Page 1


TABLE OF CONTENTS SUMMARY

1

1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3

PROJECT OVERVIEW Purpose of the Plan The Planning Process Community Outreach and Visioning

15 15 16 17

2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9

COMMUNITY PROFILE Study Area Boundaries History of Gowanus Development Demographics Industrial Business Climate Canal and Watershed Characterization Bulkheads Land Uses Zoning Transportation

15 18 21 22 30 33 38 39 60 63

3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5

VISION STATEMENT “Green” Community Two Districts: One Community South District Redevelopment Opportunity Sites North District Redevelopment Opportunity Sites Assets and Opportunities

66 66 68 74 80 84

4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7

IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY “Green” Community Water Quality Improvements Bulkhead Replacement Brownfields Redevelopment Special Mixed-Use Zoning District Special Improvement District Financial Resources

89 89 91 94 97 102 102 103

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

105

CONSULTANT TEAM

109

WORKS CITED

110

APPENDICES

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following 110


Preface

See it. Shape it. Share it. Gowanus Canal Comprehensive Community Plan This document consists of four (4) chapters and an executive summary. Chapter 1 is a general introduction and plan overview. Chapter 2 summarizes the history of the canal, including various technical studies undertaken in the past and currently underway, and examines existing conditions, such as demographics, environmental constraints, and land use and development patterns and trends. Chapter 3 describes the design principles and “vision� as developed by the Gowanus Canal CDC (GCCDC) and community, including the challenges that lie ahead. Chapter 4 describes the strategic plan for implementing suggested measures, including an implementation schedule, and various zoning and other regulatory tools that should be used to bring the plan to fruition.

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Summary 1

SUMMARY

The Comprehensive Community Plan was commissioned by the Gowanus Canal CDC (GCCDC) in April of 2004 with funds from an Economic Development Initiatives Special Project Grant secured by Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The plan is envisioned as a balancing of competing community demands and interests to ensure that public and private development decisions are consistent with an overall vision for Gowanus. The planning process was highly participatory, engaging citizens and stakeholders in formulating this vision relative to the creative reuse and redevelopment of underutilized sites surrounding the canal. The analysis and recommendations of this plan provide the framework for growing a sustainable, “green” community. Gowanus’ character and strength have always been dependent on its geographic and historic links to the water and surrounding mix of industrial, commercial, residential and recreational uses. The community strongly supports the restoration of the canal for its historic, ecological and recreational value and embraces the health of the canal as a critical element for achieving revitalization. The continued restoration of the canal becomes the impetus for transforming Gowanus into a “green community” that practices sustainability in all aspects of its daily life and operations. Sound environmental practices influence property owners, tenants and visitors as they carry out daily activities as residents, retailers, industrialists and guests. The community endorses the recent efforts and publication of New York City’s Department of Design and Construction, “High Performance Infrastructure Guidelines,” as one of its guides to establishing itself as a “green community.” Additional priorities identified by the community include: utilization of the canal as a public amenity; improved and increased open spaces; and adaptive reuse of existing underutilized buildings and infrastructure. Key elements of the implementation strategy over the next three to five years include: ! establishing Gowanus as a “green community” dedicated to sustainability; ! promoting land use regulations that allow authentic mixed-uses to be retained, revitalized, and newly developed, permitting a combination of light industrial, commercial, retail and residential uses; ! exploring the creation of a Special Improvement District to focus on business conditions while promoting sustainability; and ! seeking multiple potential implementation funding sources, including brownfield grants, TEA-21 funds and LEED incentive financial assistance.

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Summary 2

The plan recommends potential opportunity sites for re-development activities within the study area (see Figure 1). These sites are categorized into either a south or north district. The south district, which contains a designated Empire Zone, is characterized by large blocks, large buildings and water-related industry and would be strengthened primarily as an industrial area; the north district, characterized by smaller blocks and smaller building types, would encourage mixed uses, e.g. light industry, small scale commercial and contextual residential uses in keeping with the scale, design and character of surroundings. Figure 1: Study Area Boundaries

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Summary 3

Recommended opportunity sites in the south district include: (1) Smith and Ninth Streets intersection/ transit station; (2) Second Avenue from Hamilton Avenue to the canal; and (3) Public Place, which stands out as a hinge between the two districts due to its location, size and history (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: South District Opportunity Sites

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Summary 4

The Smith and Ninth Street intersection should become an active “4-corner” retail location, keying on the active transit station. The station should be rehabilitated and expanded to serve the east side of the canal. Ground level retail could be added, as well as an upper level restaurant to take advantage of the spectacular views. Recreation/ public market uses under the viaduct adjacent to Lowe’s are a natural attraction that could take place under short or long term lease arrangements (see Figure 3).

Figure 3: Opportunity Site at Smith and Ninth Streets

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Summary 5

Improvements to and reuse of existing industrial infrastructure are recommended along the Second Avenue industrial corridor. A study is recommended to determine the best approach to create a 21st century industrial district to serve and expand existing industry that is environmentally sound (see Figure 4).

Figure 4: Opportunity Site along Second Avenue Industrial Corridor

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Summary 6

The Public Place site, including the adjacent warehouse to the south, offers the greatest potential due to its size, ownership and frontage along the canal. The controlling determinant is current contamination and the extent of clean up required (cost and time being critical issues). The best use of this area is shown (see Figure 5) recommending residential uses, retail along Smith Street frontage, plus extensive open space and access to and along the canal.

Figure 5: Opportunity Site at Public Place (Residential Use)

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Summary 7

Recommended opportunity sites in the north district include: (1) the area surrounding Thomas Greene Park; (2) the southeast corner of Union and Bond Streets; and (3) the former MTA Power Plant site extended - Third Street to Carroll Street and from Third Avenue to the canal (see Figure 6).

Figure 6: North District Opportunity Sites

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Summary 8

Thomas Greene Park represents a significant public facility that should attract significant private investment. It offers an opportunity to provide healthy mixed uses, e.g. enclosed, small, light industry, reused loft buildings, residential or commercial uses, and new residential contextual buildings on the sites now occupied by open industrial operations, which could be relocated to the south district or other appropriate locations (see Figure 7).

Figure 7: Opportunity Site at Thomas Greene Park

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Summary 9

The Union and Bond Street site presents an opportunity to convert an older commercial structure into a modern contextual residential use while providing access to, and along, the canal from the Union Street Bridge (see Figure 8).

Figure 8: Opportunity Site at Intersection of Union and Bond Streets

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Summary 10

The area around the old MTA power plant offers quality large-scale development potential. Re-establishing First and Second Streets from Third Avenue to the canal would reinforce the district’s street and block pattern and permit the reuse of the power plant as a historic centerpiece. Additional residential uses in scale with the neighborhood (3-5 stories), retail along Third Avenue and Third Street, plus pedestrian access to a new esplanade along the canal, via Carroll, First, Second and Third Streets, would establish significant new energy in the community while retaining its historic character.

Figure 9: Opportunity Site at the Power Station Site

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Summary 11

Gowanus benefits from special community features that are assets and resources upon which to focus and feature as stimulants to future market forces, including: !

the New York City Pumping Station (exterior restoration and potential reuse as an environmental/ educational facility);

!

Union Street, Carroll Street and Third Street Bridges (rehabilitation and lighting to highlight industrial infrastructure);

!

street ends (develop as gathering spaces and places to access the water);

!

connecting street ends with pedestrian bridges (as part of the above-referenced development opportunities or an open space connecting scheme); and

!

an industrial infrastructure lighting strategy.

