|CD 2 at top. CD 6 at left, CD 8 lower right. Inset east of |
6th Ave. below arena drawn to put 78th Precinct in CB 6
|Three NYPD precincts, before 78th Precinct boundary|
was extended to include malls and Atlantic Yards
Atlantic Yards residents likely will be shopping on Prospect Heights streets like Vanderbilt Avenue and Flatbush Avenue, as well as at the malls above Atlantic Avenue.
District Manager Robert Perris explained that the City Charter provides an opportunity to revise the community district boundaries every ten years, beginning in the third year after the decennial census. He suggested the process could be used to bring the community district and police precinct boundaries back into alignment (“coterminality”). The 78th Precinct was expanded north into Community District 2 (CD2) when the Barclays Center opened in September 2012. Previously, CD2 included all of, and exclusively, the 84th and 88th precincts.CB 6 reaction
Mr. Perris recalled that this matter was previously discussed at the August 2013 committee meeting. At that time, strong concern was expressed that CD2 residents would lose access to employment and affordable housing benefits associated with Atlantic Yards if none of the mixed-use development was in the community district.
Since August, Mr. Perris was able to obtain an assurance from Forest City Ratner Companies, developer of Atlantic Yards, that it would maintain its job training, hiring and referral commitments to CD2 residents––in particular residents of the Ingersoll, Whitman, Farragut and Atlantic Terminal developments––even if Atlantic Yards is outside of CD2. He also received assurances from the Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the Housing Development Corporation that they would consider residents of CD2 when determining the community preference for any affordable housing they funded or oversaw.
Despite the new assurances, the committee remained concerned that removing Atlantic Yards from the community district would have negative consequences. Towards the end of discussion, Mr. Perris mentioned that his original inclination was to recommend moving the community district boundary south. He argued that a major public assembly destination and complex of mid-rise apartments were typologically more like CD2 than Community Districts 6 or 8. However, when the police precinct boundaries were redrawn, he changed his opinion in favor of restoring coterminality.
John Harrison moved to recommend Community Board 2 request that the district boundaries be adjusted so all of Atlantic Yards and related property be within Community District 2. Sidney Meyer seconded the motion, which was approved by a vote of ten in favor, none opposed, Shirley McRae abstaining (10-0-1).
Mr. Harrison did not suggest a specific boundary. During the committee discussion, Mr. Perris stated the most straight-forward change would be to request that the portion of the boundary between Fourth and Vanderbilt avenues be moved one block south, from Pacific Street to Dean Street.
When this was last discussed by our Executive Committee in late 2013, it was the general consensus of our committee that there is tremendous value to preserving and re-establishing coterminality. When the City redrew the police precinct boundaries, that threw coterminality out of whack which makes it extra challenging to monitor and coordinate the delivery of municipal services.CB 8 reaction
The committee also believed that for us to endorse a specific map change at that time, especially without consensus from the 3 affected community boards and formal engagement with the Administration, would have been premature. We are still interested in engaging our sister boards and the Administration in a process where we can discuss and explore options for how best to re-establish coterminality and reflect that with revisions to the community district map.
Since this process starts with the Mayor's Office, we presented the issue to the new CAU Commissioner when we met with him at City Hall on March 6th. At this time we are waiting to hear back from him.
Michelle George, District Manager of Community Board 8, said it was premature for CB 8 to comment, but the Executive Committee will meet on April 10 to discuss the issue.
"Coterminality is a red herring," the member told me. "The decision to expand the 78th precinct boundary is a legitimate exception to the principle of coterminality, protected by the charter. But co-terminality takes a backseat to other concerns. Community district boundaries are supposed to respect neighborhood boundaries."
Then, on Twitter, Gib Veconi of the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council suggested that co-terminality would be a disaster for Prospect Heights. He suggested that Atlantic Avenue be a firm border for CB 2 and that Flatbush or Sixth be western borders for CB 8.