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.
Peter Krashes, Secretary
Dean Street Block Association, 6th Avenue to Vanderbilt
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)
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)
From the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council (phndc.org):
ACCOUNTABILITY AND ATLANTIC YARDS
A special meeting for the residents near the Atlantic Yards (Pacific Park) site
Learn more about the settlement reached between the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC), and community advocates.
- Shorter construction duration
- New affordable housing commitments
- Public oversight with local representation
Hear about what to expect next and how to get involved.
Thursday, October 30, 2014, 8:00PM
636 Dean Street (between Vanderbilt and Carlton Avenues)
Please join us to meet directly with Council Member Laurie Cumbo.
We are hosting this meeting specifically for those who live or work near Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park. Children are welcome. Food and drinks will be available.
WHEN: Monday, Oct. 20, 7:30 to 9:00
PLACE: Soapbox @ 636 Dean Street between Carlton & Vanderbilt
A reminder that the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) will take place on Sunday, August 25th at Barclays Center. Here is the list of street closures and the expected impact on the community.
The list below is a based on information provided by the 78th Precinct Community Council but it has been modified to add detail about amplified sound and viewer pens.
6th Avenue from Dean Street to Flatbush may also be closed to traffic partially or in total during this period. Some of the time-frame for amplified sound will be used for intermittent sound checks.
Access inside the restricted area for residents will be allowed with ID. Guests of residents can gain access by being met at a checkpoint by their host or by being escorted to their destination by security.
Friday, August 23rd
• Set construction – 8:00 am – 12:00 am midnight
• Street closure 6th Avenue (Atlantic Avenue to Dean Street) 12:00 pm – MONDAY, 8/26 12:00 am midnight – WILL PERIODICALLY INCLUDE PEDESTRIANS
Saturday, August 24th
• Set construction activity – 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
• Street closure 6th Avenue (Atlantic Avenue to Dean Street) ALL DAY – WILL PERIODICALLY INCLUDE PEDESTRIANS
• Street closure Pacific Street (6th Avenue to Carlton Avenue) 7:00 am – MONDAY, 8/26 12:00 am midnight
• Street closure Dean Street (Flatbush Avenue to Carlton Avenue) 7:00 am – MONDAY, 8/26 12:00 am midnight
• Red Carpet rehearsals with crew (no celebrities) 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
• MTA Bus re-routed – B45 (Dean Street) will, be re-routed around street closure TBD
AMPLIFIED SOUND: 12 PM – 3 PM and 6 PM – 9 PM
Sunday, August 25th
• Street closure 6th Avenue (Atlantic Avenue to Dean Street) ALL DAY – INCLUDING PEDESTRIANS (Residents must show ID)
• Street closure Pacific Street (6th Avenue to Carlton Avenue) ALL DAY – INCLUDING PEDESTRIANS (Residents must show ID)
• Street closure Dean Street (Flatbush Avenue to Carlton Avenue) ALL DAY – INCLUDING PEDESTRIANS (Residents must show ID)
• Street closure Pacific Street (4th Avenue to Flatbush Avenue) 2:00 pm – MONDAY, 8/26 12:00 am midnight
• MTA Bus re-routed – B45 (Dean Street) will, be re-routed around street closure TBD
• MTA Bus bypass Barcays Center stops (B41 & B67 will bypass Barclays Flatbush Avenue stops and B45 will bypass Barclays Atlantic Avenue stops) times TBD
• Sidewalk closure of perimeter of Barclays Center (including partial closure of plaza – subway exit into plaza will remain open) 2:00 pm – MONDAY, 8/26 12:00 am midnight
AMPLIFIED SOUND: 12 PM – 4 PM and 6:30 PM – 9 PM
• Traffic will remain open on Flatbush Avenue and Atlantic Avenue.
• Viewer pens may be set up on Pacific Street at Flatbush Avenue; Flatbush Avenue between 5th Avenue & Dean Street; the plaza in front of Target; and the north east sidewalk of the Atlantic Avenue near south Portland.
• Barclays Center subway access will remain open.
• Variable Message Signs (VMS) will be installed on local arterial roads and significant intersections
• The Dean Street Park playground will be closed, however the basketball tournament will proceed with access from Bergen Street.