Monday, November 23, 2020

Council District 39 Candidate Briget Rein Calls For A Moratorium On Gowanus Rezoning


Bravo to Briget Rein, City Council Candidate for the 39th District in Brooklyn, for supporting Voice Of Gowanus' call for a moratorium on the Gowanus rezoning currently being proposed by New York City's Department of City Planning. By doing so, Briget is the first candidate to do so.

In a letter to Community Board 6's Chairman Peter Fleming, Briget expressed concern that the community has not been given adequate information regarding the pollution of the 80-block area slated to be rezoned for residential use. She also points out that residents will not be able to get a fair Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP) during the Covid pandemic, as the online webinar format robs the community of an opportunity to truly engage and have their voices heard.

As a local political activist, Community Board 6 member and United Federation of Teachers government liaison to the New York City Council, Bridget has led many social campaigns to enhance labor initiatives throughout Kings County and New York City. 

Please join Briget on the Carroll Street Bridge on Carroll Street and the Gowanus Canal for a discussion on the Gowanus rezoning on December 3, 2020 at 12 pm. (Wear masks, of course.)  

Below is Briget's letter to CB6.

November 20, 2020 

Community Board 6 

Peter D. Fleming, Chair 

250 Baltic Street 

Brooklyn, New York 11201 

Dear Chairman Fleming: 

Progress and development of our community is a positive side effect of growth. However, the current plans concerning the Gowanus Rezoning Project undercuts the current state of the Gowanus community and the needs of residents. Without in person community meetings where concerned citizens can have their voices heard, the city is leaving out the voices of our citizens regarding a life-changing project. 

The first step of the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) is the public review of applications affecting the land use of the city. This meeting will be the first time the community has the chance to raise their voices about the project. Because of the pandemic, this is currently an impossibility. Because of this, I am requesting a pause in the process in order to get the Environmental Protection Agencys’ report out to the community. 

Alongside many in the community, we are asking for a moratorium because of the lack of an in person meeting and because there is currently a severe lack of information available to us. The EPA has already expressed grave concern over the city’s ability to deal with the overflow expected to result from this rezoning project. Without the accessibility of the EPA’S report to community members there is no avenue for citizens to be educated about the project. 

The area under consideration for the rezoning project is a FEMA flood zone, and on top of this issue, the city is promising affordable housing on the most polluted land in the Gowanus Canal area. Lastly, the ability to discuss other important issues surrounding the rezoning project such as workforce housing, and bringing the labor movement together as a voice in this project must be prioritized.

The city charter promises each community the same process through ULURP. The charter also makes it clear that the land use process of rezoning requires in person meetings within the district at a place of public assembly. This is how every neighborhood has gone through this process since the 1970s. This would be the first time a community being rezoned would be without the same rights as every other community. 

For these reasons, I am calling for a moratorium on the Gowanus Rezoning project in order to ensure all citizens are heard, and the community receives every opportunity others received prior to this project. 

In solidarity, 

Briget Rein 


Mayor Bill de Blasio 

Congressman Hakeem Jefferies 

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez 

Borough President Eric Adams 

Council Member Brad Lander 

Council Member Steven Levin 

State Senator Brian Kavanaugh 

State Senator Elect Jabari Brisport 

Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon 

Assembly Member Robert Carroll 

District Leader Jesse Pierce 

District Leader Josh Skaller


Anonymous said...

Yes! Thank you Briget Rein. Especially with the City's population stressed by Covid, and with all the changes the City is experiencing - including fiscal - because of Covid, not having a MORATORIUM would be predatory n Brad Lander's part trying to push this rezoning through on HIS SCHEDULE. Is this the kind of callousness to his community we want from an elected official?

Anonymous said...

Do these people even see or read these letters? I hope so.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully on 12/3 the candidate can explain how a moratorium would be implemented and why she would allow all of the other rezonings of the 39th District to move proceed except for this rezoning that promises more affordable housing than what has been built under MIH City-wide in the past 5 years. Will she answer questions at the meeting?

Anonymous said...

11:26 PLEEZ give up on that "Affordable Housing" ruse. Most of the "AH" being proposed in Gowanus is on the most toxic land in the state that will need to have a site management oversight forever! Everyone's on to how "Affordable Housing" is a TROJAN HORSE to get communities to feel bad when they don't want what the developers are shoving, or trying to shove, down our throats.

Briget Rein said...

You are welcome

Briget Rein said...

We need also workforce housing for our first responders

Briget Rein said...

Fingers crossed

Anonymous said...

Though I agree with Briget Rein's proposal. How does the position of a candidate for office influence the current holder of that office. And the answer to the question is... she does not. The current holder of the office will continue to push/force feed the rezoning proposal on the community. And one we have choked on it, he will move on to his next elected citywide office, where he can screw even more people. That is the New York way.

Anonymous said...

2:12 A smart politician responds to how the wind blows with the voters, because s/he will need the votes to get elected/re-elected. Brad Lander is not making any friends right now by demonstrating that he really doesn't care about his constituency. This will not reflect well on him when he wants to move up the political ladder.

Anonymous said...

CM Lander will leave behind a legacy of creating more affordable housing in one rezoning ULURP than the past five years of rezoning after MIH was passed, albeit the new apartments will be above contaminated land, like Stuyvesant Town.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the "Affordable Housing" on public place being touted and pushed by Lander: "The Gowanus Green developers may have to do more remediation of shallow soil before they start building" This from
REALLY???? We're going to trust the developers to do more remediation? In other words, the DEC remediation plan is not FULLY to be trusted. Is this what things have come to? Why would developers need to do more remediation? AND who is taking FULL repsonsibility here for the toxic cleanup and liability?