Friday, April 18, 2008

Carroll Gardens Rumor Mill: "Pro-Development" Petition?

360 Smith Blue Fence

Yes, the Carroll Gardens carousel of intrigue is again turning. Last night, we heard from a neighborhood source about a new petition described as "pro-development," which is circulating in the neighborhood. While we couldn't confirm the wording or the exact definition of "pro-development" and "pro-building" as the petition was described to us. What is equally interesting is that one of the people behind the petition is said to be neighborhood power broker Buddy Scotto, who is a central figure in many of the development discussions and controversies in the neighborhood. Mr. Scotto, who is a funeral director, is one of the most longstanding activists in Carroll Gardens and Gowanus. More details to come and, in the meantime, that's a view of the new construction fence that replaced the Demoracy Wall at the site of the 360 Smith Street building, one of the projects that sparked the current round of neighborhood activism.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

About damn time. I'd also like to sign a petition to move forward with BBP, the Amity building, and Atlantic Yards.

A Cobble Hill Homeowner

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I respectfully disagree with your choice of words calling Buddy Scotto an "activist" unless you mean by that he is active in encouraging large-scale, greedy developers to make a killing in CG where he and a few others stand to make a personal fortune as well. None of the current grassroots "activists" (in the true sense) groups (there are many) is "anti-development either"; they are merely pro-"responsible and contextual" development which the current development of course is NOT!

11:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Scotto is one of those who pushed to have Carroll Gardens landmarked many years ago with only very modest success. He has continued to advocate for landmarking since and he has been attacked for that. Now, although he still supports landmarking and as a less desirable but acceptable alternative downzoning, he is attacked as a shill for "greedy" developers. Why is he so accused? Is it because he was the prime mover behind the Public Place site (in which he has no financial interest either directly or indirectly)and its over one hundred units of affordable senior housing, hundreds of units of affordable housing, and parkland together with the clean-up of the site? Then again it could be because he wants to see a small portion of the former manufacturing area (in which he owns no property)rezoned for residential/mixed use which will lead to a further clean-up of the the canal and land around it, enhance public safety, and create waterfront access. Perhaps it is because he was among those who convinced "as of right" developers like Clarett to build quality housing instead of a height factor tower? Then again it could be because he sat down with the developer of Oliver House to encourage him to alter the design of his building and is now supportive of a project which will revamp the Carroll Street subway entrance? It certainly can't be because he was instrumental in obtaining funding for the Red Hook Sewer treatment plant or the reactivation of the flushing tunnel. It is sad that some people are ahistorical and indifferent to reality. Using focus group words like "responsible" won't do.

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the blue construction wall is a HUGE improvement over the eyesore that everyone calls the "democracy wall".

2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please provide information on how I can sign such a petition. The anti-development forces are completely unchecked, so the debate comes off very one-sided.

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only are the anti-development people unchecked; now there is a rumor going around that they are having some of the blocks in Carroll Gardens changed from wide streets to narrow streets which means the owners who already built extensions are sitting pretty while those who didn't will have houses worth a lot less...

6:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the anti-development people do not in fact exist...that's just a "spin".....only the "contextual" development.....exist...these are people for whom CG is vitally important as a neighborhood and home for their families

NO ONE is foolish enough in this day and age to be ANTI-DEVELOPMENT because that comes off as anti-"progress" and of course no one is "anti-progress"

the current development does nothing for the community but place undue stress on it...should the residents really be asked not get angry and not to complain when their neighborhood is thrown to the wind?

no critical discussion is taking place about safety and infrastructure and the host of other issues that come up when a single and very small community is asked to absorb so much new development ALL AT ONCE as CG is being asked to do stuck as we are STILL with R 6 zoning

360 smith
340 court
columbia street
toll brothers on the gowanus canal
public place
luqueer st

are all taking place simultaneously with NO proper adjustments for the basic needs" of the tax paying community: safety, infrastructure, water, electricity, parking, congestion, services, etc

furthermore, the wide streets amendment that has been recommended by the Department of City Planning does not in any way at all affect anyone's backyard extensions.

This is pure misinformation and aimed at unduly alarming the public.

Perhaps Mr Scotto tried years ago to get landmarking enacted in CG and good for him if he did.

But that is ancient history! and the current situation demands action NOW as we desperately need remedies not rhetoric to protect this neighborhood

The CGNA (also known as "Buddy's group")has been terribly slow and inefficient! in addressing BOTH landmarking AND downzoning in the past year, playing one remedy off against the other while the crazy pace of development in CG continues unchecked and the public becomes entirely confused. It is unclear why this is so.

The resulting inaction protects the interests of developers who have NO stake in CG except for making money and that is a very bad thing for any neighborhood and the CGNA should be ashamed of itself for moving so slowly when so many residents in CG are so upset.

The neighborhood has already suffered irreparable harm that benefits no one due to this inaction and/or slow moving, non-productive action.

In the end will all the luxury condos just have been a way for a few well know developers who are already rich to make a quick buck out of a decent and beautiful neighborhood and then get the heck out of CG? Unfortunately it is looking that way unless something dramatic happens to stop the bulldozers now.

Many of the units being built will all become rentals hurting homeowners who count on rental income even more. But don't count on getting too much help from Mr. Scotto or the CGNA or Councilman DeBlasio or the developers because they all speak in the same tongue and it spells disaster for CG

7:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So many people who hide behind the "contextual development" label are in fact anti-any-development. They are NIMBYS, since it's OK to develop elsewhere, but not in CG-BH. It was development that helped make CG the attractive and hip place it is today but now that you and your strollers are clogging the sidewalks its "hey...stop it.. this is MY neighborhood!" Buddy Scotto was a champion of neighborhood revitilization twenty five years ago, when CG was little more than a sleepy Italian neighborhood and Smith St was nothing but ancient mon 'n pops and bodegas, and a good fifteen years before all of these gentrifiers moved in and set the stage you see today. He has more neighborhood bona-fides in his pinky than any of you can ever aspire to.

10:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tell Buddy Scotto to take a Bath because he is Filthy. He is a Liar. Carroll Gardens Needs to get Landmarked Now. Today not tommorow. Enough is Enough.

10:54 PM  

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