Thursday, May 08, 2008

Carroll Gardens Urges Marty Markowitz To Be "Narrow Minded"!


The Community Room at Brooklyn's Borough Hall was overflowing last night for the public hearing concerning the Carroll Gardens Wide Street Text Amendment. This Text Amendment is intended to correct a mistake in the definition of Carroll Gardens' signature garden blocks as wide streets. Wide streets are allowed larger buildings which jeopardize the scale and character of the neighborhood. Developers have taken advantage of this loophole and are breaking up the historic row house street scape.

It is fair to say that most of the residents who spoke in front of Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz were for the text amendment. The desire to keep the neighborhood's very unique character seemed to be a common goal. The majority of Carroll Gardeners agreed with long time residents Lucy DeCarlo, when she stated:

" I and many of my neighbors are willing to forgo a small fraction of allowable future expansion in order to preserve the landscape of Carroll Gardens. Do we want to continue to see buildings rise to 70 feet, extending into our back yards, robbing our airspace, light and sun? Why should developers benefit from a loophole in an old ruling, where they can build high, sell and then leave. It is our responsibility to move quickly to pass this amendment, out of respect for those who live here just because they love the feel of a real neighborhood and have invested in restoring their historic homes and beautiful gardens."

Elected officials Assemblywoman Joan Millman and Senator Marty Connor sent word that they are supporting the amendment. Councilman Bill DeBlasio attended in person to state that he believes in the Text Change Amendment and "that we have to protect what we have." He thanked Borough President Markowitz for expediting last night's hearing but acknowledged that "there is a lot of process ahead."

There were those who obviously will not be happy if the Carroll Gardens Place Text Amendment is passed. Community Board member and developer Debbie Scotto spoke out against it citing that the community as a whole had not been sufficiently informed.
Another opponent was Billy Stein, developer of Oliver House at 360 Smith Street/ 131 2nd Place who not only voiced his objections to the amendment himself, but also had his lawyer speak against it. Mr. Stein's attorney stated that the process was moving forward too hastily. She also suggested that the amendment was targeted against a certain development ( Oliver House) and that the developer ( Mr. Stein) had bent backwards to please the community by changing the original architect and design of the project. The lost time may now cost Mr. Stein some precious Floor Area Ratio if the amendment passes before the foundation of his development is complete.

Councilman Bill deBlasio was quick to disagree. He insisted that the Text Amendment "in no way was directed at Billy Stein and 360 Smith Street." He explained that the process has been going on for years and years and that this " was about much bigger issues than 360 Smith Street."

The next step for the Zoning Amendment is for Marty Markowitz to make his recommendation, which is expected by May 21st.
Community Board 6 will hear and vote on the issue on May 14.
Then it will go back to City Planning before being submitted to the City Council.

Related Reading:
Bird's Eye View Of Bill Stein's Oliver House Construction Site

[where: 360 Smith Street, 131 2nd Place]
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Buddy Scotto's Goons. LOL. When are they moving to Florida the time has come. Landmark Now.