New York City just hit a milestone you might not have heard about. The amount of homeless people living in shelters is 57,665 people – a new record. According to a report released in October, New York’s homeless population grew last year, with almost 68,000 people without a permanent residence–all this while the number of luxury apartments for sale in Manhattan doubled in the last year. Meanwhile, homelessness is down across the country.
In the wake of this new reality, New York City’s Department of Homeless Services (DHS) announced a new homeless shelter will open in Greenpoint at 58-66 Clay Street. The shelter will be operated by Home Life Services, Inc. and will shelter 91 homeless adult families. A timeline for opening has not been set.
A stretch of Kent Avenue in south Williamsburg is being updated to include a two-way bicycle greenway, along with improvements to calm motorists and conform the roadway to traffic patterns above and below the area.
McGolrick Park is a hidden gem on the other side of McGuinness Blvd (#OSOM) but many local residents feel the park needs some major love, like updates to the playground and repair to the pathways. It doesn’t help that neighborhood punks have no respect, either; last year they set fire to benches and vandalized the statue.
Tonight – August 20, 2013 at 6:30 PM there will be a Public Hearing on the 77 Commercial Street Project and an Informational Presentation on Newtown Barge and Box Street Parks at Automotive High School (50 Bedford Ave).
Like Greenpoint Landing, 77 Commercial St has also begun its ULURP process. (WTF is ULURP?) Approval of the proposal will mean 30-40 story towers in exchange for a park and affordable housing.
Aside from the impact on the character of the neighborhood as well as issues with infrastructure and transportation, the environmental issues at this site and the risk to public health are of great concern.
According to the convoluted and endless Environmental Assessment Statement issued on 8/1/13, the 77 Commercial St site is “currently or was historically a manufacturing area that involved hazardous materials” … “a site where there is reason to suspect the presence of hazardous materials, contamination, illegal dumping or fill or fill material of unknown origin.” When is the open house?!
Based on the findings in this statement, a detailed analysis of air quality, noise and hazardous material in respect to public health needs to be conducted. If you can get a word in edgewise this evening, it’s very important that questions with respect to these vital issues are addressed.
Have you heard about the approved plan for the Greenpoint Landing development yet? Need another visual? Pretty crazy, right?
Like it or not, the Greenpoint Waterfront will soon be drastically transformed by a 22-acre, 10-tower development. The plan includes 30- to 40-story buildings, comprising 5,500 apartments, retail space, and a new public school. If your reaction is one of shock, outrage, or overwhelming joy (because you love love LOVE condos more than life itself!), now is the time to weigh in on new changes proposed by the developers.
See you TONIGHT (Tuesday August 13th 2013) at 6:30pm for a Public Hearing at Community Board 1, at Automotive High School (50 Bedford Ave).
The ULURP process has begun for the impending Greenpoint Landing development on the Greenpoint waterfront, which is a 22-acre, 10-tower development that will radically impact Greenpoint life as we know it. Just thinking about the G Train with possibly 10,000 new commuters is mind boggling.
Unless we take on the huge task of trying to REZONE the waterfront, as we learned in the recent community workshop, much of the development can be built as-of-right under the 2005 rezoning, but the developer is proposing a few changes that require consideration.
This is where you come in! Come to the Public Hearing!
Tuesday August 13th 2013 at 6:30pm there will be a Public Hearing at Community Board 1, to take place at Automotive High School (50 Bedford Ave)
This is the first phase of the ULURP Process and it’s important you come and share your opinion on the proposed changes to the already happening development.
Also on 8/20 at 6:30pm there will be a Public Hearing on the 77 Commercial Street Project – another development; and an Informational Presentation on Newtown Barge and BoxStreet Parks at Automotive High School.
When I heard Lokal got a citation for serving Brunch on the sidewalk before noon on Sunday because it would prevent people from making it to church, I thought, “You gotta be kidding me!” Aetheism, laziness and in my experience hangovers are what stop people from attending. But let’s hear what my badass and hilarious preacher Ann Kansfield has to say:
Dear Members of Community Board 1:
This letter is in regard to sidewalk café seating, specifically the City prohibition against outdoor seating before noon on the Lord’s Day. The notion that sidewalk dining in some way restricts, inhibits or in any other way interferes with church attendance is utter hogwash. Consequently, I respectfully request that you not cite religious observance, specifically church attendance, as an argument against sidewalk dining. Unless a local clergyperson or other representative from a faith community actually complains about an issue, it is not an issue for us. To my knowledge, neither I, nor none of my clergy colleagues, have voiced any complaint about this issue.
Two observations might be additionally relevant. If there were so many church-going people in Greenpoint and Williamsburg that sidewalk seating would interfere with church attendance, all of our churches would be packed full of people. This is not the case.
Sunday morning worship at the Greenpoint Reformed Church is so exciting and my sermons are so riveting and life-changing that sidewalk seating in no way keeps our congregation from attending services here. We simply traverse along the empty portion of the sidewalk and are able to get to church.
Lastly, regarding the law itself. By only pertaining to Sundays, the law clearly discriminates against others who observe Sabbath on other days of the week. Therefore, it would be my hope that the community board would petition the City to eliminate the law all together.
