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)

E-mail 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.