Cobble Hill Association: 110 Amity Plan Unacceptable’

Time Equities’ proposal to build six new townhouses on the vacant land surrounding the landmark Lamm Institute building at 110 Amity Street is being opposed by an influential civic group. Last week the Cobble Hill Association voted to fight the developer’s plans because the new townhouses wouldn’t have the 35- to 50-foot rear yards usually found behind the historic district’s 19th century townhouses, an absence that the group feels will negatively affect other houses on the block. The design would cause an unacceptable incursion into the light and air that surrounding properties receive, according to a statement released by the association. The group also argued that the creation of a mews would be inconsistent with the character of the Cobble Hill Historic District since the houses wouldn’t front the street. The CHA says it would be preferable for Time Equities to build one new building fronting Amity Street and one or two buildings fronting Henry Street, all of which would ideally align with neighboring brownstones and allow space for the rear yards typical of the neighborhood. The Cobble Hill Association’s verdict on the 100 Amity design will likely influence whether Community Board 6 decides to support the proposal, which is being considered by the LPC at a public hearing tomorrow.
Opposition to 110 Amity Plans Grows [Brownstoner] GMAP
CB6 Tries to Avoid Amity Street Horror [Brownstoner]
Local Residents Oppose New Development at 110 Amity [Bergen Carroll]

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  • Happy Monday!

    The rich are once again telling us how to live our lives…

  • Hi-rise is exactly what Cobble Hill or the rest of Bklyn needs to address housing needs as long as it offers affordability. Off with the nimbys and the old fogies, it’s doable. Where do you expect people to live – Iowa? Welcome to 2008!

  • While I have to link to the CH Assoc (although I do live in Cobble Hill) I see they seem to wholeheartedly agree with my post from the previous thread.

    ……On first glance this doesn’t seem a bad idea but four out of the six proposed townhouses won’t have any street frontage and thus will be taking up land that is usually used as back yard space. Part of the beauty of Cobble Hill and the surrounding Brownstone areas is the wide expanse of (albeit fenced off ) green space which measure some 80 feet by the whole block width that is home to a wonderful variety of flora and fauna.

    Surely this close to the BQE we shouldn’t be reducing green areas that help to consume all those carbon emissions.
    Posted by: guest at January 2, 2008 1:13 PM……

    I wonder if they read the comments on Brownstoner to get their ideas? 😉

  • If the LPC hearing is public, does anyone know when and where it is?

    I’d also REALLY like to see a more traditional layout here, and think they can easily fit three nice deep townhouses on Henry and a really nice wide and deep one on Amity.

    There’s still PLENTY of money to be made with that plan, given what they paid for the place.

  • I think that people are losing sight of the fact that there used to be buildings on all of that “vacant” land. Take a look at pics of the site circa 1940 or so. There were no townhouses so typical of the area – just big ol’ buildings. I really do not see what the outrage is about here, especially given how much the area needs housing, even for yuppies.

  • 10:06 – I disagree with you for two reasons:
    1) The open space you’re referring to is in people’s back yards and not visible from the street. So the lack of this open space will not be noticed ny 99.9% of people who walk by the site.
    2) That’s not really how the mechanics of air pollution works. It’s not like the trees within 2 blocks “clean” the air from the BQE. Tree throughout the borough and indeed the city all come together to clean the entire city’s air. So while I am in favor of having more trees everywhere in the City, I don’t care so much whether they are here are if you plant some more tree in prospect park of fort green park…

  • The CHA proposal would result in extremely expensive houses, available to only a few. While the original proposal’s houses probably wouldn’t count as “affordable,” they would likely be slightly more likely to be inhabited by real, everyday folks.

  • What’s the household income number where one ceases to be “real” or “everyday?” I guess the same one where you go from being “folk” to a what? Personage?

  • Perhaps someone from the CHA should take a stroll over to Warren Street to have a look at the Warren Street Mews before they sniff that this project is “inconsistent with the character of the Cobble Hill Historic District”.

    I live nearby, I don’t love this project, but it could be substantially worse.

  • If I recall, don’t all four sides of the Lamm Building have the same highly decorative facade? Putting in townhouses the way the CHA recommends would completely conceal or at least look strange, I think.

    I was over at the park Sunday to drop off my tree to be chipped. There was someone there with a petition to protest this, and I refused to sign it. She wasn’t happy and rolled out a series of objections starting with aesthetic (out of character!) to safety (firetrucks won’t be able to get in there!). I think some well-designed deviations from the grid in Cobble Hill would be welcome.

