Monday, July 27, 2015

Announcing an Important Public Meeting for the LICH Development Site

Thursday, August 6 from 6:30 to 8:30pm
at the Brooklyn Montessori School
at 185 Court Street (at Bergen Street)

This meeting will include a brief presentation of the options put forth by Fortis, followed by opportunities for community feedback and discussion. All are invited to attend.

The Cobble Hill Association would like to extend our special thanks to Council Members Brad Lander and Steve Levin, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, State Senator Daniel Squadron, State Assembly Woman Jo Ann Simon, and Congress Woman Nydia Velézquez for all their hard work in decveloping htis process, and also to the Fortis Property Group for their commitment to work with the community.
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Here is Friday's press release:

July 24, 2015: NYC Council Member Brad Lander, Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, NYS Senator Daniel Squadron, NYS Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon, NYC Council Member Stephen Levin, Brooklyn Community Board 6, and the Cobble Hill Association issued the following statement regarding the future of the Long Island College Hospital (LICH) Site:

“Local elected officials, Community Board 6, and the Cobble Hill Association are working together to involve the community in the future of the Long Island College Hospital (LICH) site.

Fortis Property Group, LLC was selected to purchase the LICH campus through an RFP process managed by the State University of New York, after it decided to close LICH. This process was staunchly opposed by elected officials and community organizations.

To date, Fortis has indicated that two options exist for the redevelopment of the core LICH site: (a) an “as-of-right” option, which does not require discretionary public approvals, which would include about 400 market-rate units, and (b) a rezoning or “ULURP” option, which would roughly double the number of residential units and include affordable housing units, space for a public school, increased park space and more small retail opportunities. A rezoning would require review by the Community Board, Borough President, and City Planning Commission, and approval by the City Council.

Both of the proposed options present development that is dramatically out-of-scale with the adjacent Cobble Hill Historic District, which has a height limit of 50 feet (in each case, the tallest building Fortis proposes would be over 40 stories). In either scenario, NYU Langone will also build an approximately 108,000 sq. ft. health center at the corner of Atlantic and Hicks.

We will continue to work together to ensure all of the community’s options are explored. This working group will help organize public dialogue about the options. It is not a decision-making body, and will not recommend that Fortis pursue a particular option. Rather it will organize forums where residents, businesses, and stakeholders (including the Brooklyn Heights Association and Atlantic Avenue BID, both of whom represent areas adjacent to the LICH site) can learn more about the various options, weigh in on Fortis’ potential development options, propose alternatives, and provide community feedback. All stakeholders (elected officials, the community board, community organizations, individuals, etc.) will ultimately make their own decisions about Fortis’ proposals.

Over the next 2-3 months, the working group will organize several open, public meetings where Fortis will present their proposals and consider feedback, as well as several smaller meetings with stakeholders to drill-down on specific issues including: urban design, parks/open space, retail/commercial, the health care facility, the potential public school, potential affordable housing, and traffic/parking/transit and other infrastructure concerns.

A public meeting will take place the evening of Thursday August 6 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the Brooklyn Montessori School at 185 Court Street, at Bergen Street, in Cobble Hill. The meeting will include a brief presentation of the options put forth by Fortis, followed by opportunities for community feedback and discussion. All are welcome to attend."

Monday, July 20, 2015

Thursday Night Presentation of Polhemus Building Residential Conversion Plans

This Thursday evening at 6:00 pm plans will be presented to the Community Board 6 Landuse/Landmarks Committee regarding Fortis’s repairs and changes to the exterior Polhemus Building, located on the SW corner of Amity and Henry Streets. This building is the first one on the former LICH campus to be redeveloped for residential use, but Polhemus is under Landmarks and there are no zoning changes involved. Fortis plans to convert Polhemus into a 17-unit residential doorman building.

The architect on this building is BKSK, not FX Fowle who presented the overall plans for the LICH campus at the Cobble Hill meeting in May.

If you are interested in attending, the meeting will be held at the 78th Precinct, 65 6th Avenue, between Dean and Bergen streets, at 6:00 pm this Thursday, July 23rd.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Music in the Park Concert Series Returns

Cobble Hill Parks's FREE concert series returns this summer with a new line up that's sure to please the whole family. Performances are every Thursday evening at 7pm for the next four weeks, starting this Thursday the 23rd with jazz guitarist Adam Smale. Rain dates are the following Friday when possible. 

2015 Music in the Park Line Up:
July 23: Adam Smale
August 6: The Red Hook Irregulars
August 13: The Bodega Tall Boys

Music in the Park is organized by Bryan Johnson and sponsored by Brooklyn Bridge Realty, Ridgewood Savings Bank, and Ted & Honey.  Join us at Cobble Hill Park for an evening of good company and great music, we hope to see you there.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Solarize CB6 Upcoming Workshops

Solarize CB6 is a limited time program now underway in our area that offers substantial reductions to the price of installing solar. The initiative is a partnership between the NY Solar Smart Program and Community Board Six. The program's two installers are offering tiered discounts that increase as more neighbors sign on to go solar in bulk. It also leverages the concurrent tax credits offered by the federal, state, and municipal governments. Read more about Solarize CB6 here.

Residents and business owners may get a no commitment site assessment to determine your roof's viability for photovoltaic solar panels. This type of panel generates power directly to your building and earns you a huge cut to your electricity bill. Attend one of these upcoming workshops to learn more information and answer your questions.

