Minutes from June 27 Meeting

Stable Brooklyn/East Windsor Terrace Community Group
General meeting, Monday, June 27, 2005, 7:00-8:30pm
International Baptist Church, Caton Place and Coney Island Avenue


residents and Randy Peers, Vice-Chair of CB7 and Chair of the Land Use
Committee, attended the general meeting. Apologies to those who could
not attend because of incorrect information about the building entrance.

Downzoning report
Downzoning committee: Mandy Harris, Nat Moss, Erin O’Leary, Anna Brackett
and Nat related information from their meeting with Richard Bearak from
the Brooklyn Borough President’s office. Zoning maps of the
neighborhood and various zoning designations will be posted to www.stablebrooklyn.com for review.

map illustrates how the blocks between Caton Place and Caton Avenue
from Ocean Parkway to East 8th Street are zoned differently from the
surrounding neighborhood. These blocks, currently zoned R6, threaten
the smaller houses of the area, as developers can build high rise, high
density buildings as-of-right as currently zoned. The zoning is higher
density and lacks the contextual “B” suffix that the rest of Windsor
Terrace enjoys (R5B). The history of zoning in this area supports our
bid to be downzoned.

In 1993, the Ocean Parkway Special Zoning
District was formed and the area was zoned R5. However, because of
pending construction of a nursing home on Caton Avenue between E7 and
E8 Streets, City Planning decided to exclude the blocks between Caton
Place and Caton Ave from Ocean Parkway to East 8 Street from
down-zoning. These blocks were left R6 while the rest of the area was
rezoned R5.

We intend to submit a ULURP application seeking new
zoning, probably at R5B level. (Exact zoning we will ask for is still
under discussion and review; R5B is in line with the rest of Windsor
Terrace, which makes for a compelling argument for us: we are part of
Windsor Terrace and deserve the same protection as our neighbors on the
other side of the circle.) As a community group, we have the Cypress
Hills Community ULURP application as a guide. In their case, City
Planning ushered the application through. We will seek sponsorship for
our ULURP from CB7, which has already indicated their support, from
City Councilman Bill de Blasio, from City Planning, and from the
Borough President’s Office. Mr. Bearak noted that Marty Markowitz’s
office is unlikely to sponsor a specific community group application.
Randy Peers advised that we ask de Blasio’s office to sponsor us rather
than assume they will not.

Downzoning would not affect 23 Caton
Place (tire factory and Little Gray Barn), which is going to be a
107-unit apartment building as-of-right. Our downzoning application
would encompass 22 Caton Place (chalkboard factory), which already has
a ULURP application pending to be upzoned to R7A.

Property reports
22 Caton Place committee: Emily Waters
has tried to trace the owner of the property, listed as A. Yagoda.
Information will be public record when the ULURP is certified; in the
meantime, it may remain hard to pinpoint a person behind the
development company.

A ULURP application was made in December
2004 for this property to be upzoned from R6 to R7A. Randy offered that
we might use the R7A application as a way of negotiating concessions
with the developer. Is there a way to gain concessions on number of
parking spaces, on footprint of building viz lot line, etc, in exchange
for not opposing upzoning? The developer can always build an R6
building as-of-right at any time (unless and until we successfully
downzone the property, in which case the developer would likely seek a
variance…). When their ULURP is certified, CB7 will hold public
hearings. They will hold these public hearings in our neighborhood if
we request it (either at International Baptist Church or Holy Name).

23-45 Caton Place committee: Anna Brackett, Erin O’Leary
small group met with Mr. Kavlak, the developer, on Sunday, June 26, to
look at the plans for the building, a 107-unit condominium building.
The building will be 8 stories high (7th and 8th stories stepped back),
with 57-61 parking spaces two floors below ground. Entrance to parking
garage is on Caton Place, adjacent to the back entrance to 71 Ocean
Parkway. The facade is aluminum and glass. The plans have been approved
and construction may begin a month from now. Expected construction time
estimated to be 16 months. The building was designed by Karl Fischer; a
rendering can be found on the architect’s web site, http://www.kfarchitect.com/ (click on multifamily and then Caton Place for details).

noted that there is little we as a community group can do at this stage
of development. However, Mr. Kavlak was nice to meet with us and might
be amenable to community suggestions for improvements (in exchange for
not holding up construction with stop-work orders). We should draw up
specific suggestions such as use or placement of flood lights, mature
trees and landscaping, benches, etc.

Caton Avenue committee: June Reich
did not contact the owners of record because she was unsure how to
approach them, or what conversation to have, given our plans to
downzone. Randy suggested we table Caton Ave for the time being and
poll our community about what we’d like to see there. This needs to be
taken up.

Please note that no committee has yet been formed for the following property:
Corner property at Coney Island Avenue and Kermit Place (old auto lot and ice cream parlor)

Environmental reports
Sewers committee: Dave Werner
reported on his conversation with DEP, in which he reiterated questions
in Brennan’s letter. We are waiting for answers from DEP. (Brennan’s
letter will be available to read on www.stablebrooklyn.com)

Street-safety committee: Phillip Jones
shared CB7 letter to DOT, with map by Phillip Jones, requesting stop
signs and other signage at the intersection of Caton Place and East 8
Street. Nat asked about making East 8th Street one-way. We also
discussed traffic problems on Ocean Parkway. We would like stop signs
along Ocean Parkway from Caton Avenue to the circle, in order to slow
down cars and discourage illegal truck traffic. Jane volunteered to
take this up. Randy instructed her to call Jeremy Laufer, District
Manager of CB7 (718-854-0003), who will make the request to DOT on our

Block party committee
application to close a street must be made 3 months in advance. Erin
will look into the application process. Emily and June volunteered to
help. Agreed that September would be a good time to have a block
party/silent movie night.

Beautification committee
Other beautification projects might include a Kensington Stables painting party.

Letter-writing committee
volunteered to write letters to State Senator Carl Andrews, Assemblyman
Jim Brennan, Councilmember Bill de Blasio, Borough President Marty
Markowitz, CB7 to give them a synopsis of our activities and to thank
them for their support.


Respectfully submitted,
June Reich

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