Meeting on Alternatives to Housing in Park Monday

The Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation’s Committee on Alternatives to Housing will hold a meeting this coming Monday, December 20, in the Blue Room at City Hall, Manhattan, beginning at “approximately 5:15pm”. The public is invited to attend; however, “[n]o public testimony will be taken.”

Thanks to Matthew Parker for the tip.

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  • bklyn20

    I understand that the meeting is for the BBPDC to decide WHICH alternatives to housing should be considered — and the public may not comment. I guess it’s really a “Committee on Alternatives to Alternatives to Housing” meeting, as I have predicted here before.

    Apparently Bay Area Economics, the consultant(s), may not decide for themselves which alternatives are worthy of consideration. The BBPDC will do it for them. Let’s see– will it be a heirloom-fruit-flavored lollipop tree by Pier 5? An ecologically sustainable ziggurat where the rotting pier (Pier 4) used to be? That should keep the Starchitect and the real estate types/developers on the committee happy. Meanwhile, those who want an actual useful park — we’re not allowed to speak at the meeting.

    To quote Dorothy Parker, “What fresh hell is this?”

  • Bob Stone

    Notice of the meeting and its purpose leaked out just on Thursday. The lack of sufficient notice, timing and location speaks to the promise of transparency in this process. If it’s true, as suggested by a notice from CB2, that the consultants will be told what alternative to housing-based financing they’ll be permitted to explore, then we probably could have saved the $100K that they’re being paid.

  • bkre

    Seriously? The amount of whining associated with this park is unbelievable. This process is following the memorandum of understanding that your boyfriend Squadron negotiated. The committee has to decide if any of the alternatives being proposed meet the “parameter” that’s why they’re meeting. If you don’t like it complain to squadron. Bob – I think it’s hard to describe the notice as “leaking out” when it was posted on their website, sent to the community board, and sent out directly to a huge mailing list including press. If they were trying to hide this meeting, they’re doing a really bad job. And bklyn20 – there were just 2 really long meetings where anyone who wanted to could speak up about what they they the park should do. How many times do you want these people to hear you say the same thing? And those meetings were only supposed to go till 8 PM, but they stayed till well past 9 on both nights just to make sure that everyone who wanted to could speak. Also, once the draft report is released there will be another public meeting where you can also speak. So you’ll have even more opportunities to speak. Read the MOU. They were giving them away at the hearings and they are on the website.

  • bklyn20

    Since when is asserting one’s rights to an open and fair process whining?

    Bkre, evidently you seriously misunderstand how a public park process should proceed. Meetings should be announced well ahead of time, rather than 5 days ahead (including a weekend) in the week before Christmas. People should not have to access a website on a daily basis to know when a meeting will be held. And by the way, the 12/20 meeting information is not to be found, or not to be found easily, on either the BBP or BBPDC website.

    If you have time to read the MOU, goody for you. I have read several versions of it over the years. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, I have others things to attend to. Maybe I should keep a copy in the bathroom?

    Vital community information should be easily and clearly accessible. How would you react if your parent-teacher conference date could be ascertained only by accessing an obscure website on a daily basis? How about not knowing of an important coop board meeting because you are not part of the building’s favored clique? Are these scenarios acceptable to you, or to any reasonable person? .

    Julian Assange, where are you when we need you most? BBP Wikileaks are sorely needed!

    Regarding scheduling, the NYC City Council, for all its flaws, has a calendar that can be easily accessed from a very basic Google search. It is updated daily. The same goes for the NY State Assembly. Our tax dollars are paying for both of these governmental bodies, as well as for the governance of BBP. Since BBP is a city/state hybrid, it should AT LEAST adhere to the same standards.

    And how about paying a consultant (Bay Area Economics) the taxpayers’ money for their expertise, and then dictating the topics that they are allowed to think about? Not to mention that those doing the dictation are in favor of housing in the park. Not to mention that this purpose was not listed in the (last Thursday night’s) basic meeting announcement.

