Thursday, May 31, 2007

Another Important Gowanus Planning Meeting Tonight

Gowanus Canoe

The next meeting in the series of community sessions leading up to rezoning proposals for Gowanus takes place tonight against the background of a purge of nine CB6 members that is believed to have been, in part, motivated by a desire to diminish opposition to allowing taller, bigger buildings in the neighborhood. The Community Board 6 Land Use Committee meeting will be held at 6:00PM at P.S. 32, which is located at 317 Hoyt Street between Union and President Streets. Representatives of the Department of City Planning will be on hand.

In the meantime, Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus (FROGG) sent along some observations from a previous Gowanus planning meeting, at which a list of goals "to be used as a framework for discussions about the future of the Gowanus Canal corridor" was presented. FROGG writes that "These goals were arrived at in previous meetings the agency had with Community Board 6. They were presented in a circular diagram assigning no specific order or priority and the agency seeks to strike a balance among them. They are to be the jumping off point for the next phase of the neighborhood outreach meetings."

FROGG ordered the list of goals in terms of "priorities that FROGG would like to suggest addresses the community’s concerns." Here they are:
1) Support environmental cleanup
a) Brownfield land cleanup and remediation
b) Aquatic brownfield cleanup: with attention to storm water management and CSO events
2) Maintain continued industrial and commercial activities
a) Recognition that industrial and commercial activities are distinct from each other and have different needs
b) Provide a supportive environment for the existing jobs, and encourage the use of union labor in any new construction
c) Encourage opportunities for creative and new technology work places
3) Address neighborhood context and character
a) Limit height and density conditions to preserve the unique quality of the corridor, especially its open space and sky views
b) Maintain the height and density restrictions that apply to adjoining neighborhoods
c) Open green space
4) Encourage mix of uses where appropriate and possible
a) Allow and encourage creative reuse of existing structures
5) Achieve waterfront public access at Canal’s edge
a) Recreational open spaces adjacent to the Canal could provide a pleasant green conduit through the area: South Brooklyn has playgrounds and ball fields but lacks open green spaces
6) Promote affordable housing opportunities
a) Both land and aquatic brownfield cleanups to enable this possibility
Related Post:
Burden Calls Gowanus "Great, Unique Opportunity" at Polite Gowanus Rezoning Meeting

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