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The Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council

284 Park Place Brooklyn, NY 11238 (718) 623-1320 www.phndc.org April 30, 2012 The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo Governor of New York State NYS State Capitol Building Albany, NY 12224 Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg City Hall New York, NY 10007 Dear Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg: We are writing to ask you to suspend construction on the Barclays Center arena patron surface parking lot on the block of Prospect Heights bounded by Vanderbilt Avenue, Carlton Avenue, Dean Street and Pacific Street until its plans have been made public and community concerns can be transparently and meaningfully addressed. Representatives of the Empire State Development Corporation and Forest City Ratner Companies originally stated that plans for the lot would be provided in December 2011 and that there would be a period of community review and comment. We have recently been notified construction of the surface parking lot will begin May 1 and that plans will be made public May 22. In the meantime, the parking lot will have been under construction for three weeks. Residences surround the parking lot, and because it is separated from Barclays Center by two avenues, arena patrons and arena related vehicles will be channeled past bedrooms and playground using neighborhood streets and sidewalks. Our concerns are that the parking lot: meets New York States current guidelines for storm water drainage; meets New York City Department of City Planning Design Standards for Commercial and Community Facility Parking Lots over 36 spaces; locates curb cuts off of our local streets; and has no stackers or multi-story parking. In addition, we request Pacific Street be open to public access between 6 th Avenue and Vanderbilt Avenue so that arena patrons using the parking lot will have access and egress, and our community life is able to follow its own imperatives safely during arena events. We presented this input at a meeting attended by representatives from ESDC and Forest City Ratner Companies on March 8, 2012. We have never received a response from either organization. The State used eminent domain to take private property and converted a public street with the understanding this land would be used for housing and open space. Instead, this interim surface parking lot may be in place for 25 years, or more. The NYS Supreme Court Appellate Division referenced the above ground parking in its unanimous reaffirmation this month of a lower court ruling that the ESDC failed to consider the impact of this parking lot on our community when it approved changes to the Atlantic yards project plan in 2009. ESDC has yet to comply with a court order for a supplemental environmental impact statement to be prepared. It now appears the State of New York and the City of New York may allow the developer to build the arena parking lot without any opportunity for input from the community or its elected representatives.
Member Organizations: The Prospect Heights Association The Park Place/Underhill Avenue Block Association The Prospect Heights Parents Association The Dean Street Block Association The Eastern Parkway Cultural Row Neighborhood Association The Vanderbilt Avenue Merchants District The Carlton Avenue Association The Friends of Underhill Playground

Please do not permit ESDC and Forest City Ratner Companies to continue to flout the law and disregard the basic responsibilities of outreach and reasonable accommodation incumbent upon a developer which has been allowed to override City zoning to locate an arena and its accessory parking in a residential neighborhood. We call on you to suspend construction of the surface parking lot on Brooklyn block 1129 pending the release of plans for review and input from elected representatives, Community Board 8, and the lots neighbors. Sincerely,

Thomas H. Boast Vice President

cc:

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz State Senator Velmanette Montgomery State Senator Eric Adams Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries Assemblywoman Joan Millman Councilmember Letitia James Councilmember Stephen Levin NYC Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik- Khan NYC Department of City Planning Director Amanda Burden NYC DEP Commissioner Carter Strickland NYC Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty NYC Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe NYC Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly Mayors Office Director of Special Projects Lolita Jackson Nizjoni Granville, Chair, Community Board 8 Robert Perris, District Manager, Community Board 2 Craig Hammerman, District Manager, Community Board 6 Michelle George, District Manager, Community Board 8