Bklyn Lawmakers on the Move Oct. 9, 2020

News Site Brooklyn

Adams ULURP recommendations Advance Affordable Housing in Brownsville

Borough President Eric Adams
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams yesterday released a new recommendation as part of his formal role in the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) recommending approval with conditions of an application for a mixed-use development of two six- and seven-story buildings with a shared industrial ground floor in Brooklyn Community District 16 (CD 16), located in the Brownsville.

The proposed project, led by the Bridge Rockaway Housing Development Fund Company, would provide 174 affordable apartments, including 87 supportive housing units, 3,040 gross square feet (gsf) of community facility space, and 39,000 gsf of light manufacturing space. 

By coupling deeply affordable housing units and supportive housing targeted at vulnerable populations with light manufacturing and community facility uses, Adams expressed hope that the project at 803 Rockaway Avenue could serve as a model for community-oriented development in underserved areas throughout Brooklyn. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has not put other crises in our borough, like the lack of affordable housing and dearth of economic opportunity in underserved areas, on hold — if anything, it has exacerbated them,” said Adams. “I believe the vibrant mixed-use space proposed for 803 Rockaway Avenue has the potential to truly serve a diverse set of needs in this community, ensuring people have affordable places to live, a community facility that serves as a hub for the neighborhood, and manufacturing space that provides sorely-needed jobs for local residents.”

The proposed development at 803 Rockaway Avenue is situated between two important industrial business zones (IBZs), the East New York IBZ and the Fairfield/Flatlands IBZ. Manufacturing jobs have long been a vital part of the area’s economy, providing local residents with good-paying jobs. 

The application was heard by the New York City Department of City Planning (DCP) yesterday. 

Gounardes, Brannan urge re-opening of Yellow-zone schools 

State Senator Andrew Gounardes
State Senator Andrew Gounardes
Justin Brannan
City Council Member Justin Brannan

State Sen. Andrew Gounardes (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend, Gerritsen Beach, Manhattan Beach, Marine Park) and City Councilman Justin Brannan (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach)  yesterday joined southern Brooklyn parents at PS 682: The Academy of Talented Scholars (TAOTS) to demand the reopening of schools in the Governor’s yellow zone. 

The vast majority of schools in the yellow zone schools remain open but the DOE just announced that 16 schools which had been previously closed under the Mayor’s zip code designation will remain closed until 10/21, despite now being designated in a zone where schools could re-open. The DOE has not provided a reason for the decision.

“Families with schools in the yellow zones have been caught in a back and forth between the Mayor and the Governor and are having their lives dictated not by reasons, facts or logic but by meaningless bureaucracy and power plays. There is no good reason to have 16 public schools in the yellow zone closed while the other 308 schools in the yellow zone remain open with increased testing. We are calling on the Mayor and the DOE not to let bureaucracy stand in the way of our childrens’ education and re-open these yellow zone schools now,” said Gounardes. 

“The phones in my office have been ringing off the hook. Parents are furious and wanna know why City Hall and the Department of Education can’t follow their own rules. Schools in yellow zones are supposed to remain open—unless the city says they can’t? What kind of plan is that? We need reasons not rules. If we’re going to keep our kids and teachers safe and prevent a second wave, now more than ever, we need clarity, consistency, and common sense. There is no reason why any schools public or private with rigorous testing standards and zero COVID cases should close and I will fight for them to stay open,” said Brannan.

Brooklyn electeds urge Cuomo to take more targeted approach to school closures

Robert Carroll
Assemblymember Robert Carroll
City Council Member Brad Lander
Sen. Kevin Parker
U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler

Assemblymember Robert Carroll (D-Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington, Ditmas Park), City Councilmember Brad Lander (D-Park Slope, Gowanus, Windsor Terrace, Kensington) State Sen. Kevin Parker (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington, Windsor Terrace, Park Slope) and U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (Brooklyn, Manhattan) this week issued a joint statement urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to take a more targeted approach to school and daycare closures to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The overall plan is well-intentioned and prudently addresses certain hot-spot areas, but it is not sufficiently targeted and as a consequence will close schools and daycares in areas where there has been no community spread. Governor Cuomo’s current proposal to close certain schools and daycares in zip codes 11218 and 11226, which are not experiencing a COVID spike, is misguided. This proposal will not slow the spread of the virus but instead will hurt children and families who rely on our public-school and daycare systems,” the lawmakers wrote.

“At the beginning of the school year, City and State officials agreed that two linked cases in a school, or a citywide infection rate above 3% over 7 days would result in school closures. To date, according to available data, none of the schools in 11218 or 11226, have seen multiple linked cases nor are they located in a zip code that has seen a community infection rate of 3% or higher. Taking this into account, all of the schools and daycares in 11218 and 11226 that have been directed to close, should be allowed to remain open. 

“We feel deeply for the teachers, families and administrators who have worked so hard to open the schools safely and are being forced to close when their schools and zip codes don’t meet the previously agreed to thresholds for closure. These closures will only enhance education inequity, especially since the DOE claims that 100,000 I-pads are still needed for access to remote learning. 

“To keep our schools safe, the City and State should provide far more frequent testing to all schools in these border zip codes, and act quickly to ensure that students have the resources needed for remote learning. This will allow us to monitor the spread of the virus and take appropriate action based on better data, to avert further spread of the virus while enabling access to education for our students.”

Menchaca asks community for cooperation to ensure restrictions are short term

City Councilman Carlos Menchaca

City Councilmember Carlos Menchaca (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook) this week advised constituents to go along with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s new cluster action initiative to address COVID-19 hot spots that have cropped up in Brooklyn, Queens, and Broome, Orange and Rockland Counties. 

“We should all be concerned with the uptick in COVID cases, we are possibly facing the second wave. I urge our neighbors to please make sure to wear masks and social distance, they save lives and stop the spread of COVID,” said Menchaca.

“The restrictions that the governor announced are not perfect but in order to make sure they are short-term we need the community to fully cooperate. The road to full community recovery is by securing our public health first. Get your flu shot and fill out your census,” he added.