VIDEO: Gardeners, community members protesting 80 Flatbush development say “Don’t Block Our Sunlight”
Members of Brooklyn Bear’s Rockwell Garden alongside dozens of neighbors from Fort Greene and Boerum Hill, marched around 80 Flatbush Ave. on Thursday while chanting “save our sunlight,” to protest a proposed 925-foot tower at the site that would block natural light to the garden.
The supertall skyscraper is planned to rise diagonally across the meadow, which is bordered by Rockwell Place and Flatbush and Lafayette avenues.
“80 Flatbush with the 78-story tower would be threatening our sunlight for most of the day and throw this garden into shadow,” said Ron Janoff, coordinator of Rockwell Place Brooklyn Bear’s Community Garden.
The project’s draft environmental impact statement concluded that if built, the development would cause “significant adverse impacts” to surrounding areas such as the community garden and the Brooklyn Academy of Music South Plaza.
According to the report, the space would receive less than four hours of direct sunlight a day when taking into account the two hours of light the 300 Ashland tower already strips from the seeded field, an issue that Janoff said would impede the growth of the garden’s peaches, tomatoes, beans, flowers and other plants.
Protesters marched to Councilmember Stephen Levin’s office to ask him not to support the development, which requires a rezoning approval from the City Council to triple existing zoning limits for the project site.
“Don’t sell us out,” said one of the signs written with chalk on the sidewalk outside Levin’s office.
As the local councilmember, Levin could hold a decisive vote in the approval process.
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