By Linda Collins
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Gowanus Canal waterfront may soon see the start of work on a 700-unit residential development to be constructed by the Lightstone Group, a Manhattan-based developer.
At its general meeting last Wednesday, Community Board 6 gave a conditional green light to the project at 363-365 Bond St. — “conditional” because several conditions were attached to its approval.
The vote to approve was 27-4, with six abstaining, after an apparent “long procession of failed motions and amendments,” the Carroll Gardens Patch reported.
In its lengthy resolution and letter to the Department of City Planning (DCP), a copy of which was sent to the Eagle, CB 6 Board Chairperson Daniel Kummer outlined the two conditions. But he first expressed the board’s “discomfort with the process” under which the applications came before the board.
That “process” involved the DCP’s decision that the developer was only asking for “minor modifications” from the earlier approved Toll Brothers plan for the site (which went through the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) and won a rezoning in 2009) and did not require ULURP review for this one. That meant that the opportunity to conduct a public hearing was a courtesy only.
“Even though we had no defined reviewing role, we take our responsibility as a representative body very seriously and thought that it would have been a great disservice to our community not to provide a venue for the public to learn about, review and comment on the substance of these applications,” Kummer said.
The first condition is that th developer accept the CB6 Responsible Developer Policy, which includes, among others, adopting good neighbor practices; hiring local contractors and women- and minority-owned businesses; and using union contractors.
“While we do not expect every applicant to adhere to every standard in our policy, we do expect that a good faith effort should be made to affirmatively respond and demonstrate that they have at least considered them,” wrote Kummer to the DCP. “And although we otherwise express our approval, we ask that you take no action on their application unless and until they do so.”
The second condition is that the DCP require a full-scale Environmental Impact Study, which shows no negative impact on the community.
“As you know, a great deal has changed in the Gowanus Canal area since the commission previously approved a special permit for this property, most notably the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) inclusion of the canal on its National Priorities List, or more commonly, the Superfund designation,” Kummer said.
As the Eagle has also reported, the apartments will be a mix of affordable, market-rate and luxury units.
The proposal also calls for commercial space, community facility space, open space, a waterfront promenade and parking.
October 17, 2012 - 5:09am