Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Gowanus Bell Tolls: "Scoping" Hearing on Thursday

The first step for the Toll Brothers firm in trying to win approval for its big proposed development in Gowanus will occur tomorrow (Thursday, 3/13). That's when a "Scoping Hearing" to determine the contents of an environmental impact study (or its scope) will take place at the Department of City Planning. The scoping document is a technical, yet important, one and opponents of the Toll plan are organizing to speak against the controversial development. The project needs to go through a full city land use review process because the developers are looking for a zoning change in advance of rezoning the neighborhood. There are two sessions on Thursday, one from 2PM-5:30PM and the other from 6PM-8:45PM. It will take place at 22 Reade Street. Attendees can make statements of up to three minutes about the project and written statements can also be submitted through March 24. There is vocal, if not bitter, opposition to the big Gowanus development from within the community. Residents are concerned it will be too big and exacerbate current flooding problems among other things.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tomorrow's testimony is not to speak for or against this proposed development. It is to ask Toll to consider other options and expand the menu of choices for when this project goes thru ULURP.

The "no build" option is automatically considered in the environmental review.

People can ask can ask for the project to be reduced to avoid negative impacts. The development is 447 apartments so an easy way to reduce size is scrap the 130 units of affordable housing, which probably doesn't generate profit for Toll.

We can ask for more on-site parking to quell fears of traffic congestion.

The big miss of this project is that Toll raises the development above the flood plain by programming parking at street level, which is a criminal approach to waterfront re-development and I doubt anyone will enjoy living there.

Let's ask for some restaurants, cafes, bars, art galleries, etc.. at street level! Toll can even add a few apartments / floors to pay for it!

9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Demand that Toll Brothers follows the complete neighborhood rezoning, not a spot, variance zoning that may allow them to build higher and denser. There is no reason why they need to have this pushed through!

12:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear fellow Gowanus Residents,

I'm all for making suggestions - or demands, if you prefer to put it that way - to Toll Brothers about how to improve the project. But don't just go NIMBY-ballistic and try to kill the project. I, for one, would not like to stare at an empty dump of a lot for the next 20 years because you guys can't stand to see anything change about the neighborhood - even the shitty empty lots.

And yes, I do live near the project. Less than five blocks away.

12:37 AM  

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