1/8 CB1 Meeting Re-Cap

by Heather Van De Mark on

A summary of Community Board 1′s meeting last night on January 8, 2013.

Presentation: Martin Dunn of Dunn Development Corp. presented an affordable housing development plan for 59 Frost Street, which is currently a vacant warehouse and a vacant single home (Dunn Development previously created affordable housing in the CB1 area at N. 5th St. in 2008 and Cook St. in 2009). This was just a courtesy presentation as they’re an as-of-right development working in as-of-right zoning. The community has 45 days to comment on the plan, the deadline for those 45 days is Jan. 14, 2013.

Presentation: Councilman Steve Levin spoke briefly at the meeting. He reminded everyone:

  • MulchFest is happening in McGolrick and McCarren parks this week;
  • Two Trees taking request for proposals for creative projects to temporarily reside in/near the Domino Sugar site;
  • Participatory Budgeting process is still happening and that approved ideas will be posted online for community residents to vote on soon.
  • He’s enthusiastic about the MTA’s proposal for a waterfront bus line in Williamsburg-Greenpoint that runs in LIC.

CM Levin also addressed the 10-beds in the basement of the Greenpoint Reformed Church for the neighborhood homeless. He stressed that it is not a homeless shelter, but a refuge for those without consistent shelter. He stressed that at least one person has died due to hypothermia each year in our community since he took office. There will be a neighborhood meeting on Jan. 24, 2013 to address any community concerns. Location TBA.

Presentation: DOT proposed pedestrian safety measures along Boriquen Place as the area as been the site of numerous injuries and fatalities over the past five years. A community board member strongly recommended that, if possible, the safety measures be turned into public spaces and honored in the names of those who died. A community liaison for Councilwoman Diana Reyna also offered that these safety measures are part of a larger project to “deck” the BQE and provide more open spaces in the south side of Williamsburg.

Presentation: Andy Inglesby and Dorian Statom from MTA NYC presented on the much-discussed-on-this-website Williamsburg-Greenpoint-LIC waterfront bus route. Inglesby said that in 2012, they received $18 million for improvements, and while they’ve re-established five bus lines (three of which are in Brooklyn), they’re also creating this brand new line along the waterfront. They stressed that no stops have been determined as of yet, but that they plan to use existing stops when possible. They said they presented this to CB2 in Queens and the presentation went well and they had not received any additional feedback.

Below are some questions asked by community board members on the MTA presentation:
Q. Will this affect the B62 frequency? No not at all.

Q. [A liaison from Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney’s office] Is it possible to extend this route into Manhattan making it a full circle? No, there is no money for that at this time. This is still a preliminary bus route and there are limited funds. The MTA can look into this in the future.

Q. [A liaison from Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney’s office] Can we add signage to the side streets off of Wythe Ave. that are experiencing an increase in truck traffic? That is a DOT issue.

Q. Can someone look into creating express routes on any of the existing bus lines? Ridership is checked yearly and if it merits it, express routes will be created.

Q. Congestion on the L train is terrible, and as the population increases, as it is projected to do, what’s your plan? Can you put the developers’ “feet to the fire” There are traffic checkers monitoring ridership and we’ll review and add service as needed.

Q. Can we determine what the extra funds amount is in order to run the waterfront bus line in Manhattan? Absolutely in the future.

Community questions/comments can be addressed to Mr. Inglesby. The tentative plan is to receive community input, hold a public hearing and then implement in fall 2013.

Board Meeting

The Board carried a resolution on bill #948 that asked for extended time on hearings for franchises and concessions.

The Board discussed their monthly meeting location (211 Ainslie St.) and that it may be moved to the McCarren Park Pool if needed, and they’ll make a decision when necessary.

(Note: A representative from Congresswoman’s Nydia Velázquez’ office was also in attendance.)

No representative from OSA was present.

Public session: One community member spoke in dis-favor of a liquor/bar license. The other speaker, Eric Bruzaitis spoke on behalf of OUTRAGE. OUTRAGE’s objective is to identify hotspots of truck traffic (due to the overburdening of waste management services.) They’re holding a meeting on April 4th for any and all community groups to participate in working on the truck traffic issue.

Community Reports

ULURP:

  • 59 Frost St. (See above in this post.) Board carried.
  • M1-1 Pencil Factory Historic District building to convert into residential. Disapproved. Board carried.
  • No meeting January 2013.

SLA:

  • Liquor licenses. Board carried.
  • Discussed Park Luncheonette’s liquor application. Board carried.
  • Letter to state officials about all-night permits. Board carried.
  • Meeting on Feb. 7, 2013.

Public Safety Committee: No news.

Transportation:

  • West St. bike initiative. Board carried.
  • DOT pedestrian safety measures on Borinquen Pl. (See above in this post.) Board carried.
  • MTA waterfront bus route to LIC. (See above in this post.) Board carried.
  • Meeting Jan. 15, 2013. If no agenda, no meeting.

Environmental:

  • Newtown Creek Monitoring Committee (NCMC) had a quarterly meeting with the DEC. They don’t have funding for maintenance for the Newtown Creek Nature Walk.
  • On Dec. 17 2012, local politicians had a meeting about Sandy relief. Can contact any of their offices about that.
  • OUTRAGE taskforce meeting. (See above in this post.)

Old Business:
More discussion on what’s happening with 211 Ainslie St., which is the location of the CB1 meetings as well as the Swinging 60s Center Senior Home and local Day Care center.

New Business: None.

Meeting adjourned. For full minutes and future meetings, view the CB1 website.

Heather Van De Mark

Heather Van De Mark

Heather is a designer/writer specializing in non-profit organizations and social causes. Originally from central NY, Heather settled into the charming Greenpoint neighborhood in 2011. While most of her community activism takes place from behind a computer screen, Heather can often be found at CB1 meetings, the McCarren Park track and any of the parks along the waterfront.

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