The result of the vote on the resolution for the Toll Brothers spot zoning approval that occurred last night at the Community Board 6 meeting was basically a wash as there was no majority rule, it will have to be brung again before the board next month. More people were for the resolution to disapprove the spot zoning than against it. The board members for the resolution had legitimate reason to question this project. Environmental cleanup being number one. Many local residents spoke passionately and with concern about the project, no one I might add, was against something happening along the canal- it’s just that this particular project is not the right one. There are certain board members that have the twisted philosophy that in order to clean the canal you must build first. The ONLY folks in community who spoke on their side were union construction workers who basically used the guilt card that this project means jobs. Well, I have nothing against jobs but I would think that they wouldn’t want to be working on a job where they may be endangering their lives putting their hands in toxic soil. Does anybody recall the after effects of working down at the former world trade center? Hello! Cancer?! There is most likely asbestos and worse in the soil down on the shores of the Gowanus! They did have a representative to answer environmental cleanup questions but he was a tad casual and actually admitted that he “didn’t know much about that project” when someone brought up the languishing Whole Foods site. He stressed that there are broken ceramics in the soil more than heavy metals and other carcinegeous materials. And don’t get me started on their sewage solution. They are going to take care of their own shit. That board member also said that in order for the city to repair the strained sewage system on Bond Street, you must build first. (I want some of her drugs, or maybe the ones the woman who said the “canal has the clap”! and "let's get some "nice" people down there"!)
And again I have to say the most apparent thing about this meeting is that there were no REAL "pro" voices from the community other than members of the Gowanus Canal Development Corporation who for whatever reason have a huge hard on for this project, unknown health issues be damned! And oh yeah, Councilman Bill De Blasio made a brief appearance saying he is for affordable housing but if it’s not cleaned properly he’s not for it. Then he left and didn’t bother to listen to the community speak.
To read a much more detailed coverage of this three hour circus, click here to read the Pardon Me For Asking Blog’s coverage.