As you may know, the City is proposing to close Rikers Island and expand jail capacity in all boroughs to make up the difference. This includes a large expansion of the Brooklyn House of Detention on Atlantic Avenue, just a few blocks from Brooklyn Heights. The good folks at the Brooklyn Heights Association have notified us that there will be a hearing “on the scope of the environmental assessment” for this and other proposed new jails, on Thursday, September 20th at 6:00 PM at PS133, the William A. Butler School, 610 Baltic Avenue at 4th Avenue.
According to the BHA, its “position is that the planning process is seriously flawed and should be halted to allow the affected communities to help shape a better plan.”
In particular, the [BHA and other community groups object] to the enormous scale of the new jail that would replace the current Brooklyn House of Detention. At a Floor Area Ratio of 20 and a height of 430 feet (excluding rooftop mechanicals), and holding up to 1,510 detainees, the project’s density and impacts are too great for this sensitive site.