Testimony Against 182 15th Street Development

March, 29 2006

Testimony Presented to:
Board of Standards and Appeals

Submitted By:
Joan L. Millman
Member of Assembly, 52nd Assembly District

Re: 182 15th Street Brooklyn

Thank you for the opportunity today to comment on the proposed development on 182 15th Street in South Park Slope. As the Assemblymember for the 52nd Assembly District, representing Brooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, DUMBO, Vinegar Hill, and Park Slope, I join the South Slope Community in their effort to halt out-of-scale development and preserve the distinct character of their neighborhood. I urge you to deny Global Development's application for 182 15th Street in my district to be vested under the R6 zoning code regulations.

As you are aware, in November of 2005 the City Council overwhelmingly voted to preserve the character of the South Slope area by enacting strict regulations on development. This was part of a larger effort to maintain low rise residential structures on side blocks, while allowing for more development on the avenues. Just prior to the enactment of the new zoning code, the developers made a calculated effort to circumvent the oncoming regulations and rush the construction of a new foundation.

In doing so, the developer built the portion of the foundation using dangerous building practices that are contrary to code. As my constituents have reported to me, unsafe construction practices occurred beyond the permitted work hours and without the proper permits. Furthermore, the Department of Buildings issued objections for incomplete and unlawful plans as well as a stop work order for demolition. It is clear that the portion of the foundation that was finished, was completed only by violating the rules set to protect our communities and our workers.

Beyond the unsafe practices used by Global Development, I firmly believe that the proposed building is contrary to the spirit of the neighborhood and the intention of the new zoning designation. Whether half the foundation was built prior to the enactment of the new zoning code or the day after, the effect remains the same. The 12 story structure planned at 182 15th Street will dwarf the surrounding three and four story row houses and will be out of context with the rest of the neighborhood.

Please take into consideration the concerns of the community for this property in my district and the proposed developments across the South Park Slope area. While I am excited about aspects of development in Brooklyn, we need to be cautious as we move forward and ensure that development is sensitive to the surrounding community. In light of these cautions I strongly recommend denying the application of 182 15th Street for vesting under the new zoning designation.

Thank you for your consideration on this matter.