Lander asks developer to withdraw Gowanus plan, work on longterm planning

November 14, 2012 By Linda Collins Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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City Councilmember Brad Lander is calling on the Lightstone Group to withdraw its application to build a large residential development on the banks of the Gowanus Canal — and, instead, to participate in a comprehensive planning process for the area.

“The Gowanus, a highly polluted Superfund Site, overflowed during Hurricane Sandy and flooded nearby residences and businesses,” said Lander.

Lander noted that the proposed Lightstone development is in Evacuation Zone A, an area that was evacuated for Hurricane Sandy, and was also evacuated for 2011’s Hurricane Irene.

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In his letter to David Lichtenstein, chairman and CEO of the Lightstone Group, Lander wrote, “I believe it would be a serious mistake for you to proceed as though nothing had happened, without reconsidering or altering your plans, and putting over 1,000 new residents in harm’s way the next time an event of this magnitude occurs.”

As the Eagle has reported, the proposal was met with some community opposition when it was presented to Community Board 6.

Those residents objected to its size (700 residential units) and the rushed approval process, and asked for further environmental study. The proposal must be approved by the City Planning Commission.

Rather than pushing ahead, Lander asked the Lightstone Group to work with the community to “formulate guidelines for waterfront development and create a future for the Gowanus Canal area that turns the destruction our city has seen over the last two weeks into a thoughtful, sustainable, longterm plan for our future.” 

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