Thursday, September 27, 2012

REMINDER! Important Public Meeting: This Thursday, CB6 To Review Lightstone Group's Application For 'Minor' Modifications At 363-365 Bond Street, Gowanus

363-365 Bond Street 


Mark your calendar! There is an important public hearing coming up.
Brooklyn CB6 Landmarks/Land Use Committee will be reviewing The Lightstone Group's application for "minor modifications" to the previously approved land use actions at 363-365 Bond Street. The meeting will be held at 6:45pm on Thursday, September 27th and it will take place at P.S. 32 Auditorium, 317 Hoyt Street (between Union/President Streets), Brooklyn.

As many of you probably know by now, Lightstone is reviving the former Toll Brothers project on  Bond Street in Gowanus. Back in 2009, after a Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP) that was set in motion by Toll Brothers, the property was successfully spot re-zoned from manufacturing to special mixed-use by the City of New York despite the protests of many members of the community who pleaded with city officials to first clean the Gowanus Canal thoroughly before rezoning the area.

Shortly afterwards, however, the Environmental Protection Agency came to the community to inform residents of the toxicity of the Canal and declared is a Superfund Site. It did not take long for Toll Brothers to abandon its plans, stating that the Superfund designation made it impossible to go forward with their 447 unit luxury condo project.

The Lightstone Group doesn't seem to share the same concerns and is charging ahead. Though the project is basically the same as the one proposed by Toll Brothers, Lightstone has asked the New York City Planning Commission to modify the special permit granted to Toll Brothers back in 2009. City Planning considers these changes "minor" modification,s which are subject to review and approval only by the Commission, rather than 'major' modifications, which would require the initiation of a new ULURP.

The changes requested by Lightstone include "variations in the base height of the project, building heights and footprints of portions of the buildings, relocation of parking entrances, changes to the location and design of the open space, and changes to the number of residential units and size of non-residential portion of the proposed development."

Many Gowanus residents would not consider the change from 447 condo units originally planned by Toll to 700 rental units proposed by Lightstone quite so minor, especially on a site next to a Superfund which also happens to be in a flood zone. Besides, the project will increase the strains on the already overloaded, antiquated sewer infrastructure on Bond Street.

The community will have an opportunity to voice its concerns at Thursday's CB6 Land Use Committee on Thursday. Make sure you are there.

To read more on Lightstone's project , click here.


A.T. said...

This spot rezoning should never have been pushed on to the community and sets a horrendous precedent.

Anonymous said...

Please attend this meeting!! This project is outrageous.

Anonymous said...

Extending a residential zone into a manufacturing zone is not spot zoning. see:

Spot zoning is illegal. It is not helpful to make false statements.

What's open for discussion is does our community prefer smaller apartments, that may have less of an impact on our schools, but may include more cars or do we want to demand for the larger apartments as approved for Toll Brothers to build?

Anonymous said...

We want nothing at this scale. It's a total joke. Where are those 700 people going to go? It's like dropping a small city in our back yards !!

Anonymous said...

700 rentals (more like 800 people) will spend money on Smith and Court Sts, supporting our local business and hopefully discourage banks from taking over our commercial strip because upscale renters are savy enough to bank online with Fidelity and avoid paying ATM fees.

Alternately, a large scrap metal facility, like the one recently opened on the Canal near 2nd Avenue, could use a property like this so if you prefer scrap metal trucks over cars, please speak up at the hearing!

Anonymous said...

What income(s) qualify for Lightstone's affordable housing? Will this double the number of affordable housing units? Since apartments will be smaller, are they more affordable than the Toll proposal and are they mixed throughout or are all of the affordable apartments facing the smelly canal?

Agnes said...

@11:06 - Your suggestion that the alternative is scrap metal over cars is preposterous, and an obvious scare tactic. And 700 rentals equals 800 people again downplays the reality of what this inappropriate behemoth project would do to my neighborhood Gowanus.

Anonymous said...

It's official:

"EPA supports the cleanup of contaminated sites along the Canal, which would result in returning land to productive use."

Productive use is not feasible in our neighborhood without EPA-required remediation and all Gowanus industry will need to relocate for site cleanup and will be replaced by new uses (ie: Whole Foods & Lightstone housing).

This sucks!