CB1 Meeting Recap

by Heather Van De Mark on

Monday night’s Community Board 1 Public Hearing and Board meeting may have been one of the fastest CB1 meetings I’ve attended in the last two years. Click to view the official agenda (PDF). I’ll keep this recap short and sweet.

Right-of-way Bioswale diagram. Click to view complete PDF at nyc.gov.

NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
Mikelle Adgate presented on the Green Infrastructure Office’s plan to better manage storm water run-off across the City in specific combined sewer overflow (CSO) areas. They’ll be implementing right-of-way bioswales (image above) and storm water green streets at the end of the Newtown Creek tributary, English Kills.

How does this work? First DEP does a hydraulic analysis to determine where the water goes when it rains. Then they investigate potential locations for the green infrastructure. Then they do soil testing and sampling, and perform surveys on the site. Finally, the bioswales and green streets are constructed and maintained. Adgate says that it’s a quick process and that they’d hope to complete implementation by Spring 2014.

To maintain these active pieces of infrastructure, DEP has a 2-year agreement with contractors and is paying for a dedicated NYC Parks crew to perform maintenance. DEP will also be partnering with MillionTressNYC to teach bioswale care to the community at large. There are also grants available for private property owners who wish to implement green infrastructure.

To learn more about this program, visit the NYC Green Infrastructure website, which is full of useful diagrams, maps and more information.

© 2013 Laura Treciokas. Used with permission. New lights in McCarren Park

OSA Minute
Ed Janoff gave a recap of OSA and Parks udpates, including:

  • The Union Ave demapping got approved. Interim designs will be presented later this winter.
  • Bushwick Inlet Park will officially be opening in early October.
  • The fence around Cooper Playground is being installed this week.
  • They’re proposing a Green Street at Meeker Ave and Morgan Ave.
  • McCarren Park’s lights have been replaced, some which were knocked out from Hurricane Sandy (see above.)
  • The McCarren Park pool season went well with 113,000 visitors.
  • The McCarren Park tennis courts will not be bubbled over until next summer/fall for operation next winter.
  • There will be meeting on September 29 at 12:30pm in McGolrick Park to discuss the vandalism that’s been happening and what to do about it. This meeting is hosted by Friends of McGolrick Park in cooperation with other city agencies.
  • In regards to the parks aspects of the Greenpoint Landing/77 Commercial ULURP actions, there were be public workshops for these parks (Box St. and Newtown Barge) in October. Dates TBA.
  • A board member asked about the weeds in tree pits and Ed said he would look into what it would take to get them removed/better maintained.

Brooklyn Borough President’s New Liaison
Kai Feder, the new liaison for Capital Budgets and Economic Development for the Brooklyn Borough President’s Office, introduced himself. He also said that Markowitz would hold his public hearing on Greenpoint Landing/77 Commercial’s ULURP requests on September 17 at 5:00pm in the Borough President’s Court Room, Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street. If you can’t make it to the meeting, e-mail your opinions, comments and questions to AskMarty@brooklynbp.nyc.gov.

Feder also promoted the Brooklyn Book Festival happening on September 16 – 22nd.

Public Session

  • A member of GREC discussed the need for more traffic calming measures near the former Greenpoint hospital campus (Morgan Ave. to Graham Ave.). He also talked about making Maspeth one-way from Morgan Ave. to Kingsland Ave. to stop the truck traffic from using it as a short cut. There will be a traffic committee meeting on September 17 at 6:30pm at 435 Graham Avenue, which residents can attend to learn more.
  • Members of Save Greenpoint implored the executive board to vote “No” on the Greenpoint Landing/77 Commercial ULURP requests.
  • Rich Mazur and Laura Treciokas announced that the Request for Proposals (RFP) for the $19.5 million Exxon Fund will be rolled out at a community meeting on September 25 at the Warsaw at 6:30pm. There are both small and large awards being given ($3,000 – $25,000 and $25,000 – $3million). As Rich put it, “we’ve got a suitcase full of money” ready for the taking. Start brainstorming Greenpoint! [Author’s note: There will definitely be more updates on this issue on the GWAPP blog as it unfolds.]

Committee Reports
Land Use Committee
Without too much fanfare or discussion, the Executive Board voted to “Disapprove with Modifications” both Greenpoint Landing and 77 Commercial’s ULURP requests. If you want to know the specifics of the modifications, view the Land Use/ULURP Subcommittee Report (PDF). It seems that the general consensus of the subcommittee was that it was better to make these requests and hope to get something out of the process, rather than to vote No and have it pass later in City Council with no changes.

Environmental Committee
The board voted to approve a dechlorination plan to lessen the amount of chlorine in the water, something that is required by law.

Meeting adjourned.

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.
  • Graciela de Leon commented:


    As a resident of Greenpoint, going now on 3 years I have seen many changes as I’m sure many others have. Unfortunately, these are not changes in the right direction. I don’t know what, if anything, does the Greenpoint Civic Center and/or Community along with the police department is doing for our community. First, I am for one fed up with solicitations left at my door. At any given time there are 2 to 3 left on a DAILY basis. This has to stop! I wonder how is it that Park Slope Civic Council can put a stop to it and Greenpoint can’t?? PSCC have even provided laminated posting to place on the fence for the community. Second, but perhaps this is first and foremost, speeding and loud music coming out of cars must be put to a stop. ok, the music aspect may be a little tuff to tackle, but the speeding down Franklin Street where there is a small park with children playing is just insane. Why hasn’t a speed bump been placed? Why? I’m starting with you in hopes that you can be my spokesperson in these meeting or perhaps you can direct to whom I can address these issues to. I am also going to Council Member Steven Levin. Albeit, his term is almost mover, but its a start.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you.



  • Heather Van De Mark

    Heather Van De Mark commented:

    Hi Graciela, Thanks so much for leaving your comments.

    CM Steve Levin is certainly the right person to contact regarding these issues. I’d also encourage you to attend the Community Board 1 Public Hearing & Board Meeting–arrive early (by 6:15pm) and sign-up to speak under the Public Session. You’ll have 2 minutes to tell them about your grievances. It’s a great opportunity to inform them as well as bring attention to the issues.

    The next board meeting: is on Tuesday, Oct 8 at 6:30pm at the Swinging 60s Senior Center, 211 Ainslie Street. Or you could speak directly to the Transportation Subcommittee but their next meeting date hasn’t been posted yet.

    I hope that helps!