In light of Hurricane Sandy and the flooding in Gowanus, Councilmember Brad Lander has urged the Lightstone Development Group to further work with the community before moving ahead on a 700-unit rental project planned for the shores of the Gowanus Canal. Lightstone previously stated that the storm would not change their proposal for the area. Here’s a snippet of his full letter to Lightstone:
In the wake of the storm, alongside our ongoing relief and recovery efforts, it is essential to rethink our approach to the development of areas along the water’s edge, which are most vulnerable to severe weather – especially those that flooded during Hurricane Sandy. I believe it would be a serious mistake for you to proceed as though nothing had happened, without reconsidering or altering your plans, and putting over 1,000 new residents in harm’s way the next time an event of this magnitude occurs.
I therefore urge you to withdraw your application for 363-365 Bond Street, and to take part in a planning dialogue that engages local stakeholders, elected officials, and public agencies at every level of government to account for the high risk of future storm surges. With this approach, we can turn this moment of disaster into an opportunity for thoughtful planning and infrastructure investments that will lead to sound, long-term, balanced development. Without such planning, we can expect to again see the high costs and, more importantly, the tragic impacts such storms have on our city.
The proposed development would be located in Evacuation Zone A, which was evacuated for both Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Irene. The Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus (FROGG) also released a statement urging the City Planning Department to put a moratorium on the review or approval of any pending projects planned for Zone A, including that of the Lightstone Group, “until new guidelines for such development have been created.” Lightstone’s proposal, which did not have to go through the ULURP process because the Toll Brothers project already did, was previously scheduled to be discussed by the City Planning Commission on Nov. 13, but it wasn’t on the agenda and does not have a new date yet.
CB6 Says Yes to Lightstone’s Gowanus Development [Brownstoner]
Petition up to Protest New Gowanus Development [Brownstoner]
Long List of Concerns for Gowanus Rental Development [Brownstoner]
Neighbors Concerned About Gowanus Development [Brownstoner]
All the Details on Lightstone’s Gowanus Development [Brownstoner]
New Developer Eyes Toll Brothers’ Old Gowanus Site [Brownstoner]