After seeing this article on Brownstoner, I called Community Markets, a company that according to the article, “gained approval from Community Board 1″ to develop a Farmer’s Market at McGolrick Park.
GP: “Is it true that the Farmer’s Market will begin on Sunday June 3rd?”
Community Market: “Yes,” then, “hold on,” then “everything should be buttoned up by next week. We’ll call you back.”
I called Community Board 1 and spoke to Marie (great Brooklyn accent) who said they “support the conceptual plan” but cannot approve it. Community Markets’ next step is to gain approval from the Park’s Department, who owns the property.
After speaking to the Park’s Department, the Farmer’s Market in McGolrick Park is “still in discussion,” as well as a proposal for a farmer’s market in Cooper Park.
So I am going to just go ahead and get everyone’s hopes up and be optimistic that this will happen, but I will keep you updated.
At the Greenpointers we are all for MORE GREEN OPEN SPACES! There is a vacant lot at 59 Java St, which is managed by Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), that a few neighbors and rallying to make into a community garden. Sounds like a great idea! They are making a presentation to the Parks and Waterfront subcommittee of Community Board 1 on November 16th at 6:30pm at 435 Graham Ave. Let’s go and hear their plans and support this project to make Greenpoint more green. Visit their website: http://javastgarden.blogspot.com/
Coverage of Brooklyn Community Board 1′s Public Hearing & Board Meeting 10/5/2011
Waterfront Concerts The waterfront concerts by Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn, was a main topic. The concerts will move north, from the state-owned East River State Park to a paved lot owned by the NYC Dept. of Parks and Recreation (Kent Ave @ N 11th & 12th) The new location has several benefits, including fewer residents and since it’s city-owned more of OSA’s revenue ($90,000/year more in state licensing fees) will go towards improving CB1 parks.
The concerts stir up strong emotions on all sides but OSA has local support because it engages the community board and is proactive when addressing neighborhood concerns. Neighbors raised specific concerns about the events that followed this summer’s Widespread Panic show, where NOX-peddlers and unruly crowds were the last straw for many locals. Previous complaints of littering on side streets have been addressed by offering volunteers free tickets in exchange for neighborhood clean-up after shows, and this practice has been successful and will likely be continued next season. A call was made for access to OSA’s accounting to see how revenue goes toward local parks. Another public hearing regarding the concerts will be held on 10/20 @ Swinging 60s Senior Center (211 Ainslie) 6:30.
If you been at The Charleston or within blocks, you know it’s frequented by people who enjoy drinking, smoking and not using their inside voices. A few community members would like to see the renewal of their sidewalk cafe permit (which allows tables out front) denied. They presented legitimate concerns: the sidewalk is already narrow by bike racks and trees, so the space in between is frequently occupied by smokers overflowing from the table area. This raises concern for sidewalk permits for bars in general, even those that are more considerate. It would be a surprise to see the tables in front of The Charleston much longer as they didn’t show up to defend their permit renewal.
Transportation The corner of Greenpoint & Humboldt will be given the honorific name of “Cosimo’s Way” to honor the late Cosimo Tristani’s service to the community. The presentation given by Andre Aviles, his friend from ages seventeen to sixty-three, was moving and heartfelt.
More controversial was the talk of street redesigns concerning the Greenpoint Ave. bicycle lanes. Specifically, the transportation committee voiced strong disagreement, backed up by a contested motion from the community board as a whole, not to support a street redesign proposal for Greenpoint Ave. from McGuinness to the bridge that would involve the loss of all parking on this stretch, about 50 spaces. It should be noted that this proposal, made by DOT, was preliminary and discussions are ongoing. It was recognized that the current layout is dangerous to both cars and cyclists and changes must be made.
As someone who bikes regularly on Greenpoint Ave, something needs to be done on this stretch. The most serious dangers are speeding drivers who swerve into the bike lane to avoid waiting for car ahead making left turns. However, it is important that the redesign protects the bikes lanes better without sacrificing all parking or loading zones for businesses.
Redesigns are also planned for the Greenpoint Ave Bridge and the Queens side of Greenpoint Ave, which is plagued by double-parking and a headache-inducing traffic pattern.
Filming in Greenpoint Greenpoint is well-known as a filming destination and the community board seemed united in its criticisms of the burdens of filming on the neighborhood. The main complaint stems from the loss of parking, especially for businesses on Manhattan Ave. Specifically, complaints were raised about the tendency for crews to clear streets hours prior to shooting, leaving locals wondering why businesses lose loading areas for 12 hrs in order to shoot a ten-minute shot. If you film in Greenpoint, a word of advice is to meet the community board and explain your position. The board spoke very favorably of one company that approached them prior to filming. The film industry creates good jobs for Greenpointers and New York, so the “go back to Hollywood” sentiment expressed by some was lacking nuance.
October 20, 6:30 pm (211 Ainslie Street) Public hearing regarding Open Space Alliance and waterfront shows October 25, 6:30 pm @ Community Board (435 Graham) Land use committee meeting, including a discussion on expanding the Greenpoint historic district. October 27, 6:30 @ Community Board (435 Graham) Public safety meeting. More detailed info on local safety issues and liquor licenses.