Figure 10: Special Community Features

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Summary 12

Figure 11: Street Ends

Figure 12: Pedestrian Bridge Links

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Summary 13

Figure 13: Industrial Infrastructure Lighting Strategy

In addition to an educated and active private sector involvement in establishing a “green community,” the water quality in the canal must be improved by continuing current public actions (city, state and federal agencies). Recommended near term water quality improvements include: !

upgrading the combined sewer pumping stations and outfalls, particularly the facilities at the Second Avenue pumping station and its associated outfall, to greatly reduce/ eliminate total annual combined sewer outfall (CSO) discharge(s).

Recommended long term water quality improvements include: !

achieving a water quality grading of at least B (this may require an alternate solution to the existing CSO system);

!

repairing and/ or replacing bulkheads lining the canal;

!

creation of a “green” stormwater district for the Gowanus watershed;

!

incorporating wetlands into the canal’s watershed; and

!

upgrading the stormwater system (sewer system re-construction).

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Summary 14

The following brownfield sites were highlighted, due to their potential impacts to the canal’s sediments and water, and were recommended for remediation and redevelopment, for which regulatory programs/ community assistance are also outlined: !

Former Citizen Works MGP Site

!

Former Metropolitan Gas Works MGP Site

!

Former Fulton Gas Works MGP Site

!

Fourth, Sixth and Seventh Street Turning Basins

!

Former Brooklyn Rapid Transit Authority Power Station Site

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Project Overview 15

1.0

PROJECT OVERVIEW

1.1

Purpose of the Plan

The plan for the area surrounding the Gowanus Canal was conceived as a way to establish community-based guidelines for growth and redevelopment in order to maximize land value and development opportunities consistent with community character, improve the business environment, and enhance the quality of life for residents. Through a combination of technical analysis and community input, the plan addresses a variety of issues including development of industrial and mixed-use zones; environmental and canal restoration efforts and facilitation of the reuse of abandoned or underutilized buildings and sites; park and open space needs; improved site circulation; and public access to the canal. The plan is long-range in nature and describes how the community would like to develop over the next 5 to 10 years, outlining community values and a strategic framework for improved sustainability and environmental quality. The purpose of the Plan is to guide future growth through the provision of orderly, coordinated and beneficial development based on the following development goals and objectives which resulted from the public participation process: !

Restore health to the canal and utilize it as a public amenity;

!

Launch and embrace a community-wide “green� initiative;

!

Retain and enhance the unique mix of residential, retail, commercial and industrial uses in Gowanus;

!

Retain the low intensity development character of Gowanus;

!

Retain and improve the industrial/commercial district to the south;

!

Reinforce the mixed-use (residential, commercial and industrial) district to the north;

!

Improve and increase public open spaces throughout the community; and

!

Encourage adaptive reuse of existing buildings.

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Project Overview 16

1.2

The Planning Process

The GCCDC initiated the planning process by identifying the need to develop a Comprehensive Community Plan in April 2004 and retaining a multi-disciplinary consultant team shortly thereafter. The GCCDC received an Economic Development Initiatives Special Project Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to fund the development of the plan. The Consultant team selected by the GCCDC board to carry out the planning effort includes Ferrandino & Associates Inc., Planning and Development Consultants (team leader); Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects; Langan Engineering and Environmental Services; and ACP Visioning and Planning, Ltd. The plan has been developed as a logically calculated series of events and actions, and is the result of a process that blends technical input with community ideals. The GCCDC has served as the “client” and advisory body for the planning process. Building upon the GCCDC’s efforts to date, the consultant team’s assignment to develop a Comprehensive Community Plan for the improvement of the area surrounding the Gowanus Canal included the following: !

Community outreach and visioning, including workshops to elicit public input;

!

Communication with interested stakeholders and selected community leaders, including elected officials, Brooklyn City Planning, the GCCDC Board of Directors, Brooklyn Community Board Six, Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation, key professionals, civic and environmental groups, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers;

!

Survey of relevant background studies/reports (particularly those commissioned by the GCCDC), literature and historical records (summaries can be found in Appendix A;

!

Analysis of U.S. census demographics and development-related documents;

!

Analysis and documentation of existing conditions, including land use, zoning, community and historic resources, industrial business activities, transportation and utility infrastructure (bulk head conditions), etc.;

!

Assessment of needs and identification of issues and opportunities (underutilized sites);

!

Articulation of a “vision” and crafting of alternative (re)development approaches; and

!

Formulation of revitalization strategies and specific recommended actions to be implemented.

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Project Overview 17

1.3

Community Outreach and Visioning

The GCCDC mobilized a significant effort to involve the entire community in the preparation of the plan, assisting in the development of design principles and providing feedback on the evolution of the vision statement. The public involvement process began with a kick-off meeting on July 15, 2004 in the Community Room of the Brooklyn Borough Hall. The goal of this public forum was to understand the broad array of issues faced by the Gowanus community and to begin to think about potential visions for the future development and redevelopment of the area. Sixty-five representatives of the community, government and business establishments were in attendance. A summary of the meeting, including results of activities conducted and comments collected, as well as the PowerPoint presentation, is included in Appendix B. The GCCDC sponsored a Community Visioning work session on September 13, 2004 at St. Thomas Aquinas Church to solicit public input in an informal exchange of ideas regarding the future vision for the area. An analysis of existing land use conditions and trends was presented. Mapping was then provided to guide discussions in breakout groups on potential impacts of proposed land use changes on the surrounding neighborhood. Participants were divided into groups of 6-10 persons led by a facilitator to “brainstorm” the following topics: manufacturing/industrial uses; residential uses; commercial uses; public gathering spaces; historic/key structures; and transportation/circulation. Participants identified areas of consensus and divergence. A total of 54 participants registered at the work session. A summary, including documentation of the mapping exercise and comment cards, is included in Appendix C. A Workshop Meeting with the GCCDC was held on November 29, 2004 at the offices of Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects to obtain additional comment and input on planning concepts; information and dialogue was again shared during a stakeholders’ workshop on January 10, 2005. After further refining the conceptual analysis, a meeting was held with elected officials on February 11, 2005, followed by a second public forum on March 29, 2005 at the Carroll Street School Auditorium at which the consultant team and the GCCDC presented the draft plan to the public. The PowerPoint presentation is included in Appendix D and on the GCCDC website. A final presentation of the plan was made on June 26, 2006 at St. Agnes Parish.

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Project Overview 18

2.0

COMMUNITY PROFILE

This chapter describes development features in Gowanus including historical background, demographic characteristics, and a discussion of existing land use patterns, infrastructure, and environmental conditions. These data were derived from a variety of sources including U.S. Census Bureau data, GCCDC studies and reports, interviews with public officials, etc.

2.1

Study Area Boundaries

The Gowanus area is one-half mile south of the downtown Brooklyn central business district. The area is surrounded by residential neighborhoods – Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill and Park Slope (see Figure 14). The study area includes 83 blocks around the Gowanus Canal (see Map 1). The Gowanus Canal begins just north of Douglas Street and winds its way south and west, emptying into the Gowanus Bay. The canal has three major spurs, also known as lateral canals or barge-turning basins, which extend east at Seventh Street, Sixth Street, and Fourth Street. A smaller turning basin remains on the east side of the canal at Eleventh Street. The Gowanus Bay is part of the Upper New York Bay, an estuary where the Hudson River flows into the Atlantic Ocean. The canal borders the neighborhoods of Red Hook and South Brooklyn on the west and Park Slope on the east. The main channel of the canal is 1.3 miles long from the flushing tunnel at the head of the canal southward to the Hamilton Avenue Bridge. The three major turning basins together add almost 0.5 miles to the total length of the waterway. The study area encompasses the shoreline of the main channel of the canal north of Hamilton, the shoreline of the tributary turning basins, and the surrounding land for one block inland.

