PLG Residents Ask City Hall for a Temporary Halt to High-Rise Construction

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A reader sent in these photographs of the rally in Manhattan Friday calling for a temporary moratorium on high-rise construction along the east side of Prospect Park in Prospect Lefferts Gardens while residents try to downzone the area. Our tipster said she counted at least 75 people in attendance, although the photos seem to show fewer.

Speakers at the event included City Councilman Mathieu Eugene and Community Board 9 member Diana Richardson. The protest was organized by the Prospect Park East Network and cosponsored by the Lefferts Manor Association, Flatbush Tenants Coalition, and Prospect Lefferts Gardens Neighborhood Association.

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20 Comment

  • Guess they have no understanding of what “as of right” means.

    • Guess you have no understanding that the term “as of right” is applicable only in the context of the City’s zoning laws. However, once a developer accepts $72M in taxpayer funds from the state in order to construct a building, that project then also becomes subject to the state financing agency doing a proper environmental review under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). That didn’t happen here. Which also means pro-development shills can scream “as of right” all day long while totally missing the fact that it’s an “as of ain’t right” building in PLG and under the environmental laws of the State of New York.

  • I dont understand. This project is approved and conforms to current zoning and height limitations. They can rally to downzone but this building will go up. Dont understand exactly what they are calling for? A new l;aw that you arent allowed to build as of right?
    Can anyone do some real reporting?
    Or maybe you cant do real reporting on unreal rallies? :-(

    • The rally was not about 626 Flatbush. It was a call for a temporary halt to future high rise construction in one specific area of PLG (closest to the Park) until City Planning is able do a proper rezoning study of the entire neighborhood and implement it. You can’t do “real” reporting for people who are intent on mangling the facts no matter what the words of the report clearly state.

      • Legally there is no “Temporary halt” TO legal approved as of right developments.

      • Mordy, unfortunately for a developer, there can be temporary halts. There was the Lake Tahoe case a few years ago that approved a 2 year moratorium followed by an 8-month extension while the regional planning association conducted studies.

        I am not sure if it would require a city council action to impose such a halt, or if DOB or DCP could do so administratively.

        • The call is for a moratorium on FUTURE developments in this specific area of the nabe. It is not an attempt to temporarily halt construction that is currently in progress. Please try and get this “as of right” mantra out of every thought on what’s actually going on here. The protestors are rallying around two different issues: (1) is 626 Flatbush, an “as of right” project, pursuant to NYC zoning laws, that is being challenged for legality on environmental grounds. The other pertains to a campaign to be waged at the City Call for a temporary halt on NEW high rise construction in the area until City Planning can do a proper rezoning study for the area.

  • Are they trying to halt the Flatbush tower or just future towers on the park? Flatbush obviously does not border Prospect Park. It would be like protesting a tower on 57th Street because it borders on Central Park.

    • My understanding is that PPEN would like to shorten this tower, through negotiations with the developer, and block future towers of similar height through zoning changes

      • So they have no legal standing but they want to “NEgotiate”?
        this is a weird form of “Negotiating”

      • Clearly they have legal standing to attack the financing (hence the lawsuit and the TRO last week) and now they are trying to get a building moratorium (I assume it would be for 1 year or so, with a possible trigger to renew for another year) to give time to city planning to do such a study.

        Obviously a developer could just wait it out as I doubt any zoning change could be retroactive, but if timeliness is an issue for the developer then maybe negotiation is the right path of them.

    • My understanding is that PPEN would like to shorten this tower, through negotiations with the developer, and block future towers of similar height through zoning changes

    • No Flatbush doesn’t border Prospect Park in the location of 626 Flatbush (it most certainly does in other places). But, in this neighborhood, it’s only one block off the Park. Which is why Hudson Companies is attempting to erect a 23 story architectural finger on Flatbush Avenue and in the midst of a neighborhood that is primarily 1-3 story homes and 4-8 story apartment buildings. In this way, Hudson gets to lease “coveted park views” at luxury prices.

  • Suddenly I’m not half the man I used to be. There’s a shadow hanging over me…

  • I thought I was with the protestors until I rode my bike around the area this morning. While that is a 3 story block, there are 2 huge 16 story buildings a block away: http://www.columbia.edu/cgi-bin/dlo?obj=ldpd_YR_0757_BR_001_002&size=large I don’t see why this building would radically change anyone’s *visual* world. It will bring a different population, but that’s been happening for years in PLG, and is part of the Brooklyn demographics changes that are affecting all of Brooklyn…