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Brooklyn Bridge Park, Letter from Diane Buxbaum

August 9, 2015

Environmental State Development
Re: Brooklyn Bridge Park General Plan Modification

I have been involved to some degree or another since the late 1990’s in the planning of Brooklyn Bridge Park, from the time it was a series of derelict buildings, parking lots and piers under the curve of the BQE that goes from Atlantic Avenue to a few blocks north of that street under and near Brooklyn Bridge.

I now know it is a thriving park, created by activists with a vision of a park for the people, and not a park for wealthy residents who hope to be able to live in unnecessary and in fact, ill-conceived luxury residential buildings that will remove much needed space, 3 acres from what is one of the smallest true parks in New York City.

Eleven years ago the City and State promised that there would be no more housing than what was needed to fund the Park. That promise has been and is continuing to be broken.

PEOPLE FOR GREEN SPACE FOUNDATION produced an in-depth study which showed that the revenues from the Park itself without any housing are sufficient not only to fund ongoing Park needs including ongoing maintenance, but will provide enough revenue for long-term maintenance and repairs. There will be a surplus of funds that may be able to be used effectively elsewhere.

The 3 acres that have been set aside for the proposed 15 and 31 story luxury towers are totally inappropriate and unnecessary for Brooklyn Bridge Park. The space is needed for the over 100,000 visitors who come the Park on weekends. The income is not needed. And why should a myriad of visitors be subjected to luxury residential complex in a space where all kinds of people of different walks of life come to relax and enjoy life.

The currently proposed buildings will detract from the Grand Entrance that Atlantic Avenue is supposed to be for Brooklyn Bridge Park.

In the area around Brooklyn Bridge Park there have in recent years seen over 12,500 new housing units built, with no new schools, no new transit, no new sewers or other infrastructure, no additional fire or police service, the closure of the 1 good hospital in the area. Why then is an inappropriate, unnecessary building program being pushed for Brooklyn Bridge Park? Why is area needed for the many visitors being given to very wealthy people who should not be living in a Park.

Very important is the lack of concern exhibited by those avaricious developers to any dangers that development in flood zones bring. Why are we ignoring the warnings of our own agencies about sea level rise, more and stronger Sandys and all that climate change is bringing to us.

Parks should be for the people, not for residences. I keep thinking of what Prospect Park would be like if we put residences in Prospect Park. What about Central Park. Would we welcome that?

Since monies are not needed, let us jettison and plans for residential building in Brooklyn Bridge Park or any Park in NYC, for that matter.

LET US CONTINUE TO MAKE BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK FOR THE PARK USERS.

Diane D. Buxbaum, MPH