    Again, not all of us accept a “Skull & Bones” park process, where you have to be tapped on the shoulder and given the secret password to be a member. Or maybe we should think of this as a “Lie Back and Think of England” type of park, as we are expected to simply shut up and put up with whatever is being done to us. This is not how things are done, or supoposed to be done, in America.

    Some of us — many of us — don’t accept it. And by the way, Daniel Squadron is happily married, Steve Levin is not, but both are a bit young for me in any case. It’s telling that opponents of a real public park process have to inject a “nyah. nyah” comment to try and get their point across.

    Bklyn20, Parks Cougar… perhaps it has the makings of a reality show.

  • william

    Better to derail the train, than be crushed by it. This train will explode on impact, although it will be delayed by process.

  • bkre

    Bklyn 20 – your penchant for exaggeration does not help your cause. As i said, not only was notice for this meeting on the website, but it was sent to out to a very large distribution list of people who have expressed interest in the park. First of all I don’t know what you mean about the notice not being easily found. The words “Upcoming Public Meeting” are basically staring you in the face in like 32 point font on the freakin’ home page. Also the distribution lists doesn’t just go out to a special club that has a password, but it includes the local community boards, the press and all the members of the Community Advisory Committee. You accuse the park of lack of transparency, I say that clearly no effort has been made to hide this meeting. I bet you Judi Francis and Roy Sloane knew about this meeting. And there are not two more vocal critics of the current park plan than those two.

    Also I don’t know what versions of the MOU over the years you are reffering to. I have only seen one and it’s the one that was executed on March 8th of this year. It’s less than 10 pages long. It was handed out at the two public hearings earlier this month and has also been on the website for months before that. It literally took me 15 minutes to read. You spend more time commenting on Brooklyn Heights blog and Brownstoner every day than that. If you can’t take the 15 minutes to read the MOU and keep yourself informed, then you probably don’t deserve to be someone who’s opinion anyone listens to, since it is such an uninformed opinion. The price for being a citizen in a democracy if that you must keep yourself informed to be engaged in the debate.

    The MOU clearly states that all alternatives must pass two “parameters” to be considered. This meeting will clearly be about the consultant presenting the alternatives collected to date to the board so that they can verify which, if any, meet the parameters. There’s nothing nefarious about that, unless you have an overactive conspiracy theory tendency.

  • Publius

    Lie back and think of England! Nicely worded Victorian reference.

  • bklyn20

    Too busy working to fully respond to your post, but:

    1. Adequate advance notice of the meeting was not given, especially for Christmas week. Why not signs posted at park entrances? Why not notices in local papers?

    Whoever knew about the meeting is irrlevant — dixie cup and string communication is inappropriate for a World Class Park. It should be

    2. I haven’t posted on Brownstoner in a while.

    3. I believe there have been several MOUs since the park’s inception — you know, the real park — from way back when in the 1980s. So does that make me ill-informed? Or someone with an historical perspective on parks in Brooklyn?

    4. I’m certainly engaged in the debate. I simply want other people to be able to debate as well — so we need a reasonable meeting schedule with reasonable notifications.

    5. I still think the consultant should have free rein to consider all alternatives, whether or not my “boyfriend” had anything to do with it.

    6. Thanks, Publius.

  • bklyn20

    Dixie-cup-and-string communication is also irrelevant.

  • Resident

    Maybe there’s an “overactive conspiracy theory tendency” so that opponents have something to blame if the panel/consultant eventually determines the current plan is the best proposal.

    To end any potential flame war that could result from my post, i reiterate: I only care that the park is funded, whether it be from the current plan, more taxes, or converting the watchtower buildings to tax paying housing.

    On another note, has anyone ever proposed transforming a one or two of the watchtower buildings into schools? Could be a good use for the big warehouse type buildings that would fill a desperate need in the area.