Wednesday, July 28, 2010


The Borough President issued his report on the Culver El project two days ago. He approved the plan "with modifications/conditions." He recommended that the City Planning Commission and the City Council "conditionally approve the land use action."

The City Planning Commission was scheduled to hold a public hearing about the project this morning. Hopefully, its members read the Borough President's report. The Commission has sixty days to announce its decision (until September 24th).

Excerpts from the report of the Borough President, Marty Markowitz:
"However, the borough president has concerns with a number of issues including: the provision of affordable housing on privately‐owned properties and permanency of such housing on city‐owned sites; the anticipated loss of jobs; lack of open space and streetscape greenery in the surrounding area; and, the need to accommodate parking."

"The borough president urges DCP [Department of City Planning] to incorporate the inclusionary housing regulations in the future whenever it undertakes a rezoning intended to facilitate residential development."

"The 17 sites intended for affordable housing will have shallow rear yards and side yards that are intended for parking. With four‐ and five‐bedroom units intended, it is anticipated that many children would be residing in these homes with virtually no outdoor area for recreation other than the adjacent sidewalk."

"HPD should establish easements for the benefit of the 17 residential development sites to facilitate use of the property for recreational purposes during hours that these lots are not in use for accessory parking."

"The street‐bed of 35th Street between Church and 14th Avenue presents another opportunity to increase the supply of open space."

"The borough president’s office noted the lack of street trees in the area. Sites to be redeveloped as housing or accessory parking would be required to provide street trees in accordance to the rezoning. For the adjacent West Kensington residential area to the north, it was noted that Church Avenue completely lacks such plantings despite the mix of residential buildings along this corridor. It was also noted that Story Street had tree pits with either stumps or no plantings at all. Other area residential streets lacking adequate street tree coverage include Tehama Street and Louisa Street. In that regard, in a letter dated July 22, 2010, the borough president has written to the commissioner of the DPR [Department of Parks & Recreation] calling for the agency to survey the residential area bounded by Church Avenue, 36th Street, Fort Hamilton Parkway and Dahill Road to note opportunities where trees could be planted, included where tree pits would need to be established."