned the developer down.

I wish DiBrienza were still our CM - he would go out of his way to meet with his constituents and listen to their concerns. He would tell you what he could do - he might not be able to stop something but he could get community concessions. And he returned phone calls.

Katia said...

Yes,I agree. He always showed up at any community event and was incredibly approachable.
The problem with Bill De Blasio is that he is just using us to get elected to some higher office, the same way that he used the school board to get enough exposure so that he could run for council.
As far as 333 Carroll is concerned, I am amazed that they would be allowed to leave the steel on top of that building or was that a joke? Could they really do that?
You can see that ugly structure from everywhere. I can see it from my back yard...

Anonymous said...

Some advice to 8:21: Do not wait for Mr. DeBlasio's office to arrange a meeting with the developer. Find another route! Have you tried contacting him/her yourself? Is there any other way you can think of?
Maybe even a You Tube video of the building?

Anonymous said...

More thoughts for 8:21:

How about the local television news segments like "Shame on you?" etc. Do they cover real estate and construction issues? BCAT (Brooklyn Cable Access Televsion) I think it stands for........provides studios/classes for the community free of charge to produce television programming I believe. Google them.

Anonymous said...

Just Curious,
I wasn't joking about the decorative steel. Legally, they can do that.
Dear Abby, the developer is more impossible to reach than De Blasio.
As for 360 Smith what conerns me besides the obvious issues is whether they will need to close the subway entrance and how the Carroll St. entrances will handle all of that additional pedestrian traffic. By the way, I remember when the planters on the plaza weren't bricked in and you could sit on the edge of the planters and watch for the train coming.

Kelly said...

Boy, I think Carroll gardens should have a march on Bill De Blasio's office. How about holding a demosntration in front of his office. What he can do, we Carroll gardeners can do too,no?

Anonymous said...

Just Curious,
Why not drape all these annoying Carroll Gardens construction sites/building projects over 50 feet in black for a MORATORIUM? theme (a la the artist Christo)...then call for a neighborhood wide moratorium and then march on Bill OR? simply show up at the Town Hall event next week on the wrong day since there is no date?
But shall we march on Joan and Marty too? or just Bill? This is another question.