Friday, November 20, 2015

Say It Ain't So, Mayor de Blasio!

“We are not embarking on a mission to build towering skyscrapers where they don't belong. We have a duty to protect and preserve the culture and character of our neighborhoods.”

Guess who said that last February?! Mayor de Blasio!

But somehow the Mayor has lost his way and now he is supporting building high-rise towers right next to our historic low-rise brownstone community.

At Wednesday's community meeting, hundreds of our Cobble Hill neighbors and friends made their feelings loud and clear: No towers in Cobble Hill! Our representatives heard our message and they are behind us 100 percent in this truly momentous effort to stop Fortis Property Group from building their high-rises on the site of the former Long Island College Hospital.

Now we need to make sure Mayor de Blasio hears us, too! Toward that end, we are petitioning Mayor de Blasio to work with us— not against us— in our efforts to significantly downscale the current redevelopment plans. We've already collected hundreds of signatures, but we needs several times that to make an impact.

Please read our petition and-- if you agree— add your vitally needed voice to our campaign. There are two ways you can participate.

1. Please print out a copy of our petition, sign, and mail to: Cobble Hill Association, 123 Congress Street 11201 (or you can drop through the mail slot).

2. Access and sign our petition online. (Your email will be your signature.)

All the community's signed petitions will be delivered directly to the Mayor's office.

Please sign today! The sooner these petitions reach the Mayor the better!

And THANK YOU! for being a part of our community.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Cobble Hill Community and its Representatives Reject Fortis Redevelopment Plans for LICH site

City Councilman Brad Lander, New York Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon, New York State Senator Daniel Squadron, and New York Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez announced at the Cobble Hill Association's fall community meeting that they would not support the current proposed rezoning (ULURP) plans for the former Long Island College Hospital site. "The community does not support this ULURP proposal— and neither do I," Councilman Lander told his constituents, who filled the auditorium of P.S. 29 and also spoke passionately against the Fortis plans, which feature luxury high-rise towers of at least 35 stories.  Cobble Hill Association President Laurel Burr and First Vice President Buzz Doherty also reported that, after holding nearly 20 block meetings to discuss the Fortis proposals, there was a clear consensus within the community that the redevelopment plans were unacceptable and needed to be significantly downscaled to win neighborhood approval. The CHA would like to thank our representatives for their work on behalf of Cobble Hill and our President Laurel Burr for her tireless efforts to mobilize community action on this vital issue. Please follow us on Facebook for the latest developments. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Fall General Meeting on Wednesday Night

Fall General Meeting
November 18th, Wednesday, 7:00 pm
P.S. 29 at 425 Henry Street
Between Baltic and Kane Streets


This will be a very important meeting of the Cobble Hill Association as the community provides feedback on the development proposals for the Long Island College Hospital site.

Incomplete and misleading information is being disseminated in our neighborhood by paid canvassers.

Some points of clarification:
  • The rezoning plan is substantially larger than the As of Right plan.
  • The NYU-Langone medical facility will be built by NYU regardless of which development path Fortis chooses. Continuous medical care on the site was a condition of the sale and is not a voluntary benefit offered by the developer.
  • The park space proposed in the rezoning is a park “mash-up” of the existing sitting park and an existing playground, plus only 4286 additional square feet. 
  • The proposed K-5 school has no schoolyard.
Check the Cobble Hill Association Facebook page for news and updates.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

CHA attends meeting with Councilman Brad Lander and other community organizations to discuss affordable housing

As reported on DNAinfo's website, on November 5 the Cobble Hill Association participated in a meeting organized by City Councilman Brad Lander on the subject of affordable housing as it relates to the needs of the community and the current proposals for the redevelopment of the Long Island College Hospital site. A representative of Assembly member Jo Anne Simon's office; representatives of the Carroll Gardens Association, which works to preserve and develop affordable housing; Heights & Hills, which provides support services to Brooklyn's senior citizens; the Brooklyn Heights Association; representatives of Fortis, the developer of the LICH site; and other stakeholders were also in attendance.

The meeting served to educate community groups and stakeholders in the LICH development about the many intricacies involved in building and maintaining affordable housing units within a luxury high-rise development, including income levels, senior services, apartment size, preferences for certain groups, etc. The developer is proposing affordable housing in two of the high-rise towers they are seeking to build (the tallest of which is 35 stories), one housing primarily seniors. However, the representative of Heights and Hills, which has served seniors for decades, asked a number of thoughtful questions about the senior housing component of Fortis's current proposal and it was clear that Fortis and its partner L&M Development have not made any final decisions about the exact nature of the senior housing or the other proposed affordable units.

CHA is not opposed to affordable housing in any development plan, as long as it is affordable and acceptable to the community. As Council Lander has stated: "The proposals are deeply disturbing to most neighbors, and for good reason: they are dramatically out-of-scale with the Cobble Hill community." A historic brownstone neighborhood with a 50-foot height limit will be overwhelmed by a multi-tower residential complex with heights of up to 400 feet.

On November 18, CHA will hold its fall community meeting. The time and location are TBA. In the meantime, please "like" us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for latest developments.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

When Community Advocates Are Really Paid Political Public Relations Advisors

Cobble Hill Association can now confirm that Hilltop Public Solutions, a political public relations firm operated by former top-level campaign organizers for Mayor de Blasio, is aggressively operating a "messaging" campaign in our neighborhood in support of Fortis's proposed high-rise complexes for the LICH site. Hilltop's campaigners (who say they are working for "the LICH project") are collecting and asking residents' opinions on schooling and playgrounds to forward to New York City Councilmember Brad Lander. What is not stressed by these campaigners is that both redevelopment plans will place high-rise tower complexes over 35 stories high in our low-rise historic neighborhood.

We do not believe a consultancy firm paid for by the real-estate developer of the LICH site should presume to represent our community's opinions to our representatives. We are asking all residents of Cobble Hill and throughout South Brooklyn NOT TO RESPOND to Hilltop's solicitations. CHA is reaching out to Councilman Lander's office immediately to inform him of Hilltop's stealth campaign.

For more on Hilltop's lucrative relationship with the Mayor, read this New York Times article. And in case you missed it, the Wall Street Journal also recently ran an incisive report on Mayor de Blasio's abandonment of LICH and our community. We are updating our Facebook page regularly with news and information about the Fortis redevelopment plans and what we can do to protect our community from falling victim of gross overdevelopment. Please "like" CHA on Facebook and invite your neighbors to follow us on Facebook as well. We need your support!!