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As this paper went to press, the City Council Land Use Committee was expected to address and possibly vote on the controversial Dock Street DUMBO project under the city’s rezoning process.
The committee can vote to approve, disapprove or modify the project.
The Two Trees Management proposal for the site calls for an 18−story building about 70 feet from the Brooklyn Bridge that includes a 300−seat middle school, 365 residential units including 20 percent for low−income families, ground−floor neighborhood retail and off−street parking.
Late April, the City Planning Commission recommended reducing the height to 170 feet from 183 feet, and reducing the westernmost piece of the building on Water Street, which is to extend closer to the bridge, from nine stories (about 90 feet) to 75 feet.
As it has made its way through the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), the project has divided the community.
On one side are such pro−development organizations as the DUMBO Business Improvement District and City Council Member Letitia James, who like the school and affordable housing included in the plan.
On the other side are the DUMBO Neighborhood Association (DNA), City Councilmember David Yassky and a slew of celebrities have argued against it because of its proximity to the Brooklyn Bridge.
Meanwhile, following the Council’s Land Use subcommittee hearing on the project held last week, opponents pounced on internal e−mail evidence submitted as proof that the city’s School Construction Authority (SCA) improperly colluded with Two Trees.
“Absent a thorough analysis of the cost−effectiveness of alternative sites by the School Construction Authority, Brooklynites are being presented with a false choice between a much−needed school for Downtown Brooklyn and a project that would do lasting damage to one of our nation’s most precious landmarks – the Brooklyn Bridge,” said Yassky.
“Given this moment of economic uncertainty, the Council Land Use Committee should recognize the disturbing lack of due diligence on behalf of the SCA and reject this misguided proposal,” he added.
Andrew Doba, spokesperson for Council Speaker Christine Quinn, said Quinn has not taken a position on the project as of yet.
The City Council vote is the final step in the long rezoning public process.
Political insiders say at this point it is difficult to predict which way the vote will go.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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