Gowanus Canal Comprehensive Community Plan | Gowanus Canal CDC

The Gowanus Canal, near Smith and Ninth Streets, with the Gowanus Expressway in the distance


Community Profile 19

Figure 14: Community Context

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Community Profile 20

Map 1: Study Area

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Project Overview 21

2.2

History of Gowanus Development

The Gowanus Canal was originally a tidal inlet of small creeks in the original saltwater marshland of South Brooklyn. The early settlers of the area named the waterway “Gowanus Creek” after Gouwane, leader of the local Lenape tribe called the Canarsee. As the need for navigational and docking facilities in the burgeoning port of New York City grew, in 1848 the New York State Legislature approved funds to construct the 1 ½ mile long Gowanus Canal (completed in the late 1860s). Providing freight transport, the Gowanus Canal soon became a hub of Brooklyn’s maritime and commercial trade activity. Factories sprang up along the banks of the canal as it became one of Brooklyn’s key locations for concentrating heavy industry, including coal yards, gas manufacturing plants, oil refineries, machine shops, chemical plants, cement works, sulfur producers, soap factories and tanneries. Supported by these industries, a large residential community mostly of Irish and Scandinavian descent developed around the industrial core. The adjacent neighborhoods of South Brooklyn were growing rapidly, eventually requiring a sewer connection that ended up discharging raw sewage into the Gowanus Canal. By 1900, the combination of industrial pollutants and runoff from the stormwater and sewage system had rendered the waterway a repository of rank odors, known to residents as “Lavender Lake.” In 1911, a tunnel was constructed connecting the head of the canal at Butler Street east to the Buttermilk Channel. The new flushing station pump circulated the stagnant water in the canal, alleviating the noxious odor problem.1 The construction of the Gowanus/Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in 1951 led to the eventual decline of the Gowanus Canal as trucking supplanted waterborne shipping. The expressway provided an efficient transportation alternative for many formerly canal-dependent industries and linked Gowanus to the metropolitan region. Industrial activity on the canal declined substantially during this period as a result of economic changes, and by the late 1970s it was estimated that over 50 percent of the property in Gowanus was unused and derelict.2

1

New York City Department of City Planning. Gowanus: A Strategy for Industrial Retention, October

2

Ibid.

1985.

Gowanus Canal Comprehensive Community Plan | Gowanus Canal CDC


Community Profile 22

To accommodate the boom of residential expansion, the renovation of brownstone buildings in South Brooklyn in the 1970s drew new residents to the neighborhoods of Gowanus, free of any ties to the nearby waterfront industry. This movement was marked by a new appreciation for environmental issues that continues to be the driving force for reviving the Gowanus Canal today. These efforts have resulted in the Red Hook Wastewater Treatment Facility’s construction, and beginning in 1989 raw sewage was no longer flushed directly into the Gowanus Canal. The reactivation of the flushing tunnel pump in the spring of 1999 has reduced the smell long associated with the area, but the Gowanus community still faces environmental challenges, such as contaminated brownfields and pollution of the canal waters from combined sewage overflows.

2.3

Demographics

This section compares the population characteristics of the study area relative to Brooklyn and New York City as a whole, with respect to sex, age, race, income, and housing trends. The study area contains the following census tracts: 71, 75, 77, 117, 121, 123, 125 and 127 (see Map 2). Population In 2000, approximately 22,512 persons lived in the immediate vicinity of the canal. This population was lower than that of surrounding residential neighborhoods in part because the area is primarily zoned for manufacturing use. Approximately 58 percent of residents lived to the west of the canal; the remaining 42 percent lived to the east of the canal. As noted in Table 1, the population in the study area census tracts decreased between 1960 and 1990 by 10.4, 18.6 and 12.7 percent for each respective decade, reflecting manufacturing activity, but increased by 9.2 percent between 1990 and 2000 (less than 1 percent increase on average each year), reflecting increased housing demand throughout the region.

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Community Profile 23

Map 2: Study Area Census Tracts

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Community Profile 24

1990 5,204 3,784 3,532 2,299 1,566 268 961 3,002 20,616 -12.7

2000 4,609 4,454 3,905 2,788 1,796 315 1,240 3,405 22,512 9.2

Study Area Population: 1960-2000 Number of Persons

Table 1: Study Area Population (1960 – 2000) Census Tracts 1960 1970 1980 71 7,880 6,613 5,496 75 6,243 5,997 4,932 77 5,537 4,450 3,939 117 3,829 2,971 2,365 121 2,622 2,244 1,581 123 60 1,147 308 125 1,955 1,494 1,164 127 4,212 4,069 3,821 Total 32,338 28,985 23,606 Percentage Change NA -10.4 -18.6

Table 2: Population Trends in Study Area, Brooklyn and New York City (1990 – 2000) Study Area Brooklyn New York City

Percentage Change

Data Source: U.S. Census 2000, extrapolated by Ferrandino & Associates Inc. (August 2004).

Percent Change in Population Growth: Study Area, Brooklyn and New York City, 1990-2000 10 8 6 4 2 0

9.2

7.2

9.4

Study Area

Brooklyn

New York City

Percent Change

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20,000 10,000 1960

1980 Year

Table 2 shows a trend in the study area similar to New York City as a whole, which experienced a 9.4 percent increase between 1990 and 2000, but a higher rate of growth relative to the 7.2 percent increase in Brooklyn.

2000 Population 22,512 2,465,326 8,008,278

30,000

0

Data Source: U.S. Census 2000, extrapolated by Ferrandino & Associates Inc. (August 2004).

1990 Population 20,616 2,300,664 7,322,564

40,000

9.2 7.2 9.4

2000


Community Profile 25

Sex/Age Table 3 shows that in 2000 the largest share of the population, or approximately 66 percent, in the study area was between 18 and 60 years of age. The median age (both sexes) was 32.5. Table 3: Study Area Age Distribution (2000) Age Male under 18 Male ages 18- 60 Male over 60 Male Total Female under 18 Female ages 18- 60 Female over 60 Female Total

71 718 1,096 182 1,996 660 1,578 375 2,613

75 326 1,530 265 2,121 325 1,626 382 2,333

Study Area Census Tracts 77 117 121 123 237 343 199 25 1,364 958 587 133 224 111 82 16 1,825 1,412 868 174 283 317 209 24 1,396 900 602 102 401 159 117 15 2,080 1,376 928 141

125 113 438 58 609 129 392 110 631

127 472 915 225 1,612 385 1,122 286 1,793

Total 2,433 7,021 1,163 10,617 2,332 7,718 1,845 11,895

Data Source: U.S. Census 2000, extrapolated by Ferrandino & Associates Inc. (August 2004).

Study Area Sex by Age Distribution, 2000 Female over 60, 8%

Female ages 1860, 35%

Male under 18, 11%

Male ages 1860, 31%

Female under Male over 60, 5% 18, 10%

Table 4: Study Area Race Distribution (2000) Study Area Census Tracts Race 71 75 77 117 121 123 White 1,330 3,669 3,047 1,248 793 212 Black 2,225 130 242 287 164 24 American Indian/ 44 4 8 15 16 7 Alaskan Native Asian 55 145 170 189 145 1 Native Hawaiian and other Pacific 2 2 2 0 3 Islander Other races 953 504 436 1,049 675 71 Total 4,609 4,454 3,905 2,788 1,796 315

125 589 152

127 947 1,275

Total 11,835 4,499

Percent 52.6 19.9

3

34

131

0.6

35

42

782

3.5

0

5

14

0.1

461 1,240

1,102 3,405

5,251 22,512

23.3 100

Data Source: U.S. Census 2000, extrapolated by Ferrandino & Associates Inc. (August 2004).

