Friday, November 27, 2015

Community Boards' Opinion on Rezoning Not as Important as MINE!: De Blasio

Community Boards' Opinion on Rezoning Not as Important as MINE: De Blasio

"EAST HARLEM — Mayor Bill de Blasio downplayed the role of the city's community boards, which have overwhelmingly rejected his citywide rezoning proposals, saying Monday their opinions are merely advisory as he pushes forward with the controversial plan. The boards, which are appointed by the mayor, City Council and borough presidents, have criticized the rezoning plans as not providing enough housing that is affordable to the actual income levels of people in the neighborhoods and for fear that it would spark more gentrification and overcrowding."

"Other boards fear the plans are too broad and would hurt the character of individual neighborhoods. "They don't have a perfect vantage point on their communities. No one has a perfect vantage point on the whole of a community, but they bring a lot of valuable insight," de Blasio said. "Community Boards are appointed to give input. They give input," the mayor continued. "The folks that are elected by all the people, the council members and the mayor, have to make the final decision."

"The mayor's remarks upset some community board members and borough presidents who worried the mayor would jam the proposals through despite the outcry.
"I think he’s taking that position because we didn’t vote supporting his plan," said Dolores Orr, chairwoman of Queens Community Board 14. "Had we voted in favor of his plan, he would have a different opinion of the community boards."

"The mayor's remarks come as community boards across the city are uniting against zoning changes proposed by his administration that are part of the plan to facilitate the preservation and creation of 200,000 units of affordable housing over the course of the next decade. Under the Zoning for Quality and Affordability proposal, the parking requirements for affordable housing would be eliminated while allowing taller building heights to increase affordable housing.

"Mandatory Inclusionary Housing would require the construction of affordable housing for projects receiving city land or a subsidy.  The City Planning Commission, of which the mayor appoints the chair and seven of 13 members, and the City Council also must approve the changes.

"Respectfully, if the mayor is going to create affordable housing, he has to think about the people living in each community district," said George Fernandez, chairman of Community Board 12 in Washington Heights. "Because if it’s not for the community, then for who is it?"
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said last week that de Blasio needs to "realize that one size does not fit all" when it comes to zoning.

"In Queens, 12 of 14 boards voted against the zoning text amendments. In The Bronx, eight of 12 boards disapprove so far. Three of five borough community boards have come out against the plan."

"The mayor was unfazed when asked about the rejections Monday, saying "there's often a divergence between the community boards and the council and the mayor" that is "healthy" and "part of democracy." (edit)  ..........................

For more of this article please see

Katie Honan, Eddie Small, Emily Frost and Carolina Pichardo contributed reporting.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Say it Ain't So Mayor DeBlasio! No Towers in Cobble Hill! Sign the Cobble Hill Association Petition!

“We are not embarking on a mission to build towering skyscrapers where they don't belong. We have a duty to protect and preserve the culture and character of our neighborhoods.”


Dear neighbors and friends of Cobble Hill,

Guess who said that last February?! Mayor de Blasio!

But somehow the Mayor has lost his way and now he is supporting building  high-rise towers right next to our historic low-rise brownstone community.

At Wednesday's community meeting, hundreds of our Cobble Hill neighbors and friends made their feelings loud and clear: No towers in Cobble Hill! Our representatives heard our message and they are behind us 100 percent in this truly momentuous effort to stop Fortis Property Group from building their high-rises on the site of the former Long Island College Hospital.

Now we need to make sure Mayor de Blasio hears us, too! Toward that end, we are petitioning Mayor de Blasio to work with us— not against us— in our efforts to significantly downscale the current redevelopment plans. We've already collected hundreds of signatures, but we needs several times that to make an impact.

Please read our petition and-- if you agree— add your vitally-needed voice to our campaign. There are two ways you can participate.
1. Please print out a copy of our petition, sign, and mail to: Cobble Hill Association, 123 Congress Street 11201 (or you can drop through the mail slot).
2. Access and sign our petition online. (Your email will be your signature.)

All the community's signed petitions will be delivered directly to the Mayor's office.

Please sign today! The sooner these petitions reach the Mayor the better!

And THANK YOU! for being a part of our community.


The Cobble Hill Association

P.S. Please share this email with your neighbors. We need to spread the word quickly.


Copyright © 2015 Cobble Hill Association, Inc., All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you attended a past Cobble Hill Association event, sent us an inquiry, or simply told us at some point you'd like to be informed of neighborhood news.

Our mailing address is:
Cobble Hill Association, Inc.
P.O. Box 376
Brooklyn, NY 11201

The passing of a tireless community activist, Betty Stolz

CORD is grieving today. 

Our friend, partner, collaborator Bette Stoltz has passed.

