Discussion on Domino development brings out the crowds again

by Lucy Zappone on

Last Thursday, the Community Board 1 held a continuation of the public hearing on the Domino ULURP, where those who were not able to speak at the meeting on November 13th and others had the opportunity to tell Jed Walentas of Two Trees and the Community Board what they thought about the project. There were close to 200 people in the auditorium at PS 84, but the number dropped to under a hundred by the end.

Councilman elect, Antonio Reynoso (of the 34th district), made it clear that he believed the best thing for the community to do was to be as involved with the process as possible. He is also a part of a coalition that has put together a response to the project with recommendations for the developers, which he said they would be delivering to Two Trees on Friday and that would be made public shortly thereafter. [Author’s note: As of today’s posting, we haven’t gotten our hands on any statements/recommendations. Will update when we do.]

Jed Walentas gave a shorter presentation that went over a few issues he felt needed covering from the last meeting:

  • The renderings that they have provided are what are going to happen, as that is required by the ULURP,
  • The open space cannot be privatized and will be public open space, even though they run it,
  • The quantity of open space isn’t all in the streets, as has been suggested, and
  • They are committed to building 660 units of affordable housing, which is more than what is required by law, but will need the help of government subsidies to make this a reality.

Then came time for members of the community to make their statements, voicing their opinions of the development. The first several people who spoke were mostly in support of the project and developers. But concerns over the breakdown of the affordable housing, the use of the public open space, and the increase of population to the area were voiced by many. Community organization, El Puente expressed their belief that the community facilities should truly benefit the community and be controlled by community members.

Several concerned residents who opposed the project also spoke and reasoned that the development will have a negative impact. Their concerns included a massive increase in population, and how that increase will affect the already stressed transportation system; how the neighborhood doesn’t need luxury housing, but does have a real need for affordable housing; and that the public needs more time to express their opinions and that the Community Board might be rushing the vote. [Author’s note: CB1 has 60 days [PDF] from DCP’s approval of the application to make their recommendation. DCP certified Two Trees’ application on Nov 4th. 60 days from that is January 3, 2014. CB1 will likely make their recommendation on this issue at the Dec. 10th board meeting. The January board meeting isn’t scheduled to take place until the 14th.]

At 8:30pm, Chairman Olechowski called the meeting to an end, much to the outrage of those who were still in attendance, as he had originally stated that the meeting could take place until 9pm. He added that if people still had things to say about the development, they could continue speaking to Mr. Walentas but that the meeting was over. At this point almost everyone was on their feet, either moving closer to Mr. Walentas or heading out.

Read the official GWAPP & NAG Testimony.

Next meetings:

November 25, 2013
CB1 Land Use, ULURP and Landmarks (subcom) Committee
776 Lorimer St., McCarren Park Rec Center
Starts at 6:30pm
View the agenda [PDF]

December 10, 2013
CB1 Executive Board Meeting & Public Hearing
211 Ainslie St., Swinging 60s Senior Center
Starts at 6:30pm

December 11, 2013
Brooklyn Borough President’s Public Hearing
209 Joralemon Street, Borough President’s Conference Room
Starts 6:00pm
If you cannot attend this hearing, and would like to make a statement, you can submit a written testimony to: askmarty@brooklynbp.nyc.gov.

Lucy Zappone

Lucy Zappone

Lucy is currently pursuing her masters degree in Urban Affairs at Hunter College. Originally from Seattle, Lucy has lived in New York since 2005 and in the charming Greenpoint neighborhood since 2010. Lucy is very excited to be interning with GWAPP and can be found at one of the many coffee shops in Greenpoint working away.

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