Gowanus Canal Comprehensive Community Plan | Gowanus Canal CDC


Community Profile 26

Study Area Race Distribution, 2000 Other races, 23%

Asian, 3%

White, 53%

American Indian/ Alaskan Native, 1% Black, 20%

Table 5: Race Distribution in Study Area, Brooklyn and New York City (2000) Study Area Brooklyn Race Population Percent Population Percent White 11,835 52.6 1,015,728 41.2 Black 4,499 19.9 898,350 36.4 American Indian and 131 0.6 10,117 0.4 Alaska Native Asian 782 3.5 185,818 7.5 Native Hawaiian and 14 0.1 1,465 0.1 other Pacific Islander Other races 5,251 23.3 353,848 14.4 Total 22,512 100 2,465,326 100 Data Source: U.S. Census 2000, extrapolated by Ferrandino & Associates Inc. (August 2004).

Race Tables 4 and 5 indicate that in 2000 the study area was comprised of 52.6 percent white persons, which is proportionally higher than Brooklyn (41.2 percent) and New York City as a whole (44.7 percent). The black population constituted 19.9 percent of the total, which is lower than that of Brooklyn (36.4 percent) and New York City as a whole (26.6 percent). Table 6 shows that 35.8 percent of the population in the study area was Hispanic, which was much higher than 19.8 percent and 27 percent in Brooklyn and New York City respectively in 2000.

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New York City Population Percent 3,576,385 44.7 2,129,762 26.6 41,289

0.5

787,047

9.8

5,430

0.1

1,468,365 8,008,278

18.3 100


Community Profile 27

Table 6: Hispanic Population in Study Area, Brooklyn and New York City (2000) Study Area Brooklyn New York City Race Population Percent Population Percent Population Percent Hispanic 8,056 35.8 487,878 19.8 2,160,554 27 Non14,456 64.2 1,977,448 80.2 5,847,724 73 Hispanic Total 22,512 100 2,465,326 100 8,008,278 100 Data Source: U.S. Census 2000, extrapolated by Ferrandino & Associates Inc. (August 2004).

Income As shown in Table 7, 52.2 percent of the households in the study area had incomes above $35,000 in 2000. The graph below indicates that the median household income of the study area census tracts was approximately $37,500 in 2000, which was higher than the median household income of Brooklyn as a whole ($32,135), but lower than that of New York City ($39,939). It appears that the study area provides a stable population base that is able to support local retail. Table 7: Study Area Household Income (2000) Study Area Census Tracts Household Income 71 75 77 117 121 123 <$15,000 675 193 366 260 145 31 $15,000-$24,999 226 86 251 170 89 34 $25,000-$34,999 160 188 218 166 74 8 $35,000-$49,999 166 312 258 137 152 0 $50,000-$74,999 199 389 414 196 151 55 $75,000-$99,999 118 326 243 90 16 14 $100,000-$149,999 92 252 92 23 35 0 >$150,000 63 316 170 4 12 0

125 127 98 45 82 58 59 7 0

127 535 219 127 132 147 62 36 16

Total 2,332 1,173 986 1,239 1,609 948 537 581

Data Source: U.S. Census 2000, extrapolated by Ferrandino & Associates Inc. (August 2004).

Table 8: Median Household Income: Study Area, Brooklyn, New York City (2000) $37,500

Study Area

$39,939 $32,135

Brooklyn

New York City

Data Source: U.S. Census 2000, extrapolated by Ferrandino & Associates Inc. (August 2004).

Gowanus Canal Comprehensive Community Plan | Gowanus Canal CDC

Percent 24.8 12.5 10.5 13.2 17.1 10.0 5.7 6.2


Community Profile 28

Table 9 reveals that the study area tracts, except tracts 75 and 77, had a relatively low per capita income (range from $12,284 to $19,256) in 1999, which was similar to the average per capita income in Brooklyn ($16,775) and lower than that of New York City as a whole ($22,402). Table 10 shows that there was a drop (-0.8 percent) and then a slow rise (1.5 percent) in per capita income in Brooklyn in 2001 and 2002 respectively. These tracts comprise a large working class base with an appropriate income range to support a portion of the labor needs of the manufacturing sectors in the vicinity, such as the industries in the Gowanus area and the Sunset Park SMIA3 south of the Gowanus Expressway. Table 9: Per Capita Income in Study Area, Brooklyn and New York City (2000) Study Area Census Tracts 71 75 77 117 121 123 125 Per Capita Income ($) 14,795 44,098 29,595 14,035 16,986 19,256 15,983

127 12,284

Data Source: U.S. Census 2000, extrapolated by Ferrandino & Associates Inc. (August 2004).

Table 10: Brooklyn Population and Income (1997-2002) Per Capita Personal Annual Percentage Change Year Population Income ($) of Per Capita Income (%) 2002 2,475,650 25,138 1.5 2001 2,479,923 24,772 -0.8 2000 2,467,778 24,965 5.8 1999 2,447,352 23,596 4.9 1998 2,422,434 22,500 3.9 1997 2,401,148 21,649 -Data Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis, New York State Department of Commerce, extrapolated by Ferrandino & Associates Inc. (August 2004).

Households and Housing Table 11 indicates that in 2000 there were approximately 9,400 households in the study area with an average household size of approximately 2.38, which was smaller than that of Brooklyn (2.75) and New York City as a whole (2.59). Table 12 shows an increase of 17 percent in the number of households between 1990 and 2000 in the study area, which was significantly higher than the 6.4 percent increase in Brooklyn and 7.3 percent increase in New York City. The study area housing supply increased by 11.2 percent, which was more than that of Brooklyn (6.5 percent) and New York City (7 percent). The vacancy rate in the study area dropped from 8.1 percent in 1990 to 4.5 percent in 2000, while that of Brooklyn and New York City increased slightly by 0.2 percent during the same period to 5.4 percent and 5.6 percent, respectively. 3

Significant Maritime and Industrial Area under the New York City Waterfront Revitalization Program.

Gowanus Canal Comprehensive Community Plan | Gowanus Canal CDC

Brooklyn

New York City

16,775

22,402


Community Profile 29

Table 11: Study Area Households and Housing (2000) Study Area Census Tracts 71 75 77 117 121 123

125

127

Total

Households

1,718

2,170

1,917

1,030

689

126

473

1,264

9,387

Average household size

2.67

2.05

2.01

2.71

2.61

2.46

2.49

2.66

2.38

Housing units

1,776

2,243

2,003

1,118

756

132

503

1,295

9,826

Occupied

1,718

2,170

1,917

1,030

689

126

473

1,264

9,387

58

73

86

88

67

6

30

31

439

Vacant

Data Source: U.S. Census 2000, extrapolated by Ferrandino & Associates Inc. (August 2004).

As indicated in Table 12 below, the number of small-sized households in Gowanus increased between 1990 and 2000. Average household size was smaller in the study area (2.38) than in Brooklyn (2.75). Furthermore, the supply of housing in the study area increased at a rate slower than the increase in number of households. Table 12: Households and Housing in Study Area, Brooklyn and New York City (1990 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2000) Study Area Brooklyn New York City Percent Percent Percent 1990 2000 1990 2000 1990 2000 Change Change Change Households 8,022 9,387 17 827,679 880,727 6.4 2,816,274 3,021,588 7.3 Average Household -2.38 --2.75 --2.59 -Size Housing Units 8,834 9,826 11.2 873,671 930,866 6.5 2,992,169 3,200,912 7 Occupied 8,118 9,387 -- 828,199 880,727 -- 2,819,401 3,021,588 -Vacant 716 439 45,472 50,139 172,768 179,324 ---(8.1%) (4.5%) (5.2%) (5.4%) (5.8%) (5.6%) Data Source: U.S. Census 2000, extrapolated by Ferrandino & Associates Inc. (August 2004).

