Thursday, July 2, 2009

What Happened at the Department of City Planning Hearing Yesterday?

Sunset Park had five people speak up at the DCP hearing on the re-zoning. What follows is from a SPAN email, provided by one of the people who were there. Thanks to Arun for allowing me to re-post his email.

No matter which side you're on in the re-zoning (are there three sides? Four?), it's important to stay informed and active. The re-zoning, or the lack of re-zoning, will affect our streets for better and worse. Take a look around at what is for sale right now. There are a lot of "For Sale" signs out there, and each one could become something pretty scary if we let it.

from Arun Aguiar:

5 folks spoke on our matter, 4 against, 1 for.

The guy who was for has a narrow interest in seeing that his two-story property at 61st & 2nd Ave, which is currently outside the preferred zone, be somehow included in the up-zoning.

The other 4 who spoke against were: Maria Roca, Arun Aguiar,Wendy of Committee to Protect Sunset Park, and finally David Galarza.

We didn't have anything new to say, but we all said our stuff in different ways:
I introduced myself as representing (the new) Gandhi-Ji Community Center, and said one of the programs I/ we were supporting was PTP, and I distributed PTP flyers to all 14 Commissioners present, through the Secretary.

I expressed disappointment that the Commission was holding the hearing without Brooklyn Borough President having informed us (the community) what his decision was, but that didn't fly with Charlie Rose's girlfriend, Commission Chair, Amanda Burden; she said he had sent his ok to them.

Wendy endorsed my views, and made some of the Commissioners sit up when she handed over a petition demanding an end to the Zoning process as it now stands, accompanied by 4,000 signatures

Two different Commissioners asked, one of Wendy and the other of David, whether the Community Board vote of 34-0 in favor had no significance. Wendy replied that they did not take into account the sentiments of the community. When he was asked, David retorted that the Board was dominated by affluent Windsor Terrace, who do not accurately reflect the diversity that is Sunset Park, and Windsor Terrace issues were swiftly and speedily solved, while Sunset Park civic issues went on the back-burner.

Maria Roca, as usual, made an impassioned plea and exhorted the Commission to preserve the beauty of Sunset Park as a great city resource.

NEXT STEP: A 2nd hearing by the Commission after they have had time to digest our comments and staff submissions. We will NOT get a chance to be heard at this hearing, which, however, WILL be open for observation by the public

Amanda Burden did commit to directing her staff to meet with Wendy, in particular, and the community in general to explain how the City Planning proposal was in fact a PROTECTIVE ZONING.

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