Commercial Buildings & Businesses
Tuesday, July 14, 6pm - 8pm
Red Hook Initiative
767 Hicks Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Commercial Buildings & Businesses
Thursday, July 23, 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Architectural Grille
42 2nd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Carroll Gardens Homeowners/Co-ops/Condos
Tuesday, July 28, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Saint Paul's Episcopal Church
199 Carroll Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Thursday, July 2, 2015

What is ULURP?

One week from today, join the Cobble Hill Association for an important discussion about ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure). It is a key component of possible scenarios Fortis would like to see happen in Cobble Hill as they further their development plans for the former LICH property. Join the meeting to learn more and be able to make better informed decisions about the future of Cobble Hill.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A New Commanding Officer at the 76th Precinct After Just Four Months

Precinct 76 welcomed a new Commanding Offer Captain Elliot Colon on June 15th. The announcement comes just four months after the community was introduced to Captain Natalie Maldonado at the precinct's February Council meeting. Captain Maldonado retired from the force in June after nearly twenty years serving the NYPD. After her short command at the 76th, this change marks the fifth new Commanding Officer in under five years. Although this offers no cause for alarm, it may raise community concerns about how familiar NYPD leadership can become with its patrol when stationed for such relatively short stints.

Friday, June 26, 2015

"LICH Act" Passes in Assembly & Statement from Brad Lander

This week saw two more updates in the ongoing LICH closure and development saga.

In the state assembly the "LICH Act" passed on Wednesday. The bill, sponsored by local Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon, establishes that prior to approving the closure of a hospital, the Department of Health must ensure the local community's emergency healthcare needs remain well served. The bill now moves on to the state senate, sponsored by local representative Daniel Squadron. Although this legislation cannot impact the development at LICH, it intends to prevent this fiasco of a hospital closure from happening in other communities. For more coverage on the "LICH Act" visit the Brooklyn Daily Eagle and Capital New York.

Also on Wednesday, Brad Lander released a statement about the road ahead for the LICH site. You can read the full text on his website here. He lays out his current stance, and offers a summary of what we currently know about the Fortis proposals, including detailed information about the as of right option. The Council Member says he will abide by the community's consensus and support our actions going forward.

Monday, June 22, 2015

LICH Development Survey Results

Dear Cobble Hill Resident,

I want to share with you the results of the online survey that the Cobble Hill Association recently completed to find out how you feel about a number of issues pertaining to the proposed re-development plans for the LICH campus proposed by Fortis at our recent General Meeting.

The survey was just one part of a community ascertainment process that has included block association meetings, two large-scale public meetings and extensive personal outreach to many of you. You will see-- especially in the very moving "Personal Comments" -- just how united and single-minded we are as a community.

While there is no question that change and development is coming to Cobble Hill, it is heartwarming to know just how deeply all of us care and how much we agree on what is important. That unity empowers us to speak with a single, powerful voice.

Thank you,
Roy Sloane, President

If you're interested in volunteering your time to aid the Cobble Hill Association with this ongoing issue please submit a volunteer form accessed below:

Friday, June 19, 2015

CUP Presents Zoning 101 Workshop

Join the CHA and the Center for Urban Pedagogy for the Zoning 101 Workshop. The city's convoluted land use and zoning laws can be a challenge to wrap your head around. Which zones are residential or commercial? Why are there height limits in certain areas but not others? These questions are especially important given Fortis' recent proposals for LICH. Attend the workshop to learn the difference between what's allowed as of right, and what's involved in the city's Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP). The discussion is designed to leave participants with a basic understanding of land use regulations in New York and will not specifically be about LICH or the Fortis proposals.

The workshop will be held at 7:30 PM on Thursday, June 25th at the Cobble Hill Health Center, 380 Henry Street (between Congress and Warren Streets).

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Daily Eagle offers analysis on LICH development

The folks at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle have published a very thorough article about this week's community meeting responding to the Fortis proposal for LICH development unveiled at the CHA's general meeting in May. In addition to presenting the 'need-to-know' facts, the article offers some important insights from CHA leaders. Roy Sloane and Jerry Armer warn the community to be wary of the ULURP option.
Sloane said this [as of right] plan was obviously designed to “scare” the community and thus encourage support for Fortis’ “preferred” plan, which would require zoning changes that could only be approved after going through the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP).
Jerry Armer, former chairman of Community Board 6, pointed out that Fortis could proceed with ULURP with or without community support. He also said the city could proceed with its own ULURP plan, which would “probably be very similar to what Fortis wants.” 

You can read the full story at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle: Cobble Hill residents vow to fight Fortis plans for LICH site.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Citibike Expansion to Cobble Hill

In addition to next week's important LICH Development Committee Meeting, please save the date for Thursday's Citibike planning meeting. As the hugely successful program expands outward from it's Manhattan core, it will finally head south of atlantic and offer Cobble Hill residents the chance to enjoy the bike share system. In order for it to truly complement our existing transportation systems though, each station must be properly situated to balance the need for its density with the desire of our local residents. Attend one of the workshops to ensure your voice is heard in this conversation.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Public Meeting of the LICH Development Committee - June 9th

Do high rise towers belong in our low rise historic district?

You’re invited to a public meeting of the Cobble Hill Association’s
LICH Development Committee

Date: Tuesday, June 9th @ 7:30PM
Location: Cobble Hill Health Center
380 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
(between Congress and Warren Streets)

We need to hear from you about the LICH development scenarios proposed by the Fortis Property Group. The re-development of the former LICH campus will have a profound impact on the Cobble Hill community. It is critical that your voice be heard!

All members of the community are welcome.