Table 13: Study Area Occupied Housing Units (2000) Study Area Census Tracts 71 75 77 117 121 123 Owner 226 661 475 263 196 15 Occupied Renter 1,492 1,509 1,442 767 493 111 Occupied

125

127

Total

81

83

2,000

392

1,181

7,387

Data Source: U.S. Census 2000, extrapolated by Ferrandino & Associates Inc. (August 2004).

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Table 14: Occupied Housing Units in Study Area, Brooklyn and New York City (2000) Study Area Brooklyn New York City Population Percent Population Percent Population Percent Owner 2,000 21.3 238,367 27.1 912,296 30.2 Occupied Renter 7,387 78.7 642,360 72.9 2,109,292 69.2 Occupied Data Source: U.S. Census 2000, extrapolated by Ferrandino & Associates Inc. (August 2004).

Tables 13 and 14 above show that the ownership rate in the study area was 21.3 percent in 2000, which is lower than that of Brooklyn (27.1 percent) and New York City (30.2 percent). On the other hand, the renter occupancy rate in the study area was 78.7 percent in 2000, while that of Brooklyn and New York City were 72.9 percent and 69.2 percent respectively.

2.4

Industrial Business Climate

This section provides a profile of industrial businesses operating in the Gowanus area. The findings are taken primarily from the Gowanus Business Survey (available in Appendix E) conducted between October and December 2004 by Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation (SWBIDC) in cooperation with the GCCDC. The Survey results indicate that as a group Gowanusâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; industrial businesses maintain a positive economic outlook for the future, given their expected investment and recruitment needs. These results are consistent with the objective outlined in this report of attracting new businesses and expansion of existing businesses. Employment in Gowanus was traditionally concentrated in manufacturing industries. Between 1982 and 1993 Gowanus saw a considerable increase in wholesale trade and construction-related industries. Construction businesses more than tripled and wholesale trade businesses increased by almost 80 percent. Employment levels declined overall between 1982 and 1993, with the largest employment decreases seen in the manufacturing sector (20 percent) and the transportation, communications and public utilities (TCPU) sector (70 percent). However, employment numbers in the construction and wholesale trade sectors increased during this period. Construction-related businesses employed almost three times as many persons in 1993 as in 1982, and wholesale trade businesses employed almost 50 percent more persons in 1993 as in 1982.

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In 1993, the largest manufacturing sub-categories were apparel, printing and publishing, furniture and fixtures and fabricated metals. However, the largest single industry in Gowanus was special trade contractors (construction sector) employing 784 persons. Automotive repair businesses dominated the non-industrial sector (service), employing 159 persons. In a survey conducted by the South Brooklyn LDC in 1996, automotive repair businesses continued to dominate the nonindustrial sector (53 establishments). Other non-industrial establishments with a substantial presence were grocery stores (19 establishments), restaurants (17 establishments), truck-related businesses, including leasing, sales, service and repair (10 establishments), and furniture restoration businesses (7 establishments). The number of industrial businesses in Gowanus grew from 337 in 1997 to 374 in 2001â&#x20AC;&#x201D;an 11 percent increase. According to a survey conducted by SWBIDC, in the seven census tracts abutting the canal, there were a total of 500 industrial firms in April 2005, a 25 percent rise since 1997, and 3,000 employees.

Table 15: Industrial and Non-Industrial Establishments in Gowanus: 1982, 1993 and 1997 Industry Groups Establishments Establishments Establishments (SIC Categories) 1982 1993 1997 Manufacturing 154 141 149 Construction 21 70 43 Wholesale Trade 48 86 67 TCPU 34 28 42 Non-Industrial* 163 38* 149 Total 420 363 450 Source: 1982 data from NYC Dept. of City Planning report and survey, Gowanus: A Strategy for Industrial Retention, 1985; 1993 data from Citywide Industry Survey, NYC Dept. of Planning, 1993. *This is not a complete listing; however, the non-industrial establishments included in industrial employment were fuel dealers, misc. equipment rental and leasing, automotive repair shops, and miscellaneous repair shops; and 1997 data derived from a business directory produced by South Brooklyn Local Development Corp.

Gowanus remains a fairly stable industrial area dominated by relatively small firms with less than 50 employees. Industry continues to be dominated by manufacturing; however, businesses today encompass a wide variety of operations. Large employers include: construction; wholesale trade; transportation (equipment) and utilities; fabricated metals; stone, glass, cement and clay manufacturers; non-electric machinery; electric equipment; printing and publishing; furniture and fixtures, food products, apparel and textile mill products, lumber and wood; rubber and plastic products; etc. According to the 2004 survey, the average number of full-time employees was 29; the average number of part-time staff was 4. Forty (40) percent of businesses said

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they were planning to hire between 1-12 additional employees in the next 6-12 months. Twenty (20) percent or 5 of the 25 respondents claimed to be a certified NYS Empire Zone company. The reported year of establishment of businesses in Gowanus reflects an increase of business growth during the 1970s. Thirty-five (35) percent of businesses were established during the 1970s and 1980s, and more than 17 percent were established over 30 years ago, indicating the presence of some long established businesses. While Gowanus experienced an increase in the number of businesses during the 1990s (in 2004, 26 percent of businesses reported having been at their current location between 6 and 9 years), responses indicated a slow down in the number of businesses moving into Gowanus between 2000 and 2004. The majority of survey respondents, or 68 percent, own the building in which they operate their business. Businesses in Gowanus sell their product to a wide variety of locations. The survey indicated, however, that more businesses sell their output within the NYC Metro region than any other location. Many respondents sold to more than one location. The regional roads surrounding Gowanus provide opportunities for businesses which focus on regional or export sales. Some of the most important aspects that businesses identified for influencing their location choice include the following:

! parking and transportation/ proximity to thoroughfares/ highway access; ! convenient location/ centrality (to Park Slope and Cobble Hill) â&#x20AC;&#x201C; proximity to suppliers and customers; affordability;

! access to the waterfront; ! convenience to home; and ! building size. Approximately 16 percent of survey respondents reported difficulty in finding skilled employees. Clearly, assistance in recruiting people of various skill levels remains a critical need for businesses in Gowanus. Nevertheless, Gowanus remains a desirable location for industrial and manufacturing businesses. Businesses are relocating to the area and 36 percent of respondent businesses are planning expansions in Gowanus within the next ten years. All these indicators suggest that businesses in Gowanus are maintaining a positive economic outlook and will continue to grow and prosper. The most common factors that affect business development, both positively and negatively, were: parking; finding qualified staff; centrality; and affordability of real estate. When asked to rate the area for business, on a scale from 1-10, the average response was 8. While most of those businesses that responded to the survey were not impacted by the canal, others are entirely dependent on access to the canal. Several respondents noted traffic and flooding issues surrounding the canal.

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2.5

Canal and Watershed Characterization

The following section describes the water quality and ecological characteristics of the Gowanus Canal and its watershed. Designated uses, compliance with water quality standards, and other regulatory issues concerning the canal are also described. The study area includes the entire canal extending into Gowanus Bay and terminating at a line drawn between Clinton Street in Red Hook on the western shore to the eastern shore at Third Street.

