CB1 Meeting Recap: “United We Win”

by Heather Van De Mark on

Last night’s CB1 meeting was a doozy — 3 hours! — highlights, particularly those related to open space issues, below.

Flood Resilience Zoning Text Amendment
Presentation by Steve Lenard, Department of City Planning (DCP)

The Amendment modifies zoning to ensure buildings meet the latest flood zone requirements. Lenard said changes are only applicable to new and developing buildings. He discussed both commercial and residential properties.

Changes were in the areas of measuring building height, mechanical systems, parking, ground floor use, streetscape design flexibility, streetscape standards, incentives to promote usable ground floors, waterfront zoning, and grandfathering, certifications and BSA special permits. He said building owners who need further relief that aren’t already addressed by the new amendment, can apply for a BSA special permit to do something else.

For more information, view the PPT presentation online and/or contact Steve Lenard at DCP’s Brooklyn Borough Office at 718-780-8280.

Phase 1 Superfund Testing
Presentation by Kara Grippen of DKC on behalf of Newtown Creek Group

The Newtown Creek Group is comprised of BP, National Grid, ExxonMobil, Texaco and Phelps Dodge Refining. The EPA has deemed the Newtown Creek Group and the City of New York as six “Potentially Responsible Parties” for Newtown Creek’s current state of ills. (source)

Grippen presented a brief video that explained what took place during Phase 1: Remedial Investigation. Essentially, 3rd-party scientists collected data for sediment, water and air quality along Newtown Creek. The EPA has individuals that monitor the scientists work, as well as another 3rd-party group that verifies the data. The results of the findings will inform the EPA on how to remedy environmental issues in the creek.

Currently, the 3rd-party group is waiting to get the rest of the data back from the investigation. They’ll then compile and interpret it and release it to the EPA by the end of the summer. It’s then up to the EPA to decide when and how to release the findings to the public.

A board member strongly recommended having an in-depth environmental hearing amongst local environmental groups and the board’s environmental committee to discuss the findings.

OSA Minute
Presentation by Ed Janoff, Executive Director of Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn

Janoff touched on several open space projects including: the opening of McCarren Park NW pathway; the replacement of the “Geraldo” tree that fell during Hurricane Sandy; the soon-to-be opening of the new Bushwick Inlet Park building and community rooms; the doming of McCarren Park tennis courts for winter play; and that the McCarren Park Pool opens June 27th.

He reminded everyone that the OSA Comm Comm meeting is happening Wednesday night and people are welcome to come with their opinions, grievances, support and questions. He also stated that they’ll be presenting several park enhancements at the next Parks Committee meeting on June 24th.

New GrowNYC Youthmarket Opening
Addressed by Pam Boyle, Market Manager for Greenpoint McCarren Park Greenmarket

Boyle listed a few of the benefits of the Saturday farmer’s market including family activities, new vendors, fresh produce, meats and bakery items, EBT acceptance, and compost and textile drop-off. She also announced a new Youthmarket is opening in East Williamsburg near Grand St and Graham Ave. It’ll operate from July 11 to November 21 from 2-6pm.

CB1 Elections

Heather Rosland stepped down as a community board member and her seat as Chair of the Landmarks was open. Rob Solano and Del Teague were up for the position. Before voting, Solano made an inspiring speech about how everyone should vote for Del Teague to “show the world,” and the community, that the board is a unified front, signaling to developers and whomever else that CB1 is a board that will not be divided. He said, “united we win.” It was quite rousing, and Teague won the seat.

Wrap Up

Chairman Chris Olechowski also said that this term will be his last and advocated for change among the board to reflect the change that is coming to the neighborhood, and that a change in leadership will strengthen the board and community.

NYC DOT will be presentating at the Transportation Committee Mtg on June 18 to discuss an engineering study for the Pulaski Bridge project. Residents are encouraged to attend to voice any concerns and learn more.

The Board also mentioned that if Domino Sugar or Greenpoint Landing/77 Commercial street do get certified and bring variances to the board, the tentative date for review is August 13.

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.