Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Latest Letter to the Clarett Group

June 17, 2008

Mr. Dan Hollander

Vice President

The Clarett Group

79 Madison Avenue 17th Floor

New York, New York 10016

Dear Mr. Hollander;

We are writing to you today on behalf of the South Brooklyn Neighborhood Alliance (SoBNA) and Union-Sackett Block Association, a member of the Alliance.Part of our mission is to work with developers to help incorporate community input into new development projects. Since attending the public presentation of 340 Court Street, now known as "The Collection", we have been fervently hoping that the Clarett Group would agree to meeting with a small group of community leaders including representatives from the Union Sackett Block Association to discuss the design.

Baltic & Warren Neighbors, a group within SoBNA, has had a very successful ongoing working relationship with L&M Development Partners in regards to the Columbia-Hicks Project, a new residential development planned in the Columbia Waterfront Neighborhood. Ron Moelis, a principal in L&M Development Partners, has said on several occasions that the Columbia-Hicks project benefited from community involvement and in turn was a better development project as a whole.

We understand the Columbia- Hicks Project had to go through the ULURP process because of the zoning changes involved and that 340 Court Street is an "as of right" project. However, wouldn't it be beneficial for all if the community welcomed this new building wholeheartedly into Carroll Gardens?

We urge you to reconsider, we believe by holding this meeting you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. We would be very pleased to meet with you in a small group at your earliest convenience and prior to the meeting we would be happy to provide you with an agenda.

We look forward to hearing from you,


Elizabeth Lind


South Brooklyn Neighborhood Alliance/SoBNA

· Baltic & Warren Neighbors

· Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association, Inc.

· Cobble Hill Association

· Columbia Waterfront Neighborhood Association

· Committee for the Historic Integrity of Cobble Hill

· C.O.R.D.

· Hoyt Street Alliance

· South Brooklyn Local Development Corporation

· Union Sackett Block Association

Thursday, May 8, 2008

May Event: David vs. Goliath: Neighborhood Planning in the Face of Large-Scale Development

The Municipal Art Society of New York, as part of its Campaign for Community Based Planning, will present a series of panel discussions to promote community-based planning in New York City.The series, titled “Creating the City We All Want: A Roadmap,” will be conducted in conjunction with the release of the Fifth Edition of Planning for All New Yorkers: the Atlas of Community-Based Plans, a resource that compiles all community-based plans undertaken in New York City since 1989. This series will explore the potential of neighborhood-led plans to shape equitable development and growth in the city, from the perspective of elected officials, community advocates, and planners.

Many observers opine that community-driven plans—official and approved through a city process or unofficial but widely recognized—are no real hedge against unwanted development. But in the cases of West Harlem, Midtown East, and Atlantic Yards, would developers have had carte blanche without community plans? How do community planners believe alternative plans can be more effective? How can alternative plans guarantee that future development will fit consensus-based neighborhood visions? We’ll look at some recent cases—West Harlem, Midtown East, and Prospect Heights/Fort Greene—where developer-driven plans threaten to undermine community vision, and examine the place of community-based planning in these struggles.


Alberto Vourvoulias-Bush, Executive Director, El Diario/La Prensa (moderator)
Anthony Borelli, Director of Land Use, Planning and Development, Office of the Manhattan Borough President
Marshall Brown, Architect, UNITY Plan for Atlantic Yards
Candace Carponter, Council of Brooklyn Neighborhoods
Jordi Reyes-Montblanc, Chairperson, Manhattan Community Board 6


May 14, 2008 6:00 pm

Municipal Art Society
457 Madison Ave. (at 51st Street)

rsvp@mas.org or call 212-935-2075

More Info
Municipal Art Society

USBA Monthly Meeting Saturday, May 10th 11:30 AM

Monthly Meeting:

This Saturday, May 10th 11:30 AM
Meeting Room of the Carroll Gardens Branch of the Public Library
Corner of Union and Clinton Sts.

Agenda items:

1. Re-Cap wide streets amendment hearing from May 7th

2. Carroll Gardens downzoning update

3. Report on a meeting at Councilman De Blasio's office attended by Core Members of the USBA, during which development issues and our continued neighborhood involvement was discussed.

4. Discussion about the USBA's request for a limited extension of the Cobble Hill landmark district into a small section of Carroll Gardens.

This should be a short meeting unless we should hear from Clarett before hand. The biggest item will be our introduction of the issue of landmarking in Carroll Gardens.

Thank you.