Historical Perspective The Gowanus Canal marks the water body that was once known as Gowanus Creek. Prior to the industrialization in the 1800s, the wetlands that surrounded the creek filtered and buffered the stormwater that feeds the tidally-influenced water body, resulting in a water quality that supported an abundant and diverse ecosystem including large oyster beds in Gowanus Bay. With the construction of the canal beginning in 1849, the industrialization on its banks, and the buildup of the residential districts of Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, and Park Slope, the watershed was drastically altered. The wetlands were replaced with impervious surfaces whose storm runoff overflowed to the combined sewer outfalls (CSOs) during rain storms; storm events also served to discharge sanitary waste and industrial effluent into the canal. Furthermore, the increase in the watershed impervious coverage over the years resulted in both a higher frequency and higher volume of CSO overflows, which the outfall’s designers assumed would be carried out to sea by the tides. Unfortunately, the ebb and flow of the tides are poorly suited to the task of transporting effluent out into the bay. Due to the way in which the tidal forces act within water bodies such as the Gowanus Canal, it may take a week or more to transport effluent from the head of the canal to Gowanus Bay. The result was anoxic (low dissolved oxygen) water within the canal, which killed off the fish and other biota and, in their place, water that was heavily contaminated with raw sewage. The only supply of “fresh oxygenated water” to the canal was via the CSO system. The City of New York attempted to control the pollution within the canal with the construction of the Gowanus Canal Flushing Tunnel, which opened in 1911. The 12-foot wide and 1.2-mile long flushing tunnel draws water from Buttermilk Channel in Upper New York Bay and discharges into the canal at its head. At its peak, the tunnel provided about 325 million gallons of oxygenated East River water per day to the canal. Even so, the flushing tunnel only partly alleviated the anoxic conditions of the canal.

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As part of a city wide effort to limit the discharge of raw sewage into the harbor, the city has constructed fourteen water pollution control plants (WPCPs) to process most of the effluent and stormwater from the CSO system. Pertinent to the Gowanus Canal watershed was the construction of the Owls Head and Red Hook WPCPs in 1952 and 1987, respectively. As with the flushing tunnel, the WPCPs, even with significant upgrades to their capacities, have not been able to eliminate the anoxic conditions from the canal. Physical The canal is approximately 7,500 feet long, 100 feet wide, with a depth ranging from 4 to 16 feet at mean low water (MLW). There are several turning basins branching off the east side of Gowanus Canal that extend approximately one city block. South of Hamilton Avenue, Gowanus Channel is approximately 6,500 feet long, 100 to 2,200 feet wide, with depths between 16 and 35 feet MLW, and opening onto Gowanus Bay. The Gowanus Canal system is estuarine and tributary to Upper New York Bay with a semi-diurnal tidal cycle varying between 5 and 7 feet. There are no freshwater sources other than stormwater and combined sewer overflows (CSO) during wet weather. The flushing tunnel, operated by the City of New York, artificially circulates water through Gowanus Canal by drawing harbor water from Buttermilk Channel into the head end of the canal. Water Quality Prior to the reactivation of the Gowanus Canal Flushing Tunnel, the waters of the canal were degraded and represented significant impairments to aquatic life, recreational, and aesthetic uses of the waterbody. The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) conducted a facility planning project that included water quality field investigations of Gowanus Canal from May through September 1989. Dry and wet weather surveys of the canal and special studies characterized water quality conditions and identified sources of impairments. Data analyses and mathematical modeling of the waterbody indicated that water quality conditions in the canal did not comply with its Class SD classification, meaning that the canal is only safe for fish survival. In addition, a sediment mound that is exposed at low tides had formed at the head end of the canal due to historical CSO discharges. Odors caused by anoxic conditions and floatables from CSO and stormwater discharges impaired aesthetic uses. There have been marked improvements in water quality conditions in the canal since reactivation of the Gowanus Canal Flushing Tunnel. Artificial circulation provided by the flushing tunnel delivers Upper New York Bay water with dissolved oxygen and improves the canalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s assimilative capacity for pollutant discharges. Odors were reduced and water clarity improved. The DEPâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Harbor Survey established several water quality monitoring stations on the canal. These data, plus post reactivation monitoring of dissolved oxygen in the canal by DEP, indicated that

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Class SD water quality standards are met. However, the flushing tunnel has been shut down on several occasions for maintenance. During these times, harbor survey data indicated that water quality conditions had degraded to the former impaired conditions. Watershed Status Water quality in the canal remains marginal. The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) conducts an annual survey of the harbor’s water bodies, including the Gowanus Canal. According to the 2003 New York Harbor Water Quality Report, the canal is classified as New York State Saline Surface Water Quality Standard Class SD. Fishing, swimming, and even secondary contact are discouraged in those water bodies that share this classification. The only two other New York waterbodies that share the SD stigma are Newtown Creek and Kill Van Kull. Also included in the annual water quality report was the fact that the Gowanus Canal has the highest concentrations of enterococcus cells encountered in the survey (enteronoccus has been Federally mandated as the new standard for water quality, replacing the better known fecal coliform standard). The enterococcus had a 2003 summer geometric mean of nearly 60 cells per 100 milliliters of water. In September of that year, the geometric mean was 177 cells per 100 milliliters of water. For comparison, the Federal water standard for ocean swimming is 35 cells per 100 milliliters of water. The CSO system continues to provide most of the “fresh water” influx into the canal. Despite improvements to increase processing capacity at Owls Head WPCP to 120 million gallons a day and at Red Hook WPCP to 60 million gallons a day, the annual CSO stormwater discharge into the canal is estimated to average 293 million gallons per year. The CSO “watershed” that supplies this influx has been calculated by the DEP to cover 1,613 acres. There is a separate system that does divert stormwater directly into the head of the canal without being mixed with sewage. This stormwater “watershed” for the canal area has been calculated by the DEP to cover only 146 acres and discharges 57 million gallons per year into the canal, or just 20 percent of the volume discharged by the CSO system. The water quality of the stormwater system is unknown. It may be in fact that the water being discharged into the canal by the stormwater system has been negatively impacted by silt, oil, and heavy metals that are found within the separate stormwater “watershed.” After a long hiatus that lasted from the 1960s to 1999, the flushing tunnel today conveys an average of 150 million gallons per day into the canal, less than 50 percent from its peak. Due to design limitations, the tunnel can only operate during high tide conditions, which minimizes the beneficial effect of the tunnel.

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Ecology Before the channelization and urbanization of Gowanus Canal, Gowanus Creek was a notable habitat for shellfish, mostly blue mussels, soft clams and oysters. Due to the long term degradation of water quality within the canal, ecological resources were historically limited. Improvements in ecological conditions have been observed in the canal since the reactivation of the Gowanus Canal Flushing Tunnel in March 1999. Postreactivation monitoring by DEP has indicated that the number of benthic macroinvertebrates, specifically polychaetes and bivalves, has drastically increased. In addition, people have reported seeing geese, egrets, horseshoe crabs, blue crabs, fiddler crabs, baby flounder, shrimp, mussels, killifish and jellyfish in the canal. Oysters were recently reintroduced to Gowanus Canal in September 1999 as part of a program being conducted by the New York-New Jersey Baykeeper Program. Current Water Quality Improvement Efforts With the retreat of industry from the canalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s industrial area and the gentrification of many of the surrounding neighborhoods, there has been increasing pressure to dramatically improve the water quality within the canal. Current efforts to improve the water quality are being led by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) and the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The ACOE and the DEP are cost-sharing an estimated five million dollar feasibility study to assess the environmental problems and potential solutions to restore the ecological health of the canal. The recommendations, if implemented, will have positive impacts beyond improving the water quality. Related issues that are being investigated include sediment contamination, hardened shorelines, extensive filling, lack of shoreline habitat and public recreational usage. The feasibility study formally began in 2002. The ACOE shared with the consultant team some of the strategies being studied, revealing some twelve locations identified along the canal that could be altered into wetlands, some of which could be used in a stormwater system. Dredging is also being considered to improve water flow within the canal. At the time of this writing, the ACOE has completed a draft Alternatives Analysis Report, which is designed to winnow out only those alternatives that are the most feasible. The DEP, under the Use and Standards Attainment Project (USA Project), has completed their own studies to improve the water quality within the canal. The resulting plan includes several components that, when implemented, should result in noticeable improvements to the canalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s water quality. The planned 42 million

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dollar project, named by the DEP as the Waterbody/ Watershed Facility Plan, includes the following components: !