  • Right on 12:27, you nailed it. I’m usually a pro-historic district and preservation kind of guy but these people really try one’s patience.

  • “Interesting flora and fauna”? Um. Can you say “weed choked lot”? THe people protesting this development live right next door. I am sympathetic– I wouldn’t want a year of construction and my backyard ruined but at least it’s not a high rise adding thousands of people to a neighborhood where the schools are already filled to the brim and it’s impossible to park. Yeah, yeah, I know I am an evil capitalist pig for owning a car in New York City.

  • Nimbys, what a joke. Attempting to have an intelligent discourse with a nimby is akin to discussing string theory with your pet.

  • Because this project will be approved or denied by the landmarks preservation commission the fact that it is opposed by the cobble hill association is probably a plus for the developer.

    no other group, with the exception of landmarks west, is as disliked by the commission and staff as the cha.

  • 9:03, based on what? Why would LPC dislike the CHA?

  • After reading the above comments, I just have to voice my opinion, again…

    Take a look at the facade before you comment. 2/3 of the back has no decorative elements.

    Think about the fact that this is a landmarked neighborhood. You can’t build higher than 50 feet.

    I think the majority of these comments are from the developer, real estate brokers looking to profit from this, morons who have no idea about the neighborhood, and/or the same idiots who were for bull-dozing the entire neighborhood and doing “urban renewal” in the 60s. Thankfully, their voices were silenced and the neighborhood landmarked before they could cause any more damage.

    CB6 has already prepared a letter to LPC. Read it and maybe you’ll understand what is really going on instead of all the ignorant comments. I hope that this “blog” posts the letter for everyone to read and understand what is truly at stake.

    I actually live here and live here because of the beauty of the neighborhood. If I wanted to have a high-rise in my neighborhood, I would live elsewhere. If I wanted a modern eyesore, I’d move to Williamsburg or Greenpoint, where these awful buildings are being built (and by the same developer).

    Thankfully, the majority of the people living in the neighborhood are not the ones voicing their “opinions” on this blog and actually care about the neighborhood and are doing something about it. I signed the petition and thank the people brave enough to take on a well funded developer and keep them honest while fighting to keep the integrity of the neighborhood.

    I think it is you who should take a walk down Warren Place with a copy of the proposed plan. Look at the difference in size of the buildings (Warren Place are no greater than 3 stories and the proposed ones are 47 to 50 feet tall – i.e. 5 stories). Look at the fact that you can walk from one end to the other end, which you won’t be able to on the proposed buildings. IN fact, there is a locked gate closing off these proposed homes from the rest of the neighborhood…

    The whole NIMBY argument is really without any merit and just a code word that you are a shill for the developer or just plain ignorant or would vote for Vladamir Lenin if given the chance.

    I have to admit the “string theory” comment was funny, but my cat’s name is Einstein and has a higher IQ than you do. It is time for you to move out of your parent’s basement, get a job, and get a life.

    CB6, CHA, and the majority of the people who actually live in and care about the neighborhood are against the plan as proposed.

  • Right on 11:41! The whole NIMBY argument is so tiresome. People move to Cobble Hill for a variety of reasons. A big one is the appeal of a low density neighborhood. Thank God we’re landmarked!

  • I used to live in Cobble Hills 4 years ago. I now live and own in Brooklyn Heights/Downtown Brooklyn – who am I kidding, it’s Downtown Brooklyn. Anyway, yes, CH is nice but I chose to live there as a renter because it was cheap. Not anymore though. I would have stayed and bought in the neighborhood but there is no supply of housing for people wanting to buy. I am not anti-developement and I strongly disagree with placing these really short height limits.

  • 10:05, nice to hear a voice of reason.

    LPC rejected the proposal!

    Every LPC commissioner that spoke REJECTED IT. There wasn’t any debate over it. I guess, us “NIMBY” people have something to our argument.

    There are plenty of places in the city that don’t have height restrictions. There is no reason to change that in CH. Understanding and accepting that CH is a landmarked NEIGHBORHOOD is the first step in the process.

    NOW, it is time for the community and the developer to work together in agreeing to a plan to develop the space that confirms with LPC’s guidelines/opinions. Contrary to some opinions expressed in this blog, no one has stated that there shouldn’t be development. That is why the whole NIMBY argument is flawed and is asserted only to inflame and annoy people who actually care about the neighborhood.