****Note to any of our elected officials or aides: please do not feel any obligation to be at his meeting; we really do hope to make it short and we know that you have had a lot this week. You are very appreciated.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Brooklyn Historical Society Gowanus Exhibit

Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Assocation Meeting Monday, May 12th

CGNA General Meeting
Monday, May 12, 2008
7:30 PM
St Mary Star of the Sea Senior Residence
41 First St (Hoyt & Bond)


Report on Post Office Community Meeting: Frank Verderame

Update on Regional DEP meeting:
Deanna Bitetti, representing the office of US Congressional Rep Yvette Clarke

Dan Wiley,representing the office of Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

Update on May Sacred Sites Guided Walking Tour: John Heyer

Report from the 76th Precinct

Updates from local action groups

Reports from local elected officials

CGNA Committee Reports
Glenn Kelly and John Hatheway, Land Use
Gary Reilly, Transportation


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Carroll Gardens Zoning Text Amendment Hearing Tomorrow, Wednesday, May 7

Tomorrow is the public hearing for the Carroll Gardens Zoning Text amendment. The meeting is at 5:30 PM and will be located in the Community Room in Brooklyn Borough Hall at 209 Joralemon St, Brooklyn, NY.

As Gowanus Lounge reports, there are a number of fliers circulating, which manipulate the reality of the amendment and provide misleading information to a number of homeowners. Please spread the truth about the amendment and invite all friends and neighbors to Wednesday's meeting.

Here is a useful FAQ provided by CORD.

And from the Department of City Planning website:

In response to concerns about out-of-scale development from Community Board 6, local civic groups and elected officials, the Department of City Planning is proposing zoning text amendments to define certain streets in Carroll Gardens as narrow streets for zoning purposes. The text amendment would limit the size and configuration of new buildings and enlargements to more closely match the area's prevailing built character.

Certain streets in Carroll Gardens are mapped on the City Map with widths of 100 to 130 feet. On these streets in Carroll Gardens, the mapped street therefore includes the characteristic deep front yards of homes as well as the sidewalks and roadbeds. The Zoning Resolution has more liberal floor area and height and setback rules for streets that are mapped at widths of 75 feet or more ("wide streets").

The zoning text amendments would apply to the following streets:

•First Place, Second Place, Third Place and Fourth Place between Henry Street and Smith Street; and
•Second Street, Carroll Street and President Street between Smith Street and Hoyt Street

Although these streets have mapped widths that qualify them as wide streets, they look and function as narrow streets. The total width of sidewalks and roadways on these streets is approximately 50 feet.

The text amendment would limit the permitted heights and densities so that future developments would more closely match the existing low-scale context.

The proposal would amend sections of the Zoning Resolution that regulate height and setback, density and FAR. For those sections of the Zoning Resolution, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Places, and 2nd Street, Carroll Street and President Street between Smith Street and Hoyt Street would be considered 'narrow streets'. The mapped width of the streets on the City Map would be unchanged.

For buildings developed pursuant to Quality Housing, the proposed amendments would limit new development to and FAR of 2.2 and a maximum building height of 55 feet.

For buildings developed pursuant to R6 height factor regulations, the text change would increase the depth of the initial setback distance and produce a more shallow sky exposure plane ratio.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Carroll Gardens Zoning Text Amendment Hearing Wednesday May 7th


Public Hearing

Notice is hereby given that the Brooklyn Borough President will hold a public hearing on the following matter in the Community Room, Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn, New York 11201, commencing at 5:30 P.M. on May 7, 2008.

Calendar Item
Carroll Gardens Zoning
Text Amendment
Community District 6
080345 ZRK

The Department of City Planning has submitted an application for amendments to the Zoning Resolution. The proposed text amendments would apply the narrow street zoning provisions for height, setback and floor area ratio to streets which are mapped as wide on the City map but share a similar character to other narrow streets in the area. These streets are 1st Place, 2nd Place, 3rd Place, and 4th Place; and Second Street, Carroll Street and President Street between Smith Street and Hoyt Street in Brooklyn Community District 6.

John L. Heyer II
Special Assistant to
Brooklyn Borough President
Marty Markowitz

Tomorrow: Brooklyn Matters Screening at Cobble Hill Cinema

Thursday, May 1, 7:30pm. Screening of Isabel Hill's Atlantic Yards documentary "Brooklyn Matters". Cobble Hill Cinema. 265 Court Street. Brooklyn Matters Big Screen Cinema Premiere

First Come, First Serve.


Brooklyn Matters- A documentary by Producer/Director Isabel Hill.

No single event will have a more drastic and more long-lasting impact on Brooklyn than the proposed development of Atlantic Yards by Forest City Ratner. This uncommon proposal, however, is mostly misunderstood. Brooklyn Matters is an insightful documentary which reveals the fuller truth about the Atlantic Yards proposal and highlights how a few powerful men are circumventing community participation and skirting legal protections to try to get the deal done.

Atlantic Yards Rally: Saturday, May 3rd

The Council of Brooklyn Neighborhoods, Brooklyn Speaks, and Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn will join with community leaders and elected officials in calling for a freeze on all Atlantic Yards activities. The three sponsoring organizations represent thousands of New Yorkers that have had differing perspectives on issues raised by the Atlantic Yards proposal, but all agree that the current state of affairs is intolerable. The following elected officials have confirmed attendance: NYS Senator Velmanette Montgomery, NYS Assemblywoman Joan Millman, NYS Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, NYC Councilwoman Letitia James, NYC Councilman Bill Deblasio, NYC Councilman David Yassky, NYC Councilman Tony Avella.