Modernizing the flushing tunnel, allowing it to pump at any tide level, and resulting in an average capacity of 215 million gallons per day, which represents a 50 percent improvement of the current capacity.

!

Upgrading the Bond-Lorraine branch sewer to increase capacity of the Gowanus Pump Station, located at the head of the canal, to 30 million gallons per day. This will reduce estimated CSO discharges from this one system from 188 to 110 million gallons per year. In addition, upgrades to the screen at the outfall, designated RH-034, will eliminate almost all floatables attributable to this location. Currently, that outfall contributes an estimated 51 percent of the total floatables discharged to the canal.

!

Raising the weir at the CSO outfall RH-035, located along the Public Place waterfront, to reduce CSO discharges. This upgrade will reduce the floatables being discharged into the canal by an additional 35 percent.

!

Repair the CSO outfall OH-007, located at the end of Second Avenue, to reduce floatables during CSO discharges.

The estimated net effect of these upgrades will reduce the current Gowanus Canal CSO discharges from all outlets from 207 times per year to a projected 199 times per year. More important, the net discharge volume is estimated to reduce by 26 percent to 215 million gallons per year. In addition to the planned facilities upgrades, the DEP has also concluded that that ACOE should dredge the canal to improve the water flow within the canal, an option that the ACOE is currently considering under the feasibility study. Other Water Use Initiatives The GCCDC, a neighborhood preservation non-profit organization dedicated to the revitalization of the Gowanus Canal area, was allocated funds to produce and distribute a bulkhead study and public access document in 1999. The following year, the GCCDC procured funds from the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to construct three street end public open spaces along the canal through the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Green Street program. Additional funds were used to create a revitalization plan in 2001 and to implement a pilot project on the shoreline. Summary Gowanus Canal and its watershed have been significantly altered from the original characteristics of Gowanus Creek. The watershed has been urbanized such that watershed discharges to the canal represent a source of use impairment. Historical modifications of the waterbody itself have resulted in a channelized and

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bulkheaded waterbody. Since reactivation of the Gowanus Canal Flushing Tunnel, the canal appears to be meeting the water quality standards of its Class SD designation. Water quality conditions have markedly improved and DEP continues to conduct planning that may result in even greater improvements. Other water use initiatives like the ACOE ecosystem restoration project and local community initiatives are also seeking to improve access to and uses of the canal

2.6

Bulkheads

Historical Perspective The Gowanus Creek was once a shallow creek with broad stretches of wetlands on both sides. Even before the New York State Legislature authorized the construction of the Gowanus Canal in 1849, filling of these wetlands had started to allow maritime vessel access to the shorelines. By 1869, the entire length of the canal was bulkheaded and the land behind it was filled in. Up to 1955, the canal was periodically dredged to about 15 feet below Mean Low Water (MLW) to allow commercial traffic to traverse the full length of the canal. The canal was last dredged in the 1970s, and since then it has been kept from completely silting up by commercial barge traffic and, resuming in 1999, the Gowanus Canal Flushing Tunnel. Current Condition of the Bulkheads With the abandonment of commercial maritime traffic along the canal, most bulkheads were neglected. In 2000, the GCCDC hired Adam Brown Marine Consulting to conduct a preliminary assessment of the canal’s bulkheads. Although a final report of the Gowanus Canal Bulkhead Inventory Survey was never issued, the GCCDC did receive a draft report which contains the most extensive source of information available on the canal’s bulkheads. The marine consultant’s data were entered into a database by the consultant team so that it can be used with a Geographic Information System (GIS) to graphically interpret the data. The database includes updated information for those bulkheads that had been replaced since the issuance of the draft bulkhead survey report. The resulting map and database include the following information: ! ! ! ! ! !

Bulkhead identity number Block number Lot number Land usage Bulkhead construction type Percent bulkhead deterioration

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! ! !

Length Water depth sounding Deck height above MSL

According to the database, the canal contains 15,281 feet of bulkhead, of which only 3,340 feet can be said to be in new or good condition. On the other hand, 2,160 feet of bulkhead (equivalent of 15 percent of the total) have completely failed or are about to do so.

2.7

Land Uses

Gowanus has a solid industrial core hugging the canal, but retains its historic mix of commercial and residential uses intermingled with industry (see Table 16). Overall, industrial uses occupy 54 percent of the study area; residential uses occupy 16 percent; commercial uses occupy 18.6 percent; institutional uses occupy 2.6 percent; recreation/open space occupies 1.7 percent; while the balance of land is vacant. Table 16: Land Use Summary (2000) Land Use Category Square Feet Residential 1,529,759 Commercial 1,778,211 Industrial/ Manufacturing 5,153,723 Recreation/ Open Space 166,084 Institutional 243,500 Vacant 678,201 Total 9,549,478

Acres 35.1 40.8 118.3 3.8 5.6 15.6 219.2

Percent (%) 16 18.6 54 1.7 2.6 7.1 100

Source: Brooklyn City Planning. *Note: Land use is parcel based, meaning, for example, if a parcel is x acres and contains x residential dwellings, all x acres are considered residential.

Surrounding the Canal The riparian areas of the Gowanus Canal are primarily dominated by commercial and industrial land uses, including warehousing, oil distribution facilities, asphalt plants, transfer stations (solid waste and construction and demolition debris) and other heavy industrial uses along its length. Vessel transport in the canal supports these uses. Waterbody and waterfront uses are primarily commercial and industrial to serve local businesses. A local canoe club, the Gowanus Dredgers, makes recreational use of the waterbody. Two mapped parks border the canal on the east side, one between Fifth and Seventh Street and one on the corner of Hoyt Street and Fourth Street.

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Map 3: Existing Land Uses

Source: New York City Department of City Planning (refined by consultant team in the field).

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Public Property Ownership There are relatively few publicly-owned properties on the canal, aside from street ends (see Map 3). Of the 71 tax lots that abut the canal, 11 are owned by New York City or the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA). Public properties on the canal are summarized as follows:4 Block/lot 441-14 480-34 452-19 977-3 471-100 477-001 1007-6 1007-269 1007-1 471-1 990-50 N/A

Agency NYCDEP NYCDOT NYCDOT NYCDGS NYCDGS NYCTA NYCTA NYCDBS USPS NYC NYCDOT NYC

Use Pump station Bridge control Bridge control DOS sweepers Ferrara Readimix Concrete loading Five businesses Pathmark Lowe’s Lowe’s Warehousing Street ends Total

Shoreline (Lineal feet) 193.5 62 18 499 455 98 94 20 570 523 773 1536 4841.5

Of the 12 public properties listed, only four are used for public purposes: one lot owned by DEP that houses the pumping station (441-14); two small New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) properties used for the bridge control (480-34 and 452-19); and one DGS property used for storing Department of Sanitation (DOS) sweepers. Three properties are leased by private enterprises – Department of General Services (DGS) leases a portion of Public Place site to Ferrara Brothers for concrete mixing and loading (471-100); NYCDOT leases 990-50 to five businesses; and New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) leases a lot under the elevated subway line to Bulldog Recovery and Self Storage (1007-6). Of the remaining publicly-owned lots, three are vacant brownfield sites. One, the former Post Office Site (1007-1), is leased to Lowe’s Corporation. The other site, Public Place, is undergoing site investigation. The third property, owned by the city, is being used as part of the Pathmark parking lot. There are 23 street ends identified with shoreline along the canal. These shorelines range from 45 feet to 109 feet in length. The total length of shoreline associated with these street ends is 1,536 feet.

