Brooklyn Heights

Advocacy group says survey shows Pierhouse project juts into protected view plane

Brooklyn Bridge Park: All is legal

October 19, 2015 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The advocacy group Save The View Now says a land survey shows that the penthouse atop the controversial Pierhouse development in Brooklyn Bridge Park extends almost 20 feet into the protected Scenic View Plane.  Photo by Kevin Jones
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A group working to protect the scenic view from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade says a new land survey has discovered that a 20-foot section of the penthouse apartment atop the Pierhouse project in Brooklyn Bridge Park juts into a protected view plane and has to come down.

State Sen. Daniel Squadron and Councilmember Stephen Levin delivered the survey, carried out by Arek Surveying PC in Valley Stream and commissioned by the advocacy group Save The View Now (STVN), to the commissioner of the Department of Buildings (DOB) on Friday.

STVN says the survey shows that “the Penthouse apartment on the top of the building on Parcel B in the Pier 1 development site in Brooklyn Bridge Park extends almost 20 feet into the Scenic View Plane. This significant intrusion into the SV-1 protected area is an egregious violation by Toll Brothers and the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp.”

In the conclusion of his report, surveyor Arek Jusiega writes:

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“As shown on the survey, it is my professional opinion that the penthouse wall encroaches 19.25’ inside the Scenic View Reference Line and intrudes upon the Brooklyn Bridge Scenic View Plane for a total area of 381.4 square feet at a height of 11.9’ to 12.9’ feet.”

The park, however, says that the Pierhouse project is in complete compliance with regulations.

“Brooklyn Bridge Park takes its responsibility to protect the historic View Plane seriously. Last year, at our request, the plans for this project were reviewed by DOB and found to be in compliance with the SV-1 restrictions,” a Brooklyn Bridge Park spokesperson told the Brooklyn Eagle on Monday.

“Again, we have referred this to DOB for its opinion,” the spokesperson added. “As with all projects at Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Pier 1 development will not encroach on the Scenic View District.”

A DOB spokesperson told the Brooklyn Eagle late Monday, “At this time, there have been no changes regarding the Department’s previous determination that the plans for 130 Furman Street comply with the SV-1 zoning restriction.” He added, “The Department will continue to work with the community and review any new documentation regarding compliance concerns for the project with the NYC Construction Codes or Zoning Resolution.”

Squadron: ‘Troubling’

State Sen. Daniel Squadron called the study’s findings “troubling.”

“Time and time again, we’re seeing the negative impacts of building luxury housing in Brooklyn Bridge Park,” Squadron said on Monday.

He added, “This comes on the heels of comments by former Parks Commissioner and BBP Boardmember Benepe about Pier 1, as well as the City Comptroller’s findings that bonding and financing alternatives to more luxury housing at Pier 6 may be possible. It’s critical that the city respond to these serious concerns.”

STVN, led by Heights resident Steven Guterman, unsuccessfully sued the park for allowing “the obliteration” of the views of the Brooklyn Bridge from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade “despite assurances made to the public in 2005 to protect them.” The group plans to revisit the lawsuit.

STVN points its finger at Mayor Bill de Blasio for allowing the project to exceed the height limits.

“This is the latest example of how the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp., a not-for-profit outside of normal NYC government and controlled by the Mayor, has failed to provide any meaningful oversight to the construction by Toll Brothers and Starwood on Pier 1,” STVN said.

STVN and the Brooklyn Heights Association (BHA) had asked Squadron and Levin to deliver the report in order to get the immediate attention of DOB, STVN said.

This article was updated Tuesday morning with a comment from a Department of Buildings spokesperson.

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