Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Community Board 8 sends letter rejecting CB 2's Atlantic Yards map change; advocate Veconi suggests CB 8 expand to Atlantic/Flatbush boundary

Following up its vocal rejection of Community Board 2's plan to expand its borders to include the full Atlantic Yards footprint, Community Board 8 has sent a forceful letter (below) to Mayor Bill de Blasio, Borough President Eric Adams, and Council Member Laurie Cumbo reiterating its stance.

Given the need for consensus, it's unlikely that Community Board 2 can get its way. The question then becomes how this will be resolved.

One advocate suggests Community Board 8 should expand its borders to encompass the rest of the Atlantic Yards site between Flatbush and Atlantic avenues, leaving only one plot west of Flatbush, Site 5 (currently occupied by P.C. Richard and Modell's), for Community Board 6.

In a post on Patch, Prospect Heights Gib Veconi makes a strong argument for including Atlantic Yards in Community Board 8:
Given the challenges of integrating Atlantic Yards into a much less dense existing neighborhood, it would seem obvious that the residents of the Atlantic Yards high-rises should be in the same community board as their low-rise neighbors. The need to integrate also will be especially acute for those towers planned to be built along Vanderbilt Avenue, the “main street” of Prospect Heights. For these reasons, the CB2/CB8 border should be moved not further south to residential Dean Street, but north to Atlantic Avenue, an arterial road that is the natural division between Prospect Heights and Fort Greene.
While extending the CB 6 border east to Vanderbilt Avenue would restore coterminality with the 78th Precinct (expanded to enmpass the project) and "might represent a minor bureaucratic convenience," Veconi suggests it "would be a major disadvantage to consistent neighborhood policy" regarding plans for landmarking, liquor licenses, and traffic calming.

He concludes:
The current carve-outs on the north and west sides of district 8 can no longer be justified as being consistent with the intent of the Charter. And moving them further into Prospect Heights would lead to disenfranchisement of neighborhood residents and business owners. Economic, demographic and land use changes are coming too quickly in Prospect Heights to let that happen. Let’s hope that when the dust settles on this debate, our one community will finally get one Community Board.
Community Board 8 Letter on Atlantic Yards Boundaries, April 11, 2014

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