Friday, December 04, 2009

Will Bill And Brad Attend Hannah Senesh's 'Brief' Meeting About Expansion Into Publicly Owned Courtyard?


It's Not A Parking Lot, It's A Publicly Owned Court Yard

Fliers were distributed along First Place by the Hannah Senesh Day School on Thursday, inviting residents to a 'brief' meeting to discuss the school's expansion plan into "the parking area"on the corner of First Place and Smith Street.

The "parking area" is actually city owned and protected by a 150-year-old law, which states that the unique wide gardens of the neighborhood's Place blocks can not be built on or used for parking.

That doesn't seem to be a problem if you have out-going Councilman De Blasio on your side.

Without first discussing it with the community, De Blasio will introducing a change in the Administrative Code at the City Council on December 9th. The change would amend the old law by excluding the corner of Smith Street and First Place.
Hannah Senesh will then negotiate with the city to buy the publicly owned land for a token sum ( $1 has been suggested) and build a two story extension.

That, dear Carroll Gardeners, would be a precedent that will have huge repercussions. Where there is one exemption to the law, there easily could be two, or three.

I certainly expect Bill de Blasio to attend the Monday meeting at Hannah Senesh. He owes this community a clear explanation for this blatant abuse of power.

And I hope that Councilman-elect Brad Landers can attend as well. According to
Tom Gray of De Blasio's office, Brad has been "in the loop" . After all, the land purchase from the city will happen during his term.

This backroom deal has understandably angered many in Carroll Gardens.
It remains to be seen if a 'brief' meeting will suffice.

For those who are interested, below is the text of the old Brooklyn law restricting the use of the Carroll Gardens courtyards from the blog Carroll Gardens Brooklyn History

The NYC Administrative Codes that protect the courtyards are:
Code §19-132 Restrictions on First Place, Second Place, Third Place and Fourth Place in the borough of Brooklyn. The buildings to be erected upon the lots fronting upon First place, Second place, Third place and Fourth place in the borough of Brooklyn, shall be built on a line thirty-three feet five inches and a quarter of an inch back from the sides or lines of such places as they are now established by the map of the city, and the intervening space of land shall be used for courtyards only.

Code§19-136(b) Obstructions: It shall be unlawful for any person, directly or indirectly, to use any portion of a sidewalk or courtyard, established by law, between the building line and the curb line for the parking, storage, display or sale of motor vehicles.

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Anonymous said...

Here is a print out of the law. Religious segregationist Communities must follow the rules.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous: "Religious segregationist Communities" .... I think your prejudice is showing a little bit there, you might want to pull it together a little bit. Or not, maybe you don't want to.

Becky Malaria said...

I'm wondering why it's okay that the school is already using the courtyard as a parking lot, when it's stated in the law that that's not allowed? Are they just parking on the City's good will?

Plow to Plate said...

Good point 11:40. It's not a garden like the rest of the street uses the space for. Maybe that was one way to segue to building on it. They've already covered it with concrete.

Raised in Carroll Gardens said...

There were "smoke filled room" negotiations that allowed the porperty to be sold to them in the 1st place. Now they want to use the remaining "Public Land" for their own private use.
They already caused disruption during building, angered neighbors with their refuse and then alloted themselves a private parking lot.

First, if they want to use the land without access to the community they should be required to pay the millon plus that it's worth - then let them park thier cars.
Then if they wanted to use it as an outdoor school yard (like other neighborhood schools) they could feel free.
Until then - open that land to the public with a Garden!

Raised in Carroll Gardens said...

FYI - I walked past there again last night.

Not only were they using that "Concrete Garden" as their own Private Car Lot... (and they had the curb cut along Smith in order to make it even easier for them to park - which took away an additonal Metered Public Parking Spot)
... But they have a wood barrcade standing along the fence between them and their 1st place neighbors.
How fair is that?!? Not only aren't they adhering to the Public Garden Ruls but they've turned it into an even worse Eye Sore by installing a "Shanty Like" wood wall AND they place their trash along that common wall.

The apartment units in the house next door have been on sale much longer than they needed to be - because who wants to live along the Dump Side or a Parking Lot. The sights & smells are keeping people at bay.

Raised in Carroll Gardens said...

It's Sad To Say...

Compare the 1st Street side of the Hannah Senesh School to the 1st Street side of PS 58.

Wouldn't it be great if both schools were required to follow the same rules?

PUBLIC School 58 has trees, and grass, and plants and flowers keeping in the tradition (and legal requirements) of Carroll Gardens and the Front Yard Gardens.

However, the Hannah School (who "somehow" was granted PUBLIC Land to build a PRIVATE School) is allowed to have free off-street teacher parking and is now pushing to build another building becasue they weren't expecting as many students.

Wouldn't it be nice if our already Over-Crowded Public School could be granted private off-street parking for its teachers then allowed to build out to accomodate the student poplation.

The PRIVATE School, that was designed to hold 15 to 20 children per class, can just say, "Sorry, we're full. You'll have to be placed on a waiting list if you'd like your child to go here."

But the PUBLIC School is ordered to take on more students and try to teach 35+ kids per class into rooms designed to fit 25.

Our Tax Dollars At Work!!

Raised in Carroll Gardens said...


Please re-post the names & addresses for each of the elected officials we should write to.

Please include any official who could help in this matter - even those who are already against this from happening. They need to know that WE will back them in thier fight on our behalf - - - Just like the ones who are for allowing "Back Room Deals" need to know they're working contrary to our wants & needs.


Kelly said...

Dear Raised In C.G.

A working on such a list and will publish it as soon as possible.