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DSBA Attends CEC

From Elaine Weinstein:

As a representative of the Dean Street Association I attended the July 2016 meeting of  Community Education Council 13. The main effort of the Committee that evening was to interview a  potential replacement for an opening on the Committee. Additionally, the CEC reviewed the treasurer’s report and discussed project teams going forward.
I introduced myself as a representative of our group and asked whether the council had produced any reports that could be important to our block association. They said there were no reports issued but that if there were they would be posted on their website  cec13.org. I plan to attend the next meeting scheduled for August 9th.

Going forward our goal is to encourage further transparency so that the community is informed of their process and decision making authority.

If anyone is interested in joining me feel free to email me.

Letter to the School Construction Authority about the new school proposed for Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park

June 29, 2015 letter (pdf) to the School Construction Authority about the new school proposed for Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park from the Dean Street Block Association, 6th Avenue to Vanderbilt.

We ask the Department of Education and the School Construction Authority to take the following steps:

  • Release a DOE plan to address the meaningful new demand for school seats added to our area by the Project and other area growth so our families are well and appropriately served in the future.  We also ask DOE to show us how unit projections are brought into its utilization and capacity projections for schools in our area. 
  • Conduct a rigorous program of community engagement to address location concerns and ensure the new school is successfully integrated into an area taxed by construction and Project operation now and in the future.  Consider other potential locations in the Project site across a range of priorities including potential opening date, transit access, pedestrian safety, classroom quality and open space.  

The Project’s environmental reviews in 2006, 2009/10, and 2014 all state additional mitigation measures such as shifting catchment areas within the Community School Districts, creating new satellite facilities in less crowded schools, or building new facilities off-site will be required to fully mitigate the Project’s significant adverse impacts on public schools.  Those options are now more difficult due to increased school utilization in the area near the project since 2006.  The local elementary schools within 1/2 mile of the Project’s second phase are already over capacity.  The significant adverse impact for elementary students will now emerge with the first residential building opened at the site.  We believe DOE’s past history shows it is in its own best interest to have a plan.  Moving children from place to place as capacity shortfalls increase and re-zonings ensue is not fair to families in our area.  Pockets of overcrowding are inequitable.  Our elementary school children shouldn’t have to travel distances to get to school.

Keep in mind the following: using DOE’s own capacity formulas, Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park will add 1,864.7 elementary students, 771.6 intermediate students, and 900.2 high school students for a total of 3,536.5 students by 2025. The total number of new seats in the current school proposal is 616, clearly insufficient to absorb the number of students being added.  The 2006 FEIS’s numbers are somewhat lower.  The FEIS anticipates 1,757 elementary, 667 intermediate, and 412 high school students for a total of 2,836.  Where are those students going to go to school?

The B15 location chosen for the school is a poor option.  In a departure from what is detailed in the Project agreements, it is likely to be delivered 5 buildings (1,500 units) after the significant adverse impact emerges.  Unique conditions at the site will deliver poorer and potentially less healthy classrooms, less safe pedestrian access, poorer open space, and unique community impacts including to other community facilities than other potential options. Our school children deserve the best quality classrooms and open space possible in the Project, but that is not what they are being offered in B15.

Thanks,

Peter Krashes, Secretary
Dean Street Block Association, 6th Avenue to Vanderbilt
917-699-2003

Atlantic Yards Quality of Life Meeting: Wednesday, November 19, 2014 @ 6 PM

Please attend the upcoming Atlantic Yards Quality of Life Meeting for information, or if you have questions about the significant changes to our neighborhood anticipated to start in weeks. It is an opportunity to speak directly to the architects of some of the buildings in the project, and raise any concerns you may have about impacts from construction. This will be your only opportunity before work is anticipated to accelerate.

The architects of 19-story 535 Carlton and possibly taller 17-story 550 Vanderbilt Avenue, (both between Dean and Pacific Streets), will be in attendance. The construction of these buildings will be added to the ongoing work on the arena roof, the tunnel under Atlantic Avenue, LIRR rail yard work, and stalled B2. Details of construction will be provided including temporary elimination of on and off-street parking, narrowing of streets, sidewalk closures, nighttime work, construction staging and potential cutting of street trees.

Details of the changes are attached in two community notices [see here and here] addressing changes in the east and west parts of the project. For additional information feel free to contact our block association using this link: https://deanstreet11217.wordpress.com/

Atlantic Yards Quality of Life Meeting
Hosted by Forest City Ratner and Empire State Development.
The meeting will have a presentation on upcoming construction activities and a question and answer period.
When: Wednesday, November 19, 2014 @ 6 PM
Where: Brooklyn Hospital,
Auditorium, 3rd Floor
121 Dekalb Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205 (map)

DSBA Statement about the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Settlement Agreement

Our block association has learned more about oversight of this project than just about anyone else because we have had to.  Our priority is good governance because our lives are directly affected by the oversight that is provided.  We’ve learned that scrutiny and incredulousness are essential tools living near Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park.

As much as half of the input to the State during the 2014 SEIS process was personal testimony from our community about the failure of the State’s oversight to ensure the environmental commitments that are part of the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park project agreements.  That testimony, as well as a general statement from our block association, calls for oversight reform of the project generally, and an independent, impartial and motivated Environmental Monitor on site when construction work takes place.

Moving forward, our focus continues to be improving oversight so that the community does not need to continue doing the job of ensuring the developer’s obligations are met. Community trust can be built with effective monitoring, transparency in real time and recourses against the developer when things go wrong.

General Block Association Statement CB8, October 9, 2014 (pdf)