Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Battle of 360 Smith Street: Councilman Circulates Scarano Email

Second Place Plaza

We saw several emails from Carroll Gardens residents last week suggesting that assistance on getting changes made to the controversial building at 360 Smith Street had been slow in coming from local elected officials. Council Member Bill de Blasio's office has now distributed an email to residents asking that architect Robert Scarano loose his state lisence. One of the emails reads:
Hello everyone,

Below is the text of a letter asking the State DOE to revoke Scarano's Licence. All you have to do is cut and past, ad your name to the end and mail it to Commisioner Mills. Below the DOE letter you will find a letter to Governor Eliot Spitzer asking for his help. If you can help get the rest of the neighborhood to write maybe we can get his license pulled before the plans for 360 Smith are approved.

Tom Gray
District Director
City Council Member Bill de Blasio
The email to the Governor itself says:
I am writing in regard to Robert Scarano of Scarano Architects located at 110 York Street, Brooklyn. Mr. Scarano has been a problem in the City of New York, and I am asking that he be no longer permitted to practice as an architect within the State of New York.

Mr. Scarano has knowingly violated zoning regulations and building codes. Throughout the city, Mr. Scarano is synonymous with bad contractors, dangerous job sites and out of scale development. In my neighborhood, the New York City Department of Buildings has repeatedly required Robert Scarano to change his plans for the same infractions. He has also been relieved of his self-certification privileges because he consistently certified plans knowing they did not comply with all city and state regulations...
Local blogger Pardon Me for Asking reacts with skepticism to the latest development:
Though I agree with De Blasio that Scarano is a bad seed, I am skeptical of the councilman's motives in all of this. Going after the architect is an easy way for Bill to get some great coverage in the local press and even the New York Times. It is a masterful P.R. stunt. Here is a pro-development politician looking anti-development without actually doing anything against development. Keep in mind that in this case, he is not going after the developer or the contractor, only the architect. It will earn him points with some less politically savvy neighborhood residents but those involved with the Carroll Gardens rezoning issue will look right through this little game. After all, this is the same guy who is supporting the bending of existing landmark rules to allow a huge residential tower at the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Court Street.

Don't get me wrong. I have said it here before, revoking Scarano's license is a worthy cause. Brooklyn should not have to make space for another one of his buildings. However, Bill DeBlasio should not try to use the revocation of Scarano's license to make himself look like Mr. Anti-Development, when in fact he is not.
Meanwhile, local residents are starting their own petition drive against the proposed project.

Related Posts:
New Shots Fires in Battle of 360 Smith Street