Please visit Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn for more information and upcoming events.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

SoBNA Letter to CB6 Land Use Committee Chair

This is the letter to be presented on behalf of SoBNA (South Brooklyn Neighborhood Alliance) to the Land Use committee chair on Thursday night at the CB 6 meeting at 250 Baltic at 6:00pm.
April 21, 2008

Mr. Richard Bashner, Chair
Community Board Six
250 Baltic Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Dear Mr. Bashner:

Please allow us to introduce ourselves; we are the South Brooklyn Neighborhood Alliance, a new coalition dedicated to bringing community planning to our neighborhoods. Our goal is to build a model where residents, small businesses, elected officials, city government and developers work in common to plan how our neighborhoods prepare for the future. We are local residents and members of civic groups in the CB6 catchment area from the Columbia Waterfront to the Gowanus Canal.

A zoning text amendment has been introduced by the City Council to City Planning for Carroll Gardens. It is designed to protect the blocks of First, Second, Third and Fourth Place from Henry to Smith Streets, and extending to Second, Carroll and President Streets between Smith and Hoyt Streets. The text amendment would re-classify those blocks as "narrow" streets as laid out in the original plans of 1846. We believe it is imperative that the improper wide-street designation be changed to protect the openness of the signature front gardens for which Carroll Gardens is named.

We support this zoning text amendment as a proactive measure, which will allow for harmonious new development while preserving and enhancing the brownstone community that is Carroll Gardens. We urge both our advisory and elected representatives -our Community Board members and the Brooklyn Borough President to join with the Department of City Planning and the City Council to approve and implement this text amendment with all expedience.


Elizabeth Lind
South Brooklyn Neighborhood Alliance

Community Board 6 Land Use Committee Meeting Tomorrow

This Thursday, April 24, beginning at 6pm, at 250 Baltic Street, will be the land use committee meeting of CB6.On the agenda for that evening, is the Carroll Gardens "wide street" issue. Please come if you can and speak out in favor.




TIME: 6:00 PM



PUBLIC HEARING on 115 King Street/78 Sullivan Street (BSA Cal. No. 16-92-BZ).

Discussion and formulation of a recommendation on a variance application submitted to the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA Cal. No. 16-92-BZ) to permit the reinstatement of variances originally granted, an extension of the term of years pursuant to Zoning Resolution section 11-411, and the legalization of a change in use to warehouse, carpentry shop and furniture warehouse and business office with accessory parking in accordance with Zoning Resolution sections 11-413, 52-33 and 52.34, as well as a 278 square foot mezzanine for office use pursuant to Zoning Resolution section 11-412, for the property at 115 King Street aka 78 Sullivan Street (Block 556, Lot 15) between Van Brunt/Richards Streets.

Presentation and review of a Certificate of Appropriateness application submitted to the Landmarks Preservation Commission for new front entrance door, rooftop alterations, front yard paving and other fa├žade alterations at 523 3rd Street, Park Slope Historic District.

Presentation and review of a Certificate of Appropriateness application submitted to the Landmarks Preservation Commission for an alteration to the entrance steps and installation of handrails at 226-236 Kane Street, Kane Street Synagogue, Cobble Hill Historic District.

Presentation and review of a revised unenclosed sidewalk cafe permit application submitted to the Department of Consumer Affairs on behalf of The Cherry Tree Corp. at 65 4th Avenue (between Bergen and St. Marks Places), to permit 10 tables and 24 seats.

Presentation and review of proposed Zoning Resolution Text Amendment (#N080345ZRK), known as the Carroll Gardens Places Text Amendment, submitted by the Department of City Planning that would define 1st Place, 2nd Place, 3rd Place and 4th Place between Henry Street and Smith Street; and 2nd Street, Carroll Street and President Street between Smith Street and Hoyt Street, in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood of Brooklyn Community Board 6 as 'Narrow Streets' for zoning calculation purposes.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Some Interesting May Events

May 1: Brooklyn Matters film screening at Cobble Hill Cinema

7:30 PM


Brooklyn Matters- A documentary by Producer/Director Isabel Hill.

No single event will have a more drastic and more long-lasting impact on Brooklyn than the proposed development of Atlantic Yards by Forest City Ratner. This uncommon proposal, however, is mostly misunderstood. Brooklyn Matters is an insightful documentary which reveals the fuller truth about the Atlantic Yards proposal and highlights how a few powerful men are circumventing community participation and skirting legal protections to try to get the deal done.