It is with a truly heavy heart that we inform that our wonderful mentor, champion and dear friend, the irreplaceable, Bette Stoltz, has passed.

Bette was a tireless crusader--whether it was breathing life back into a Smith Street that was drowning, turning a slab of concrete into a beautiful garden, or bringing a program to our local schools--she took an idea and ran with it until that idea was a reality.

Bette is the reason there is a Second Place Transit Garden. She was presented with a kernel of an idea and with her energy, sensibility, drive and cheerful go-gettedness--and  beautiful garden was born.

Bette worked with CORD from its inception--her advice, her wisdom her willingness to share these things with us helped us in so many ways.

When the Gowanus Canal was first named as a possible site to be Superfunded, Bette eagerly became part of our South Brooklyn Coalition---probably the largest group of volunteer organizations ever put together---Bette representing the only not for profit group in the bunch.

Bette could do it all. She could make the connections needed to begin a project and then, bring in those who could make the whole thing even better. 

She was so competent you just felt that she could do the whole job completely with her "roll up your sleeves" approach to everything she did, but yet, she made you happily want to help out too.

Mostly though, Bette was just so genuine--there was no guile, no false smiles. She was a doer, an inspiration and a true friend.

Bette was warm, honest, generous and reliable. She was fun and funny, wise but not hardened and always willing to give more of herself ---all you had to do was ask.

We will certainly be thinking of Bette every time we are on Smith Street and each time we see the Transit Garden--- she did so much for our community in such a humble and non grandstanding manner.

We will remember all of those things and take them as a lesson in how to live a truly civic minded, concerned, compassionate, well loved and fruitful life.

The Transit Garden stands there-- a real, live, warm,welcoming place you can count on—is just like the lady Bette was herself.

So, whatever you believe, whatever your custom---keep Bette and her family close to you today. 

Goodbye, Bette. You will be sorely missed.

CORD Co-founders, 
Lucy DeCarlos, Rita Miller, Triada Samaras

There are no services or memorials that we are aware of at this time. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sunday Evening Vigil for Paris Victims

5:30 PM

Tomorrow at 5:30 PMBrooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams will hold an interfaith vigil with members of Brooklyn’s French community and concerned Brooklynites in response to yesterday’s terror attacks in Paris, which have claimed at least 125 lives and have injured hundreds more throughout the city. The event will begin in Carroll Park, a popular community hub in Carroll Gardens, where participants will light candles for peace and hear words of solidarity from local leaders. The gathering will lead into a candlelight walk toward an interfaith service at St. Agnes Roman Catholic Church, which regularly offers mass in French. Borough President Adams and others, including Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon and Council Member Brad Lander, will express their solidarity with the people of Paris, as well as address safety concerns in and around Brooklyn.

***PLEASE NOTE: At approximately 6:00 PM, Borough President Adams and others will hold a candlelight walk from Carroll Park to St. Agnes Roman Catholic Church for the interfaith service, where members of the media are welcome. The path of the walk will head north on Smith Street from Carroll Park, then east on Sackett Street to St. Agnes Roman Catholic Church.***

Stefan Ringel
Office of the Brooklyn Borough President
Communications Director
209 Joralemon Street
Brooklyn, New York 11201
718.802.3831 (office)
917.574.3277 (cell)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Upcoming Gowanus Canal CAG meetings. Public welcome!

Hello from CG CORD!

The following are the October 2015 Meetings for the Gowanus Canal CAG/Community Advisory Committee

Archeology Committee, Wednesday, November 11 at 7 PM
Gowanus Souvenir Shop, 543 Union Street,(former Proteus Gowanus location) entrance is via alley on Nevins Street

Outreach Committee, Thursday, November 12th at 6:30 pm, or Friday the 13th at 8:30 am
Still to be confirmed

Water Quality & Technical Committee, should be Tues. November 17 at 7PM 
 Mary Star of the Sea, 41 First St.

Full CAG, Tuesday December 1, 6:30 PM (this is the last meeting of 2015)Mary Star of the Sea, 41 First St. (location to be confirmed)
(Facilitation Team to meet at 5:30)

Tour of the Paerdegat CSO facility
The NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) invites you to a tour of their Paerdegat CSO facility (a CSO facility that does have a head house) on Friday, November 20th.  DEP will be providing transportation to and from the facility.  Please note DEP’s vans are not wheelchair accessible, and anyone requiring accessibility will need to make alternate transportation arrangements. 
When:                 Pickup: Friday, November 20th at 10:00am
                             Tour begins at 11:00am 
Where:               Meeting and ending at Fifth Avenue Committee
621 Degraw Street
Brooklyn NY 11217 
If you would like to attend please RSVP by Wednesday, November 18 to Corinne Martin, or (718) 595-5843 to reserve your spot. Please also note that if you would like to meet at the facility instead of utilizing the DEP transportation that can be arranged, simply let Corinne know.  Any questions please contact Corinne Martin.

