Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Brooklyn Bridge Park Without Housing: Round Two Coming Up


The second Public Hearing On Alternatives To Housing in Brooklyn Bridge Park will be held on Thursday, December 9th. As Roy Sloane, President of the Cobble Hill Association notes below, members of the community overwhelmingly opposed the idea of luxury housing in a public park. The public
put forth a number of ideas to generate revenue for the park to fund its operation and maintenance, but the main point to consider is that our parks DO generate sizable revenues. However, moneys made from concessions within our parks get thrown into the general city budget and do not get redistributed to the Park's Department, which is permanently underfunded. Instead, Mayor Bloomberg would rather privatize this public park by opening it up to developers.

Though everyone is busy with Holiday preparations, please take the time to attend and to voice your opinion at Thursday's hearing. Below is the meeting reminder by Roy Sloane.

Hi All,
We did great at the first hearing (34 against/ 4 in favor), but need more voices for a big push at the final hearing in Brooklyn Heights:

Thursday, December 9, 2010, 6pm – 8pm
St. Francis College*,
180 Remsen Street
Founders Hall Auditorium, 1st floor

The city is still planning to build 5 more luxury condo and hotel towers inside the park’s borders, with two particularly non-compatible buildings at 20 and 30 stories high planned for Pier 6 at Atlantic Avenue. And despite what some may think, these luxury high-rise towers are not needed to fund the park’s maintenance. There are many solutions to “pay” for park maintenance. When condos came into the park all year round recreation came out. Landscaping replaced the two pools, the indoor recreation center and ice rink that the community had worked so hard for decades to get. Landscaping sells condos while baseball fields do not.

We now have a unique opportunity to regain the recreational facilities our children need at the same time tell the city planners that we do not want more housing inside the park’s borders. Residents are asked to come to two public comment meetings on Tuesday, November 30th at 6 PM at Long Island College Hospital and again on Thursday, December 9th at 6 PM at St. Francis College on Montague Street.

These public meetings are critical to demonstrating yet again the importance of our parks, the real value they provide to the livability of the city, and to the actual dollars they “put back” into city coffers. The rise in DUMBO values since their part of the park opened is evidence enough of a park’s tax value. A recent proposal offered by community members – to negotiate a deal with the Jehovah Witnesses to develop their soon-to-be-abandoned buildings close to the park, for the benefit of park financing – is gaining traction. Other park funding models, including Senator Squadron’s park increment recapture proposal (named the PIRC plan) also offer relief from the draconian condos inside park borders plan.

But you need only come out and say no to housing, and yes to recreation! For over 25 years, we in South Brooklyn have worked to secure a park along the waterfront. We are pleased that residents are finally able to access the waterfront at Brooklyn Bridge Park. But our job as a community is not over.

Thank you,
Roy Sloane
President, Cobble Hill Association

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just love my glass condo inside sheeps meadow. Anyway..parks should stay as parks: puplic spaces. Why give it to those out of town richsters? Bad enough the peeps who have taken over DUMBO are interlopers with cash. Why is Brooklyn everyones doormat, indeed! Just don't block the view, I say. Like that huge tower that blocks the view of the Woolworth building. Shame. Shame on those guys.