May 10: Brooklyn Designs 2008 Rogers Marvels and Clarett Group Presentation

5pm – 6pm

design + development

Panel explores the new alliance between design and development and how it may help to shape Brooklyn in the coming years. Rob Rogers, principal, Rogers Marvel Architects; Veronica Hackett, managing partner, the Clarett Group; Jared Della Valle, principal, Della Valle Bernheimer; Jonathan Butler, founder of Brownstoner.com; moderated by Michael Cannell, online content director, Dwell.

$15; $10 for students; $12 in advance online here.

May 31: Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association History Project: Sacred Sites of Carroll Gardens, Guided Walking Tour

12:00 PM
125 Summit St.

Join guide John Heyer, as he takes us through time to explore the rich architectural and religious History of Carroll Gardens. The tour will stop at St. Stephan R.C. Church, St. Paul Episcopal, St. Agnes R.C. Church, and St. Mary Star of the Sea R.C. Church. You will also learn about former houses of worship like the Southern Congressional Church at Court and President, the Methodist church that once stood at Summit and Henry as well as many others that have been long demolished or converted.

$20 day of event
$15 with reservation before day of event
$10 for students and seniors with reservations

To make reservations email CGNA.RSVP@yahoo.com

USBA Joins South Brooklyn Neighborhood Alliance

The Union-Sackett Block Association is now a member of the newly formed South Brooklyn Neighborhood Alliance. We join other groups, which include Baltic and Warren Neighbors, Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association, Cobble Hill Association, Columbia Waterfront Neighborhood Association, Committee for the Historic Integrity of Cobble Hill, CORD, Hoyt Street Alliance, South Brooklyn Local Development Corporation, and Warren Street Block Association.

Please check the SoBNA blog for updates and further information.

Here is the group's mission statement:

We are the South Brooklyn Neighborhood Alliance. We are your neighbors and your friends. We are your fellow riders on the subway; the people at the next table in the coffee shop; the parents and grandparents of the children who attend the local schools. We share this neighborhood, its streets and services, with you and with one another. We think that this is a great place to live. The beauty, lower density, human scale of our buildings, safety, and the more neighborly lifestyle of our brownstone communities are some of the many reasons people have chosen to live here. We share a respect and affection for this community and wish not only to preserve it, but make it even better. Over the last two years, we have watched the quality of life here begin to erode under the pressure of out-of-scale development, structures that dwarf our existing neighborhood buildings. Development is based simply on maximizing the square footage and height allowable. New development has had neither respect nor regard for this lovely place, its needs and limitations, its character, or the very residents who have lovingly maintained it. What we want, is to maintain the integrity of our neighborhoods; implement the proper and appropriate infrastructure improvements before we have nothing left of our neighborhood to protect and enjoy.We are members of many different civic groups. We have joined together. We now represent a single united force dedicated to the preservation and improvement of our neighborhoods. We are not anti-development, but rather, wish to work with developers who have the ability to incorporate the special charm and character of this neighborhood into their design.Our goal is to achieve respectful, thoughtful, responsible development. In order to realize this, there is work to be done. There are laws to be changed, agencies and programs to be funded, processes that must be reevaluated. We will insist that the men and women, who have been elected to office by us, work for us to this same end. Let us begin.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Monthly Meeting Announcement

The Union-Sackett Block Association's monthly meeting is this Saturday, April 12th at 11:30 AM at the Carroll Gardens Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library (Corner of Clinton and Union Sts.)

Topics on the agenda include a review of last Thursday's meeting with Clarett and Rogers Marvel, downzoning, and our much-deserved block party.

Thank you to all those who attended the meeting at PS 58 last week. You all showed incredible support and revealed to the Clarett Group and Rogers Marvel our devotion and commitment to our neighborhood.

Renderings of 340 Court St.

Here are some images courtesy of Curbed from Roger's Marvel's presentation at last Thursday's meeting with the Clarett Group. Please also check-out Gowanus Lounge, Lost City, Pardon Me for Asking, and Brownstoner for coverage of the event.

Proposed Court St. design
Proposed Union St. design
Proposed Sackett St. design

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Meeting with the Clarett Group is TOMORROW

Just a reminder that tomorrow is the meeting with development company the Clarett Group and their hired architecture firm Rogers Marvel. The Clarett Group and Rogers Marvel will present renderings and talk about their plans for 340 Court St. There will be time for a question and answer session.

The meeting is hosted by the Union-Sackett Block Association and is supported by CORD (Carroll Gardens Coalition to Respectfully Develop) and the Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association.

Please encourage all your friends, family, and neighbors to attend.

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Tomorrow: Thursday, April 3rd, 2008
P.S. 58 Carroll School
330 Smith St. (enter school on Carroll, between Smith and Court)

See you all there!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

April 3rd Meeting Reminder & Flyer

Please save this date and encourage all members of the community to attend. You can click on the flyer image above to enlarge it. If you have the time, print and distribute.