The EPA ROD/Record of Decision regarding the Gowanus Canal can be found here: 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

CORD says...New York City Seizing personal property through Eminent Domain is Unnecessary, UNFAIR, and Fiscally Irresponsible!

The following is a CORD letter written to Judith Enck, Administrator for EPA's Region 2 Office in New York. In addition to the the other recipients cc-ed above, this letter was also sent to Mayor DeBlasio, Governor Cuomo, Senators Gillibrand and Schumer, Councilman Brad Lander, Councilman Stephen Levin, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, and State Senator Velmanette Montgomery

CG/Carroll Gardens 
CORD/Coalition for Respectful Development

Judith A. Enck
Administrator for EPA's Region 2 Office
New York 
Date:  Novemeber 1, 2015

Dear Ms Enck,

Our names are Lucy DeCarlo, Rita Miller and Triada Samaras. We are all Carroll Gardens residents living just a few blocks from the Gowanus Canal.

We are also the Co-Founders of CORD, the Carroll Gardens Coalition for Respectful Development, one of the group of Organizations that came to speak with you so long ago while advocating for the Canal to be placed upon the NPL.

We find it totally confusing and discouraging that now, after so much hard work, dedication and planning by your Agency, there is a discussion, indeed a serious possibility, of making considerably major changes to the timeline and plan proposed in the ROD.

We are not engineers, or architects or even plumbers. But, we are all property owners in Carroll Gardens. We value what we own. We respect our property and the property of others.  We appreciate what it takes to obtain it and to maintain it.

One of the reasons CORD so whole heartedly supported the ROD was because it not only provided the type of Canal cleanup we so desperately needed, it addressed the CSO issue and  managed to present all of this in a cost effective manner. 

Now we hear that our tax dollars could be wildly spent to purchase, through seizure, privately owned property--from what we understand to be unwilling sellers--to place the tank on their property rather than the perfectly located city owned property.

How ironic that the city's two biggest arguments against Superfunding the Canal in the first place were that it would take too long and it would cost too much.

Now that your Agency has successfully gone through the steps, and in record time, the City is touting seizing personal properties.  This will certainly take time when the rightful owners understandably put up a fight while spending OUR MONEY to fight them, making the deal and eventually purchasing the property to boot.

This is simply unacceptable.

We do not believe the Thomas Greene Park amenities will be lost forever because of the placement of an underground tank.

We do not believe that an interim park/pool amenity cannot be provided during the actual work. 

And we do not believe that the City of New York (with or without the participation of National Grid) could not spend our money in a more sensible, respectful, beneficial and productive manner by eventually providing a better park/pool than what is there now after the EPA's work is done.

We certainly could understand and would support a plan to do that.

As residents and more importantly as tax paying property owners, we ask you not to take our neighbor's properties away from them when one of the chief Responsible Parties already has the ability to provide the space themselves.

Very truly yours,
Rita Miller, Lucy DeCarlo, Triada Samaras
CG CORD Co-Founders
Brooklyn, NY  11231

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Upcoming Gowanus Canal CAG meetings. Public welcome!

Hello from CG CORD!

The following are the October 2015 Meetings for the Gowanus Canal CAG/Community Advisory Committee

Water Quality & Technical Committee, Tuesday October 20, 7 PM
Mary Star of the Sea, 41 First St.
Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn

CB6 Meeting. October 26 at 6:30 PM
P.S. 32 Auditorium, 317 Hoyt Street 
Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn

Full CAG, Tuesday October 27, 6:30 PM
Mary Star of the Sea, 41 First St.
(Facilitation Team to meet at 5:30)
Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn

Tour of the Alley Creek CSO facility Friday, October 30th, 10 AM
Meeting and ending at Fifth Avenue Committee, 621 Degraw Street (DEP will be providing non-wheelchair accessible transportation to and from the facility)
If you would like to attend please RSVP by Monday, October 26 to Corinne Martin, or (718) 595-5843 to reserve your spot.

The public is always welcomed!



With the "Protect Our Homes" petition, CORD was formed in May, 2007. This petition arose as an overwhelmingly negative response to the coming of the over-sized 360 Smith Street Development at the corner of Smith Street and Second Place (Aka Oliver House; aka 131 Second Place). This petition, which had well over three thousand signatures, led to a new zoning text amendment in summer of 2008.

To: Our Elected Officials, Community Leaders, The MTA:
(MAY, 2007)

We the undersigned Carroll Gardens homeowners and residents, are appalled by the "as of right" ruling which allows owners and developers to erect buildings in our neighborhood with no regard to the impact they will present to our quality of life and the value of our homes........