City Planning Commission gives green light to Maple Lanes Views

January 29, 2013 Denise Romano
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It’s one step closer to a Maple Lanes swan song.

The City Planning Commission unanimously voted to approve zoning changes that would make way for housing at the site of the bowling alley.

“I will miss the bowling, but yes,” said Commissioner Michele de la Uz at the vote held at Spector Hall on Reade Street in Lower Manhattan on Wednesday, January 23.

The vote came after the public hearing stage in ULURP (Uniform Land Use Reform Procedure), which is required by law when zoning is changed on a piece of city property. At a public hearing in December, three residents of Boro Park testified in favor of “much needed” housing.

Prior hearings were held at the local level (at Community Board 12) and by the borough president.

A City Council hearing is the next step in the process, which must take place within 50 days of the CPC decision, which would be by March 14.

Christina Squitieri is an advocate for the legendary bowling alley, having started a “Save Maple Lanes” petition that has collected over 700 signatures.

She said that she had emailed the CPC “months ago” regarding the hearing and received an email saying that the vote was scheduled for that same afternoon, giving her no time to submit written testimony.

“While I appreciate getting an email about it at all, I feel like the city is doing nothing to listen to its constituency. I know that the issue is primarily a financial one and that the people really can’t interfere with what private industries choose to do with their money and businesses, but not approving of the rezoning was at least a chance for the people to be heard,” Squitieri told this paper.

“While rezoning may not have changed the fact that the LaSpinas were selling Maple Lanes, it would have given another potential buyer the opportunity to make an offer that would keep the bowling alley standing,” she went on. “I wish that at least one person on the CPC would have at least considered the voices of the people.”

Squitieri added that she hopes that the City Council “will be more open to what is best for Brooklyn as a whole,” noting that she recently saw a sign at Fort Hamilton High School for a fundraiser to be held at Maple Lanes.

“Not only is Maple Lanes important for the students and families of the neighborhood, but for the schools and community centers, too. It’s going to be really disappointing if we lose that just because of money,” she said. “There is plenty of other land to build houses on!”

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