Please note: in preparation for the April 3rd event, there is a planning meeting this Saturday, March 29 at 11:30 AM in the Carroll Gardens Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, located on the corner of Clinton and Union.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

76th Precinct Community Council Meeting: April 1, 2008

Come to the 76th Precinct Community Council Meeting

Meet the Commanding Officer, Deputy Inspector Michael Kemper

Get the latest crime statistics for:
*Cobble Hill
*Carroll Gardens
*Red Hook

Get information on:
*Gun stop
*Crime prevention
*new programs

Voice any concerns, ask questions, or just attend and take home valuable information!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008 at 7:30pm
Red Hook Community Justice Center at 88-94 Visitation Place

For additional information call Community Affairs at (718) 834-3207

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Reminder: Public Scoping Meeting for Toll Brothers Gowanus Project Tomorrow!

Thursday, March 13, 2008
2:00 to 5:45 PM
6:00 to 8:45 PM

City of New York Department of City Planning
Spector Hall
22 Reade Street
New York, New York 10007.

Written comments will be accepted by the lead agency through the tenth day following the scoping meeting (before Monday, March 23rd).

See this post for more information.

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn Atlantic Yards Meeting Tomorrow, Thursday, March 13th

Thursday, March 13, 7PM
Hanson Place United Methodest Church, Main Sanctuary
144 Saint Felix St. at Hanson Place (Entrace on Hanson)
Fort Greene, Brooklyn

Subways: 2, 3, 4, 5, B, D, N, R, Q, and LIRR to Atlantic/Pacific St.; G to Fulton St.; A to Lafayette Ave.

Speculation has been increasing recently that Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project could be falling prey to the triple-whammy of a slowing economy, the crisis in sub-prime mortgages and the global credit crunch. Big real estate deals all around the country are being put on hold or are being shelved altogether, and Ratner's planned City Tech tower project, which would have been Brooklyn's tallest building, unraveled two weeks ago (CUNY scuttled the deal because Forest City Ratner's building "would be too expensive, too slow and too controversial").The Atlantic Yards project is turning into the deal that couldn't get done.

ll of which makes next Thursday's community meeting even more important...

Find out the latest on the community's fight against the destructive Atlantic Yards project, including news on the political and legal effort to stop the project. Find out how to get involved. Also, learn about the UNITY Plan, the community's alternative plan to develop the rail yards with truly affordable housing, community-friendly open space without the abuse of eminent domain. City and State politicians will speak and be available for Q&A.

nvited Elected Officials: Councilmember Bill DeBlasio, Councilmember Letitia James, Councilmember David Yassky, Assemblymember Jim Brennan, Assemblymember Hakeem Jeffries, Assemblymember Joan Millman, State Senator Eric Adams, State Senator Velmanette Montgomery

Sponsored by:
Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn
Society for Clinton Hill
Fort Greene Association
Park Slope Neighbors
Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus
Bears Community Garden
South Portland Block Association

he meeting is open to all. Please save the date, and bring a friend.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Public Scoping Meeting for Toll Brothers Gowanus Project This Thursday, March 13

As the Department of City Planning website announces,

"A public scoping meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, March 13, 2008 from 2:00 to 5:45 PM and from 6:00 to 8:45 PM at the City of New York Department of City Planning, Spector Hall, 22 Reade Street, New York, New York 10007. Written comments will be accepted by the lead agency through the tenth day following the scoping meeting.

Copies of the Draft Scope of Work and the Environmental Assessment Statement may be obtained from the Environmental Assessment and Review Division, New York City Department of City Planning, 22 Reade Street, 4E, New York, New York 10007, Robert Dobruskin, Director (212) 720-3423; or from the Office of Environmental Coordination, 253 Broadway, 14th Floor, New York, New York 10007, Robert Kulikowski, Ph.D., Director (212) 788-2937."

These documents can also be found on the Department of City Planning website in pdf form.

The Toll Brothers wants to build approximately six hundred units of housing, ranging in heights up to 12 stories in a three acre space. It will, among other things, involve remediation of the contaminated portions of the site and remapping streets. Since the area isn't zoned for this type of development, several steps must be taken before any work can begin.

One of these procedures is a special meeting called a "scoping hearing," where the residents of our neighborhood get to speak their mind about the things they like or dislike about the proposed project.

The following is a list of subjects that the developer must address. Look over the list. Whether you are concerned about how larger sized buildings will affect your sunlight, how the additional housing will affect the amount of raw sewage flowing into the canal, or how the additional cars will affect the parking and traffic conditions, this is your chance to speak up. You may speak of any other concerns you may have; it does not have to be a topic on this list.

At the spoking hearing, each person has 3 minutes to orally communicate their concerns. There is also an opportunity to fully address your concerns in writing. The written comments must be sent-in before March 24, 2008.

Here is a list of possible subjects:

Land use, zoning and public policy, socioeconomic conditions, community facilities and services, open space, shadows, historic resources, urban design/visual resources, neighborhood character, natural resources, hazardous materials, waterfront revitalization program, infrastructure, solid waste and sanitation services, energy, traffic and parking, transit and pedestrians, air quality, noise, construction impacts, public health.

