What you missed from Wednesday’s CB1 meeting if you left after Domino: Recap Pt. IIby on
It was a packed room at the Swinging 60s Senior Center for last night’s monthly Community Board 1 Executive Board Meeting and Public Hearing. The buzz in the room was clearly over the agenda’s first item: Domino Sugar, which was certified last week. The board agreed to have Two Trees present and then have all the public speakers regarding this issue speak up immediately afterwards rather than waiting until the end of the meeting per usual. And then the rest of the meeting would commence according to the agenda. And thus, I have split the CB1 recap respectively: Domino Sugar yesterday (#1) and all other items on the blog today.
#2. East River Ferry Text Amendment
A representative of the NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) spoke on a text amendment that would support the continuation of East River Ferry service. Apparently, the ferry began as a pilot program and is set to expire in 2014. After 13 months in operation, they had exceed a million passengers, far surpassing predicted estimates. 40% of ferry riders originate in the CB1 district. They are commuters and residents who ride an average of 4x per week.
Currently, only 99-passenger vessels are allowed as of right in the area, but the NYCEDC has a special permit allowing them use of 399-passenger vessels until 2016. The text amendment would allow them to maintain the current schedule by increasing the capacity of the permitted as-of-right vessels.
NYCEDC also has plans to make improvements regarding queuing, trash receptacles, bike racks, ticket machines, and shelters.
Kai Feder, Capital Budget/Economic Development of the Brooklyn Borough President’s Office, added that the BBP’s office will be holding its public ULURP hearing on this topic on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013 at 5pm at Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn in the President’s Conference Room.
#3 Physical Culture Establishment
No one was present to present on this. Unclear to me if it was voted on or tabled.
#4 Williamsburg II Urban Renewal Area
The Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) wants approval for a change to the Williamsburg II Urban Renewal Plan. Basically, in the current plan, the sale of land is deposited in the Cross Subsidy Fund to “help finance housing and housing-related projects for low and moderate income households located in Williamsburg I and Williamburg II Urban Renewal Areas.” HPD wants to revise this text to read to “help finance housing and housing-related projects for low and moderate income households located in Brooklyn Community District 1.”
No one from HPD was present to present on this issue or answer questions from the board. The Land Use committee held a brief caucus and then brought it before the board for a vote. (Apparently, it was a time sensitive issue that needed to be voted on that night.) The board approved, with one board member stating for the record that HPD should have been here to answer questions and their absence was forcing the board to vote haphazardly.
#5. Sidewalk Applications
#6. Cabaret Licenses
#7. Liquor Licenses
I did not take notes for items 5-7. There will be an SLA committee meeting on November 26.
The Chairman’s report was as written (I don’t have access to this.) There was discussion among the board that a representative of Dept. of Transportation needs to be strongly urged to attend a meeting and answer some long-standing questions that have received no attention by DOT.
Ed Janoff presented the OSA minute.
- Several of the smaller green spaces including Lentol Garden, Studzinksi Square and Popieluszko Square were investigated for clean up. Measures taken include: weeding, reseeding, mowing, new lock, new plantings, tree stump removal, etc.
- McCarren Dog Run received a corporate donation from Purina and was being excavated and rehabbed currently, including fixing draining issues and adding a wind screen. The Dog Run group is looking for new membership.
- A greent street is being added at the intersection of Meeker and Morgan Avenues courtesy of OSA and DOT. It should be in place before Thanksgiving.
- McCarren Ice Rink opens today at 11am. For more information, visit the McCarren Rink website or call 347-482-7798. Janoff thanked CM Levin for providing OSA with some of the funds for the rink.
- Lastly, Janoff reminded anyone preparing a GCEF application for a project within a park that they would need to get CB1 and Parks Dept. approval if their GCEF application is to be approved for funding. He recommended that if this was the case for anyone, they should contact him asap to discuss more.
Zeeshan Ott, the new Brooklyn Director for State Senator Daniel Squadron, introduced himself and announced a community town hall on Monday, November 18, 2013 at the Brooklyn Law School, 205 State St. at 7:30pm. (See above.)
Board members brought attention to the East River State Park signing a new contract with Brooklyn Flea/Smorgasburg for the 2014-year. Many felt a great lack of transparency on this issue as the contract could be signed any day now and received little, if any, input from the community board. There are concerns that Brooklyn Flea is receiving a cheap lease, while the community and Parks Dept. are getting minimal return. Additionally, the issue of private enterprise in public space will also play out when the upcoming open space at Domino is planned. The board strongly urged Ott/Squadron to prevent the contract from being signed this week without additional discussion.
- Rejected an application for a zoning modification that was asking to put less open space on a residential building’s roof and instead put it on the ground floor. The committee requested that they add affordable housing to the building and/or provide public access to the ground-level open space. The developer said they weren’t required to do so. The committee rejected the application and the board approved.
- A fitness establishment was a no-show. The committee rejected the application, the board approved.
- St. Nicks, on behalf of GREC, asked for a letter of support in regards to the Greenpoint Hospital. Board approved.
- There was an application for a distinctive sidewalk. The committee found it to be similar and simpler enough to be okay. They passed the application, board approved.
- On Thursday, Nov. 21, the EPA will be discussing the results of the first two years of testing on the Newtown Creek superfund at the Newtown Creek CAG meeting. More details can be found on the CAG website.
- Dredging of Newtown Creek has been postponed until Dec. 2. The original plan was for it to take two weeks, but it’s possible it may take longer due to the weather. The dredged “stuff” will go to a DEP facility and is non-toxic according to tests. The dredging isn’t very deep and will mostly be dirt.
- Approved a directional change on Maspeth Avenue near Kingsland Ave. (In the public session, two residents, including one from the Cooper Park Neighborhood Association, gave thanks for approving the change.)
- The DOE withdrew its application for a co-location of 582-186.
View the complete CB1 November agenda online. [PDF]