By: Michael Racioppo, District Manager of Brooklyn Community Board 6
The following is a recap of the Brooklyn Community Board 6 (CB6) General Meeting held Thursday, October 10 at PS 32. CB6 serves Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Columbia Waterfront, Gowanus, Park Slope, and Red Hook.
- The first agenda item was from our Economic Waterfront Committee Development & Housing Committee (EWCDH) and concerned the retention of Gowanus businesses, including a quintessential “Gowanus Mix” of commercial, manufacturing, and arts-oriented tenants. At the September EWCDH meeting, the committee unanimously passed a motion to ask that the Department of City Planning (DCP) support these businesses with specific changes to the Draft Rezoning. We asked DCP not to de-map the end of Bond Street, where it meets the canal, in order to maintain full vehicle access, exempt 98 4th Street & 413 Bond Street from waterfront access requirements, and exempt 413 Bond Street from the required visual corridor between 3rd Street to the canal. The full board approved this motion on the condition that these properties maintain tenancies with their current use group; by a vote of 30 in favor, 0 opposed, and 1 abstention.
- The second item on the agenda was from the Land Use side of our Landmarks/Land Use (LMLU) Committee, which had unanimously passed a motion at its September meeting, supporting a request from owners of The Old American Can Factory (OACF). After a presentation from OACF, the LMLU committee agreed that DCP should include the zoning envelop for the entirety of OACF properties within the ongoing Gowanus DEIS without an increase in Floor Area Ratio (FAR). The committee felt this request meshed with our desire to maintain affordable arts spaces within Gowanus Mix, and should be re-examined, especially in light of the imminent landmark designation. The full board approved this motion with a vote tally of 32 in favor, 0 opposed, and 1 abstention.
- The next action was a vote on the plans for Henry Street Park III (LICH) that our Parks & Recreations committee had previously voted to approve conditionally, so long as any water fountains are to be usable year-round. The full board approved this motion with a vote tally of 35 in favor, 0 opposed, and 1 abstention.
- The final action was to table a motion from our Transportation Committee, asking that the DCP incentivize transportation-related improvements along the Gowanus corridor in conjunction with the pending Gowanus Rezoning.
Interspersed with these votes, Senator Brian Kavanagh stopped by and took some questions about issues such as the new rent laws. Councilmember Brad Lander also stopped by and talked about work he’s been doing, including the latest round of Participatory Budgeting. After the conclusion of the board agenda, we heard from representatives for Congresswoman Velasquez, Comptroller Stringer, Borough President Adams, Senator Montgomery Assemblymember Robert Carroll, and Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon.
During the community session, three of our board members spoke. Youth Services Chair, Jason Resichel, reminded everyone about the importance of the 2020 CENSUS and the work the city is doing, including funding for Community Based Organizations to make sure we all get counted. Briget Rein let the board know that the United Federation of Teachers will be hosting a 9/11 Health forum on October 28th, and Joe Anne Brown invited everyone, and their kids, to the Thomas Greene Playground Halloween parade on Wednesday, October 30th!
I hope you enjoyed reading the recap as much as I enjoyed writing it. Please note that the next CB6 General Board meeting is on Wednesday, November 13, 6:30pm at MS 51.