Monday, November 29, 2010

Park YES! Housing NO!

For over 25 years, the Cobble Hill Association has worked to secure a park along the waterfront. We are pleased that residents are finally able to access the waterfront at Brooklyn Bridge Park, but our job as a community is not over.

The city is still planning to build 5 more luxury condo & hotel towers inside the park’s borders, with two buildings at 20 and 30 stories high planned for Pier 6 at Atlantic Avenue. And despite what some may think, these luxury high-rise towers are not needed to fund the park’s maintenance. There are many solutions to “pay” for park maintenance. When condos came into the park all year round recreation came out. Landscaping replaced the two pools, the indoor recreation center and ice rink that the community had worked so hard for decades to get. Landscaping sells condos while baseball fields do not.

We now have a unique opportunity to regain the recreational facilities our children need at the same time tell the city planners that we do not want more housing inside the park’s borders. Residents are asked to come to two public comment meetings on Tuesday, November 30th at 6 PM at Long Island College Hospital and again on Thursday, December 9th at 6 PM at St. Francis College on Montague Street.

These public meetings are critical to demonstrating yet again the importance of our parks, the real value they provide to the livability of the city, and to the actual dollars they “put back” into city coffers. The rise in DUMBO values since their part of the park opened is evidence enough of a park’s tax value. A recent proposal offered by community members – to negotiate a deal with the Jehovah Witnesses to develop their soon-to-be-abandoned buildings close to the park, for the benefit of park financing – is gaining traction. Other park funding models, including Senator Squadron’s park increment recapture proposal (named the PIRC plan) also offer relief from the draconian condos inside park borders plan.

But you need only come out and say no to housing, and yes to recreation! Please make sure that your voice is heard at the two public hearings:

Tuesday, November 30, 2010, 6pm – 8pm
Long Island College Hospital, 339 Hicks Street
Avram Conference Center, 1st floor

Thursday, December 9, 2010, 6pm – 8pm
St. Francis College*, 180 Remsen Street
Founders Hall Auditorium, 1st floor

No comments: