BP Adams Announces ULURP Recommendations For Gowanus Canal CSO Facility
Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams unveiled his recommendations as part of a Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) response to approve a Gowanus Canal Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) facility earlier this week.
On Monday, Adams approved with conditions an application submitted by the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to utilize three privately-owned parcels on a site at the head of the Gowanus Canal for the construction of a Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) control facility. The facility will be located at 234 Butler Street and 242 Nevins Street, with a staging area at 270 Nevins Street that would be leased by the City. In his recommendations, Adams called on DEP to take steps that would help preserve the values of open space and community character amid the Superfund cleanup.
Additionally, Adams recommended DEP explore the feasibility of using both the CSO facility’s roof and the eventually vacated staging site at 270 Nevins Street as interim locations for activities typically provided by Thomas Greene Playground, which will eventually be excavated as part of the Superfund cleanup; such activities may include basketball courts, handball courts, and a reduced-size swimming pool.
Regarding the Gowanus Distribution Station, the Borough President asked that, in addition to the incorporation of the precast signage, DEP undertake a full investigation to determine the building’s structural integrity as a means of long-term retention in advance of the construction of the new CSO facility. Additionally, Adams asked that Brooklyn Community Board 6 (CB 6) be engaged in a meaningful dialogue on issues such as local business relocation assistance, building design and construction mitigation strategies. The City Planning Commission (CPC) will consider the application this week as part of their public meeting.
“Hundreds of our neighbors have expressed the importance of protecting the quality of life in Gowanus as the important work of the canal’s dredging gets underway, and these recommendations reflect the impact of their voices. We must prioritize the Superfund cleanup as a matter of neighborhood health and safety, which I believe we can achieve alongside considerate planning that ensures residents can access open space and appreciate community character,” said Adams.
The City Planning Commission meeting is slated for Thursday, Jan. 18. BP Adams’ recommendations can be accessed online by visiting brooklyn-usa.org/ulurp.
Donovan Touts Bipartisan Immigration Reform Negotiations
Congressman Dan Donovan (R-South Brooklyn, Staten Island) applauded bipartisan negotiations between President Donald Trump and Congress yesterday over immigration policies.
On Tuesday, Trump met with Congress to move negotiations forward on how to address the future of undocumented immigrants under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. According to initial reports, members of both parties and the White House said they agreed that the four issues to be addressed initially include DACA, border security, changes to family-based migration, also known as chain migration, and an end to the visa lottery system. No agreement was reached at the initial meeting but negotiations are ongoing.
Last year, Trump decided to phase out DACA, ordering the end of a five-year-old executive action protecting young undocumented immigrants from deportation and setting a March 25, 2018 deadline for it’s termination. Trump gave Congress a six-month delay with the hopes that they will pass a replacement in time, including halting all future program applicants. The decision to roll back the Obama-era policy is slated to affect nearly 30,000 New York City residents currently protected under the executive action. Trump has also been very vocal about a border security wall between Mexico and the United States, he hopes to eventually build within his first term in office.
“This afternoon, President Trump met with a bipartisan group of leaders to discuss immigration reform. He’s displaying remarkable political courage by trying to make a deal on a problem that’s been kicked down the road for years. I fully support President Trump’s push to secure the border, legislatively fix DACA, and reform our broken and backwards immigration system,” said Donovan.
“Border patrol arrests are already at a 46-year low, and with additional investments we can finally control who comes into our country. That’s why I voted to authorize $10 billion in border protection funding. As I’ve said all along, reforming pieces of our immigration system is pointless unless we stop the flow of illegal entries. Otherwise, we’ll end up with the same problem in a few years,” added Donovan.
CM Williams Applauds Signing of ‘Housing Not Warehousing Bill’
City Council member Jumaane Williams (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood) applauded Mayor Bill de Blasio‘s signing of two bills from the Housing Not Warehousing Act on Monday.
One of the bills signed into law earlier this week was Williams’ new bill designed to help identify vacant sites which could be used for affordable housing development. Intro 1039-A, will require the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to report on the vacant buildings or lots under the jurisdiction of HPD, categorized by the potential to be developed or the feasibility of development those buildings or lots as affordable housing.
The New York City Council passed the bill and its counterpart on December 19, 2017 with overwhelming support.
Williams’ bill along with two other measures make up a legislative package commonly known as the Housing Not Warehousing Act. A second bill from the package was also signed on Monday, Intro 1036-A, of which Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez (D-Manhattan) is the primary sponsor. While the third bill in the package, from Public Advocate Letitia James, has not yet been voted on by the Council.
The Housing Not Warehousing Act is seen as a key tool for the preservation and construction of desperately needed affordable housing units in the city. Proponents of the bill argue that the development of the volume of units needed to meaningfully address the need that the city faces in this area requires full knowledge of all resources and tools available. The enacting of this law comes as the de Blasio administration has announced its new goal of creating or preserving 300,000 affordable housing units by 2026.
“For the first time in its history, New York City will be empowered to conduct a census of vacant property. The affordable housing and homelessness crisis we face presents an incredibly complex problem, and enacting this legislation provides us with an essential tools toward creating solutions. As someone who participated in the count that took place on the ground over a decade ago, I know how important this tool will be. This crisis is one that we face all over New York, and here in New York City I’m proud that we are taking these steps to combat it. Finally, we’ll be able to understand the extent of property warehousing throughout the five boroughs, and craft real policy solutions that create housing for all New Yorkers,” said Williams.
Savino To Host Housing Event
State Senator Diane Savino (D-Coney Island, Staten Island) will host a Housing Enrollment event today.
The event will feature information sessions for homeowners and tenants to learn how to apply for tax exemptions, for the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) program and Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) program amongst other housing information.
The event is slated for 2p.m. to 4 p.m., today, Jan. 10, at Saint Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, at 2801 West 8th Street in Brighton Beach.
Cornegy Launches “Elder Wednesdays” Retail Initiative
City Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr. (D-Bedford-Stuyvesant, Northern Crown Heights) alongside the Age-Friendly Advisory Committee for District 36 will launch “Elder Wednesdays” today.
The new retail initiative will encourage seniors to get out and shop locally every Wednesday, when they can expect discounts and specialized service. Seniors from the community and many of the 50+ participating businesses are expected to attend the gathering.
The new initiative will launch in partnership with an “At Your Service” guide, a colorful, newly-printed booklet showcasing the 50+ participating establishments. It will be available at participating businesses and distributed to senior centers, faith-based institutions and other highly-trafficked locations throughout Bed-Stuy. In addition to being listed in the guide, each participating business will be given an “Elder Wednesdays” decal to display in their store window.
“Here in Bedford Stuyvesant we hold the people who came before us, those who created a strong foundation for this thriving neighborhood, in extremely high regard. It was this pride in our history and respect for our seniors that led the more than fifty business owners and community partners involved in this initiative to come together and create the ‘At Your Service’ guide and ‘Elder Wednesday’ initiative. This is a fantastic way for us to honor the contributions of our seniors, who have given so much to this community, while simultaneously promoting the diverse array of local businesses that contribute so much to the vitality of Bedford Stuyvesant,” said Cornegy.
“It is so important to give back to those who built our communities and whose shoulders we stand on every day. Elder Wednesdays is a wonderful way to both honor our seniors and support the local businesses that help make Bedford Stuyvesant thrive. The new guide is a welcome addition to the many resources available for our seniors throughout the district,” said State Senator Velmanette Montgomery (D-Fort Greene, Boerum Hill, Red Hook, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Sunset Park, Gowanus, Park Slope)
The event is slated for 12-noon, today, Jan. 10, at Honey Baked Ham, at 1413 Fulton Street (across from Restoration Plaza) in Bedford Stuyvesant.