The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Just Concisely Venting

I'm hoping the whole City Planning study mess is over soon and either I can focus on sitting down at meetings with them or clearing my schedule for next couple years, focusing on housing and public safety or some such. It's been exhausting and emotionally draining. I hardly know why I care anymore. But I'm not a quitter and I'll see it through to the end.

One last time, I'll write down the reason I cared in the first place. Basically to psych myself up for the next round.

  1. The neighborhood has not EVER created a proper plan for growth with the City. It's time. 197a is not going to happen with CB9 as currently configured. This is the best way to learn, listen and develop responsibly.
  2. Developers are taking advantage of gentrification to build more and more market rate apartments on every parcel of land they can buy up.
  3. The City has placed an emphasis on getting developers to build affordable housing that is ACTUALLY affordable. Maybe not to the very poor, but to working families making less than $50,000. In 20 years, we'll be glad we helped protect diversity in our community, because right now, there are precious few protections for that.
  4. Blocks inside the major corridors can be protected from outsized and out of context development. That is a FACT and it has worked elsewhere. Check with other Community Boards...when they ask DCP to come in they get much better results than when developers and elected officials initiate the process.
  5. Empire Boulevard needs a serious look before it becomes tall hotels and/or more storage facilities (hey combine the two! now that's a million dollar idea). It's zoned "junk" commercial, when it could be a grand boulevard where people can live and businesses can thrive. Do nothing, and you don't get a chance to shape it, regardless how high.
  6. A private study has zero chance of breezing through the ULURP process. Unless a private group can come up with tens of thousands, maybe well over six figures, to do an analysis AND environmental review, you won't even have it LOOKED at by DCP with anything but a cursory glance. Then, they're the ones who prepare it, or not, for ULURP. If anyone doesn't like the way it looks - Eric, Laurie, Mathieu, Bill etc. - it will be altered to fit their concerns. So why not START with the City? I don't need a degree in Planning to argue for less density and height and more contextual zoning. No one does. You argue for what you want and give a common sense defense. Don't try to tell DCP what they already know. But if you do a study, then I suppose you come armed with some extra degree of clarity. So do the study. Be part of the process, don't derail it.
  7. MTOPP and others have completely upset the existing equilibrium in the neighborhood and should not be allowed to run the process. To date, they have. Their tactics of trash and burn have infuriated well-meaning community leaders and volunteers. They've tarnished the reputations of people, and divided the neighborhood along racial and class lines. They've infuriated the Jewish community by singling them out as getting special protections. I would love to see their efforts go down in flames, though at this point it's hard to see them going anywhere. Including their members who don't even live in their neighborhood.
Yeah, it's frustrating. It's particularly frustrating to have smart, talented members of the community argue against the Study. But they're all good people at heart, and I don't begrudge any of the angry homeowner crowd. There's really only one full-on race-baiting jerk, and I hope her Air BnB business gets a slew negative reviews, and that her non-profit get busted for raising money that has nothing to do with its mission. New Directions in Healing indeed. But in the great human spirit, may she not get hurt, unless it's emotionally, as she's done to many others. Lie for a lie, truth for the truth. Or lie for the truth, truth for the lie?

I'm still working on it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I thought the Q would appreciate this piece.