Monday, May 18, 2009

Brooklyn Bridge Park meeting at CB6: Wednesday

The Parks Committee of Community Board 6 will host a public meeting on Wednesday with Regina Myer, the president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation. According to the CB6 website, the main topic of the meeting will be 'the status of the approved Brooklyn Bridge Park plans including updates on the ongoing site preparation work, projected construction phasing/timetables, and other matters related to the park'.

The meeting will also include a discussion with State Senator Daniel Squadron 'who will be sharing his ideas for how the development of Brooklyn Bridge Park should proceed, including a proposal to change the revenue structure for the park'.

We strongly encourage everyone to attend this meeting. The CHA supports Senator Squadron's alternative revenue model for the park. We believe that it would eliminate forever the need for new housing in the park. Here is our earlier letter in support of his plan.

WHAT: CB6 meeting about Brooklyn Bridge Park
WHEN: Wednesday, May 20 at 6.30 p.m.
WHERE: LICH, 339 Hicks Street, Conference Rooms A and B

CHA History Committee

As announced at our 50th Anniversary Celebration on May 7, we are now launching the Cobble Hill History Project. The project will have several components. First and foremost is a written history of the neighborhood by our great local historian Franics Morrone. In addition to Francis's text, we are forming a history committee that will oversee a Cobble Hill wiki, like Wikipedia. How will the wiki work? Everyone in the community will be able to write the histories of their blocks, their buildings, and their businesses. It will be neighborhood history written by the neighborhood. We hope that this will be a community resource that will outlast all of us.

If you want to be part of the Cobble Hill History Committee, please send us an e-mail message. The first meeting of the committee will be on Thursday, May 28 ay 7 p.m. We hope the committee will be a mix of the historically minded, the tech-savvy, and the downright curious.

Friday, May 15, 2009

DOT's BQE Rehabilitation website

Here is the link to the DOT's BQE Rehabilitation website
. Here is their preposterous timetable. More later.
'The current status of the project is In Development.
Project Development began in Fall 1997.
The Bid Opening is expected to be in Summer 2017.
Construction is expected to begin in Summer 2017.
Construction is expected to be completed in Summer 2020.'

e-recyling in the Heights: tomorrow

CHA First Vice-President Deborah Schenk points out that there will be an electronics recycling day at First Unitarian Church tomorrow, i.e. Saturday. The event is sponsored by First Unitarian Church, Grace Church, Plymouth Church, First Presbyterian Church, and the Brooklyn Heights Association. Call 718-624-5466 for more information.

WHAT: E-recyling.
WHEN: Saturday, May 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
WHERE: First Unitarian Church, Pierrepont Street between Clinton Street and Monroe Place.

rezoning coming soon to a neighborhood near us

The Land Use Committee of Community Board 6 held a meeting last night to hear a presentation by the Department of City Planning (DCP) on their proposal 'to contextually rezone the residential zoning district which covers the Carroll Gardens and Columbia Street Waterfront neighborhoods'. The study area wraps around the Cobble Hill Historic District to the west, south, and east. This is a very big deal with long-term implications for our part of Brooklyn. Fortunately, the implications are nearly all positive.

Overall, the proposal is a very good piece of work by DCP's Brooklyn office. They deserve credit for listening to the community and producing work that corresponds to what people have asked for. The proposal limits the height of buildings on Columbia Street, down to Hamilton Avenue, and over to Bond Street. We will post a link to the proposal at DCP's website when they make it available online.

I had only two criticisms to make of the plan. One is that Henry and Clinton Streets south of Degraw would be zoned R6A. That zoning permits building heights of 70 feet. Jerry Armer, our zoning guru, raised this point, too. Naturally, we think the zoning should stay lower.

My other criticism is that the new zoning would only run up the east side of Court Street as far north as Warren Street. North of Warren, i.e. directly across the street from the edge of the Cobble Hill Historic District, Court Street would remain unprotected. We will keep trying to get DCP to reconsider these two aspects of their proposal. Other than that, it's a very good plan that will insure that the neighborhoods near us will remain small in scale.

33rd District candidates' forum: May 19

Since we are not hosting our own candidates' forum, we will try to post notices of other forums for the 33rd and 39th City Council Districts (David Yassky and Bill de Blasio's seats). The New Kings Democrats have notified us of the following event:
On May 19 at 7:00 PM in the Harry Van Arsdale High School Auditorium, 257 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211, the New Kings Democrats will host a new kind of forum for local elections in Brooklyn. The debate will provide the public at-large with an opportunity to directly engage the candidates for this hotly contested race to succeed David Yassky. The New Kings Democrats will be posting video of the entire debate on their website for the public to access at any time before the election on September 15.
WHAT: Candidates' forum, 33rd District
WHEN: Tuesday, May 19 at 7 p.m.
WHERE: Harry Van Arsdale High School, 257 North 6th Street in Williamsburg

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

TONIGHT: important meeting on the BQE

I apologize for the short notice, but there is an important meeting tonight regarding the future of the triple-cantilever section of the BQE. That is the section that runs north of Atlantic Avenue and includes the Promenade. The state Department of Transportation is launching a study to decide how to renovate the structure. The study is scheduled to end in 2017, after which the construction will begin. (No, I can't believe it either.)

The time to start shaping those 2017 outcomes is now. The choices made could deeply impact our quality of life. Where will the traffic go during the construction? Will Brooklyn Bridge Park be colonized as a staging area? Will the highway be covered to mitigate noise?

WHAT: BQE Stakeholders Committee Meeting
WHEN: TONIGHT at 6.30 p.m.
WHERE: NYU Polytechnic University, Dibner Building, Pfizer Auditorium, 5 Metrotech Center (corner of Jay Street and Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn)

If you want to have a say in these matters, now is the time to get involved.

party postscript

Last week's 50th Anniversary Celebration was a great success. Thanks to all of you, over a hundred neighbors, who made the occasion festive and friendly.

The celebration was the result of the hard work of our Anniversary Committee Chairwoman Linda Blyer, our Second Vice-President Susan Dowling, and the entire committee:
Janet Barrett
Elaine Hellew
Ann Moore Hutton
Laurie Maurer
Anne Renda
Franklin Stone and
Jo Weber.
We are also grateful to our outstanding local merchants and musicians who joined us for the occasion. All of them donated services or offered us generous terms.

-The Heights Chateau on Atlantic Avenue donated all of the wine for the occasion. That is a generosity that we should all remember.

-Floral Heights supplied the beautiful flowers, many of which they donated. Thank you, Floral Heights.

-Stephen Stein and Popular Printing did the graphics work and printed the invitation and journal.
-Eventfull Catering served the delicious food and was very easy to work with.
-Michael and the Dreamland Orchestra played the music, which was very well-suited to the occasion.

Please support these outstanding local businesses.

Some of our elected officials joined us as well: Borough President Marty Markowitz, Representative Nydia Velázquez, State Seantor Daniel Squadron, and State Assemlywoman Joan Millman.

And we owe special thanks to the Borough President for letting us use beautiful Borough Hall for the occasion. Thanks, Marty.

Rest assured, we will not wait another fifty years to hold another swell party.