Please contact the USBA or one of our linked organizations, such as Friends of Bond, CORD, or FROGG for more information.

Spread the word and take this opportunity to make an impact in our community.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Stop Work Order for the Clarett Group at 340 Court St.

Due to a problem with the safety netting at the 340 Court St. site, the New York Department of Buildings has issued a Stop Work Order. The log of the initial complaint can be viewed below.

If you witness work being done on the site before the Stop Work Order is lifted, or that is unrelated to the resolution of the protective netting issue, please call 311 to make a complaint. You may also contact Councilman Bill de Blasio's office at 718-854-9791.

You can check the status of the Stop Work Order and other construction issues at the DOB website.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Community Meeting with the Clarett Group Scheduled

The much anticipated meeting with the Carroll Gardens community and the Clarett Group (the developers of 340 Court St.) is set for Thursday, April 3, 7:00 - 9:00 PM. The meeting will be held at the P.S. 58 Carrol School, located at 330 Smith St. All members of the community are encouraged to attend the event. The more attendees there are, the more our concern and commitment to Brooklyn and Carroll Gardens is displayed.

During the meeting, the Clarett Group and representatives from the architecture firm hired for the project, Rogers Marvel, will present plans and renderings of the condo building and townhouses that will replaces the former ILA building at 340 Court Street. There will be a short presentation from the Union-Sackett Block Association and time for a question and answer session.

Please save the date and look out for updates and flyers. Spread the word! If you are interested in helping with the preparation for this meeting, please attend the USBA meeting this Saturday at 11:30 AM at the Carroll Gardens branch of the Public Library.

Monday, February 25, 2008

USBA Meeting with the Clarett Group Thursday

On Thursday morning, the Union-Sackett Block Association Core Committee will meet with Daniel Hollander, the Senior Managing Director of Clarett Group, along with other representatives from the Clarett Group. The meeting will be held at Clarett's Manhattan offices and members of the USBA will reiterate to Clarett the importance of working with the community, express community concerns about design and construction, and prepare for another meeting scheduled for March, when Clarett will present its plans for 340 Court St. to the entire community.

There will be an update about this meeting later in the week.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Support the Hoyt Street Alliance

Photo courtesy : A Brooklyn Life

Please read the blog entries on Pardon Me for Asking and Gowanus Lounge to learn about the Hoyt Street Alliance's opposition to a proposed oyster bar located directly next to the Black Mountian Wine House on the corner of Hoyt and Union.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn Events

Sunday, February 10th, 3 PM: Atlantic Yards "Camera Club" Mobilization

A "photographers' rights free expression mobilization" responding to the harassment of video artist/teacher Katherin McInnis by an MTA police officer last Sunday, February 3rd on public property within the Atlantic Yards footprint. We will discuss photographers' rights and the Atlantic Yards situation, then walk and photograph within the footprint. Depending on circumstances, we may have the opportunity to engage in respectful information exchange with MTA police and/or private security personnel. End point: Freddy's Bar and Backroom, 485 Dean Street, corner of Sixth Avenue.

MTA cop tries to stop videographer at Atlantic Yards site
Atlantic Yards Report

Meet at the Brooklyn Bears Community Garden, Pacific Street and Flatbush Avenue, entrance on Pacific. If there's *heavy* rain or snow, we'll change the meeting place to Freddy's Bar, 485 Dean, corner of Sixth Avenue.

Photographers, videographers, bloggers, and supporters. News media are welcome.


Tuesday, February 26, 7:30pm. BROOKLYN HEIGHTS ASSOCIATION ANNUAL MEETING: "What Is the Future of Life in NYC"

Saint Francis College Auditorium
180 Remsen Street (between Court & Clinton Streets). Keynote Speaker
Clyde Haberman
Acclaimed New York Times "NYC" Columnist
"What Is the Future of Life in NYC".

Thursday, March 13, 7pm. DDDB Community Meeting:

Update on the Struggle Against Ratner's Atlantic Yards Project and For Fair Development

Hanson Place United Methodist Church. Main Sanctuary
144 Saint Felix Street at Hanson Place [Map]
Fort Greene, Brooklyn

Subways: 2, 3, 4, 5, B, D, N, R, Q to Atlantic/Pacific.

Get the latest updates on the community's fight against the destructive Atlantic Yards project, including news on the political and legal effort to stop the project. Also, learn about the community's alternative plan to develop the rail yards with truly affordable housing, community-friendly open space and no abuse of eminent domain. City and State elected officials will attend and be available for Q&A.

More details to come as the date approaches.

The meeting is open to all. Please save the date, and bring a friend.

Visit Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn for more information.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Saturday Meeting Reminder

Please join us this Saturday to discuss updates on 340 Court St., downzoning in Carroll Gardens, and other important neighborhood issues.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Correspondence with the Clarett Group

We've been in communication with Clarett Group in hopes of scheduling another meeting with the community. Here is a copy of the correspondance [click images to enlarge]:

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Videos from the Jan. 29th Rally

Part 1:

Part 2:

[Credit: Fred C, Union-Sackett Block Association Member]

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

C.O.R.D. Letter to Mayor Bloomberg

Please help us write to the MAYOR!

Calling all Carroll Gardens!

Please Dear C. G. Resident:

Copy/paste this letter below and send it ASAP to Mayor Bloomberg! Here is the link...it's so easy!!

Dear Mayor Bloomberg:

We are Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. We have sought relief from the hyper-development that is taking place here through moratorium petition (3000+ signatures), contextual downzoning application (an undetermined wait time), amendments to the zoning text (a fairly lengthy and only partial solution), City Council Resolution (valiant and appreciated, but unbinding), expansion of our historic district (a volatile, divisive topic) and a rally at Borough Hall organized by our Councilman and Assemblywoman.

We have overcrowded schools, dirty streets and air, inadequate public transportation. We have far too many stop work orders regularly issued for dangerous construction situations. We have no nearby Post Office. Almost all of the private parking lots have been developed. All of our local elected officials have recently requested information from both the DOB and the MTA/NYCTA regarding their communication and procedures when construction is being conducted in close proximity to our subway tunnel. There are currently dozens of such projects, an unprecedented amount for our Smith Street corridor, most of which seemed to be completely under the MTA/NYCTA radar. We are all concerned. The pace here is fast, and all too often, homeowners are paying the price in property damages, simply for living next to, nearby or behind a developer who has hired careless workers employing, at times, questionable practices.

Read the local blogs, Mr. Mayor, take a look at our local papers. We have been crying out for months for help. We are not anti-development. All we want is thoughtful, responsible, respectful development. We love where we live. We would like to preserve it. Won't you please help us?


XXXXX (sign you name here)

Thank you so much for your help! Together we will protect Carroll Gardens from overdevelopment!

CG C.O.R.D./Carroll Gardens Coalition for Respectful Development

visit www.carrollgardenspetition.blogspot.com for a longer, more comprehensive letter, which can be mailed by hand.

Photos from the Rally for Downzoning

Please check out Pardon Me For Asking for more pictures and a good summary of the day's events. More updates and hopefully a video to come soon. Thanks to all those who made it out today, we greatly appreciate your efforts.

Here is a good run-down of the rally borrowed from the blog, Brownstoner, which is ironically well-decorated with advertisements for Clarett's Forte building:

About 50 people (and one well-dressed canine) showed at Borough Hall this morning to support the drive to downzone Carroll Gardens. Council Member Bill de Blasio organized the rally, and he had some big news to share: The Department of City Planning has officially committed to studying a downzoning of the neighborhood. The news comes hot on the heels of Planning’s announcement that it would initiate a a zoning text amendment to impose height limitations on 1st through 4th Place. De Blasio is also pushing for the city to impose building height limitations of 50 feet while the downzoning is studied. “We want to limit heights until a legal downzoning goes through,” de Blasio said at the rally. Representatives of Assemblywoman Yvette Clark and Assemblywoman Joan Millman also spoke in support of the downzoning, as did Gary Reilly of the Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association. “What attracts people to the neighborhood is its low scale,” said Reilly. “We want to prevent Carroll Gardens from becoming the next Williamsburg, with developers throwing up buildings willy-nilly.” De Blasio noted that downzonings typically take a year to a year and a half to push through, and time is of the essence in terms of downzoning Carroll Gardens since the clock is ticking on the current administration's term.
[From http://www.brownstoner.com]

Update from the Clarett Group

Dear all,

Here is the latest update on construction activity at 340 Court Street:

Asbestos abatement work will be wrapped up tomorrow morning (January 29th). Interior demolition will begin on Thursday. Interior demolition work will only occur on weekdays from 7 AM to 6 PM. A permit has been pulled and will be posted on the building.

An 8 foot tall plywood construction fence will be erected around the site next week (exact day tbd).

In response to inquiries from the community, Clarett has arranged for the flag pole that currently sits in the Court Street courtyard to be relocated to the courtyard in front of Scotto's Funeral home at the corner of 1st Place and Court. Clarett will also be donating the sign that hangs over the doorway to the archives of the Sacred Hearts & St. Stephen church.


David Lowin
Development Director

Monday, January 28, 2008

Responses to Daily News Article

Thanks to all those who responded to the Daily News article, both on the site and elsewhere. Here is a response that we found particularly interesting and relevant:

As a resident of Carroll Gardens Landmark Condominium, located in a converted church on Court Street about 150 feet away from the Claret site and protected by national Landmark status, it is quite disturbing to know that our 1868 stained glass windows will be subjected to the violent vibrations of the nearby construction site. These delicate stained glass windows are an irreplaceable part of this community's history, and while it is painful to know that listing on the National Register of Historic Places does not seem to provide any protections against nearby construction, it speaks volumes that the developers are so unfamiliar and out-of-touch with our neighborhood as to even make the effort to care. The historic structures in close proximity to this construction site should be pro-actively protected by these developers to insure that they remain important links to the past in our unique neighborhood fabric.

Jay A. Lubow

Senior Principal

Applied Design Initiative, LLC

Friday, January 25, 2008



11:00 AM

Join Councilmember Bill de Blasio, Assemblymember Joan Millman, The Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association (CGNA), Carroll Gardens Coalition For Respectful Development (CORD), Baltic & Warren Neighbors, Columbia Waterfront Neighborhood Association and The Union-Sackett Block Association to support a resolution calling upon the Department of City Planning to immediately commence a downzoning study (50’height limit) of Carroll Gardens to protect our neighborhood and the Department of Buildings to implement the appropriate procedure to preserve the character of Carroll Gardens until the downzoning is complete.

Daily News Article Announcement

Please check out this Daily News article about the development at 340 Court St.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Councilman Bill de Blasio Drafts Down-Zoning Resolution for Carroll Gardens

We would like to echo the post on Brooklyn Streets, Carroll Gardens, which announces that Councilman Bill de Blasio has drafted a resolution calling for an immediate down-zoning of Carroll Gardens. This is very positive step by de Blasio and one that the Union-Sackett Block Association endorses and supports. We thank Mr. De Blasio for his efforts. This resolution reflects our requests of the Clarett Group.

The draft of the resolution is as follows:

Res. No.

Resolution calling upon the Department of City Planning to commence immediately a downzoning study of Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn and upon the Department of Buildings to not issue permits that would allow any new construction or alteration to an existing building to exceed a height limit of 50 feet until the Carroll Gardens neighborhood downzoning is complete.

By Council Member de Blasio

Whereas, Carroll Gardens is a charming neighborhood defined by its tree-lined streets, beautiful 3-4 story brownstones, and atypical setbacks that create deep front yards; and

Whereas, The architecture and layout of Carroll Gardens creates a village-like character, which is not commonly found in New York City; and

Whereas, Currently, Carroll Gardens is zoned R6, which does not provide a restriction on height; and

Whereas, With the recent state of hyper-development in Brooklyn, there is widespread concern that large scale new constructions pose a threat to the fabric of this historical Brooklyn neighborhood; and

Whereas, According to a 2006 survey by Brooklyn Community Board 6, 91% of neighborhood residents surveyed responded that they were either very concerned or concerned about the height or size of new buildings in the neighborhood. Further, 83% of those surveyed indicated that they favored stricter limits on the height, size and/or overall bulk of new buildings; and

Whereas, A neighborhood downzoning by the Department of City Planning would be the most effective long term solution to the problem of over-development in Carroll Gardens; and

Whereas, A 50 foot height limit will protect the neighborhood from over-development while also providing time for the Department of City Planning to perform the necessary study and analysis that would precede the downzoning of Carroll Gardens; and

Whereas, A height restriction of 50 feet, to be implemented immediately, will cap the height on new building construction or alternation to existing buildings to prevent the construction of buildings higher than 50 feet over the next several years; now, therefore, be it.

Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls upon the Department of City Planning to commence immediately a downzoning study of Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn and upon the Department of Buildings to not issue permits that would allow any new construction or alteration to an existing building to exceed a height limit of 50 feet until the Carroll Gardens neighborhood downzoning is complete.

Union Opposes the Clarett Group's Asbestos Removal at 340 Court St.

As reported on Curbed, Brooklyn Streets, Carroll Gardens and other blogs, Laborers' Local 78 has put up an inflatable rat and distributed flyers around the 340 Court St. site. The union is protesting Clarett's choice to use non-union workers to perform the dangerous asbestos abatement project. Their flyers encourage members of the neighborhood to call Veronica Hackett, the co-founder of Clarett Group, and urge her to employ union workers in order to ensure that such projects as asbestos removal is done safely and legally.

Neighbors of the site also question Clarett's apparent illegal use of a nearby fire hydrant. Some of their waste bins are also taking up parking space on Union St.

A complaint was put into 311 last night because work on the asbestos removal was being done after 12:00 AM, conflicting with Clarett's promise to work only during acceptable, legal hours. Here is a copy of the complaint as posted on the DOB website:

We have been trying to keep a controlled response to The Clarett Group's efforts at 340 Court St. in hopes of having a productive dialogue about safety and the outcome of the development. The Union's protest today has raised new levels of fear about the asbestos removal and general construction safety, along with all the issues around proper notification.

We have received many emails and calls about this important asbestos removal, along with numerous complaints about the open fire hydrant and blocked parking spots without proper permits on Union St. We know many calls were made to 311 today.

We are currently drafting a letter to Clarett requesting direct meaningful dialogue between USBA and Clarett Group about all these issues. Today's event highlight the immediate need for this dialogue.