4 Weisbrod, Roberta. Gowanus Canal Rediscovery Plan: Preparation of the Strategy for the Revitalization of the Gowanus Canal, August 2003. .

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Private Property Ownership The Gowanus shoreline is predominantly privately owned, as was historically the case for most of Brooklyn's shoreline.5 Privately-owned land uses on the canal include retail, construction material, recycling, waste removal, manufacturing, transportation support, fuel storage, warehouse storage, offices, an art galleryinstallation and a fiber optics company (see Map 4). Of the 61 privately-owned lots on the canal, there are eleven properties that are vacant or have no discernible current use. The shoreline of vacant properties (1,880 feet) accounts for 11 percent of the total lineal footage of canal shoreline (17,520 feet). Vacant properties on the canal are summarized as follows:6 Owner7 KEYSPAN Marmorstein Rubellino C&A Harko Chaves Tinneny Amtronics Nigri Total

Tax lot 990-138 990-160 990-1 977-1 967-1 972-17 445-20 417-21 471-125

Shoreline (feet) 405 198 295 51 232 221 101 200 176.5 1,880

Number/ Height of Buildings There are 101 buildings on the 61 private properties abutting the canal. Eleven lots are vacant; 41 lots have one or two buildings. There are seven lots with three to five buildings, one lot with seven buildings, and two lots with eight buildings. Most of the buildings on the public and private tracts that line the canal have exteriors of brick and/or stone, with some made of concrete block. Of the 101 permanent structures along the canal, 96 are one or two stories high. The height profile is low compared with the surrounding residential neighborhoods, where homes and apartment buildings are typically three to six stories high (see Map 5). This effect is emphasized by the topography; the canal is lower than its surrounding drainage basin.

5 Holt, Dennis. â&#x20AC;&#x153;How It Wasâ&#x20AC;? (recalling privately owned, 19th century working shore). Brooklyn Heights Press and Cobble Hill News, January 2003. 6

Ibid.

7

As of August 2004.

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Map 4: Ownership Type in Gowanus

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Map 5: Building Heights in Gowanus

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Residential As industry developed and spread along the canal, it met growing residential neighborhoods, dominated by row-house construction, and a mixed industrial/residential perimeter was formed around the solid industrial core, which remains relatively unchanged. Residential uses comprise 16 percent of the study area and are generally located further north and south of the canal (see Map 6). The majority of housing in the study area was built in large public housing complexes prior to 1949, including Red Hook Houses and Gowanus Houses, followed by Wyckoff Gardens in 1966. Since 1970, Gowanus has experienced an increase in the number of housing units, especially one-family units between 1970 and 1980. Surrounded by residential neighborhoods, including Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Park Slope, and Boerum Hill, Gowanus remains a target for housing development, experiencing considerable pressure to expand residential uses. Increased residential development has been permitted within the study area; however, in recent years, industries have also expanded, thereby increasing the number of industrial jobs.

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Map 6: Existing Residential Uses in Gowanus

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Parks and Open Space Parks and open space comprise 1.7 percent of the study area (see Map 7). There are four public parks located within the study area. The largest recreational facility in Gowanus, Thomas Greene, is a 2.5-acre park in northern Gowanus. It is bounded by Douglass Street, Third Avenue, DeGraw and Nevins Streets. Another park of one-half acre, Ennis Park, is located between Second and Third Avenues on Eleventh Street, surrounded almost entirely by industrial uses. In addition, there is a 1.75-acre playground on Tenth Street between Second and Third Avenues under the elevated superstructure of the IND subway line, as well as a 0.7-acre playground on the west side of Smith Street, between Luquer and Huntington Streets, below the IND subway line. There are no developed parks adjacent to the canal although local community groups and organizations are improving access and developing end-of-street green areas. Public Place Public Place is a 5.8-acre New York City-owned site located along the Gowanus Canal (Tax Block 471, Lots 1 and 100). Most of Lot 1 remains vacant and the city leases Lot 100 to a privately-owed cement batching facility. A former Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP) occupied these two city-owned lots as well as two privately-owned lots: Lot 200 and Lot 125. The site is presently zoned for heavy industrial use while at the same time designated as a public place, indicating its availability for public passage, access or future New York City use. KeySpan Energy, whose predecessor operated the MGP until 1959, has been working on a remedial investigation under a voluntary cleanup agreement. One phase of the field investigation was completed in the summer of 2003. Contaminants detected at the site include BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene), PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, naphthalene and volatile organics, typical of MGP operations/sites. For purposes of the remedial investigation the site was divided into four parcels, roughly reflecting current ownership and use, as well as offsite areas. Parcels I and II are owned by the City of New York. Parcels III and IV are owned by different third parties. Parcels I and II are the largest parts of the site. Parcel I has been used for some years as a concrete production and distribution facility. Parcel II shows evidence of illegal dumping for a period of years after KeySpan sold the site. KeySpan did not investigate environmental conditions associated with the illegal dumping. The key findings of the remedial investigation made in July of 2005 are:

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1. The site exhibits the characteristics and contaminants expected of a former MGP site, including the presence of coal tar and dense non-aqueous phase liquid (DNAPL). The contaminants have been found in all four parcels and at several offsite locations, are all below the surface, and have been found to depths of up to 150 feet. 2. Subsurface groundwater is transporting the chemical constituents expectable of a former MGP site -- BTEX and PAHs, including naphthalene. Some groundwater containing these chemical constituents is entering into as well as transiting under the Gowanus Canal. 3. A qualitative assessment of human health exposures to contaminants of concern in soil, groundwater and soil vapor at the site determined that current users of each parcel have a very low potential to come into contact with the contaminants in excess of values determined by the New York State Department of Health to be protective of human health. This reflects that most of the site is covered with pavement, industrial buildings and concrete waste. Groundwater is not used for any purpose in the area near the site. Human exposure to contaminants of concern in the Gowanus Canal associated with the former MGP operations is highly unlikely because of very limited human use, given historical impacts to the waterway from other sources. 4. There are no findings that fish and other wildlife are being impacted by the chemical constituents associated with the former MGP operations. Species observed on the site are highly transient. KeySpan will conduct further field work to complete the delineation of DNAPL tar beneath offsite properties owned by third parties, and will also further delineate a plume of groundwater that is believed to be moving to the north and west of the site. KeySpan and the NYSDEC have entered into an agreement through which KeySpan will conduct a separate investigation of the sediments in the Gowanus Canal to determine whether there are impacts from the former MGP site, as well as from other industrial, commercial and municipal operations along the canal. KeySpan is applying to transition the remedial investigation work from the New York State Voluntary Cleanup Program to the new Brownfield Cleanup Program. This change in status will mean that Keyspan is ultimately responsible for remediation of the site to a level that is compliant with any planned use.

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Community Profile 49

Map 7: Existing Recreation and Open Space in Gowanus

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Community Profile 50

Commercial, Retail and Office Commercial uses comprise 18.6 percent of the study area (see Map 8). Commercial development is concentrated along two north-south arteries, Fourth and Third Avenues, in mixed-use buildings with ground floor retail and residential uses above. Many of these commercial uses are automotive sales, repair and service establishments, which benefit from the heavy traffic carried by these avenues and the proximity to industries. In recent years, commercial corridors on both sides of the canal have expanded and continue to grow. On the west side of the canal, Smith Street has been transformed into a thriving commercial strip, as the numbers of restaurants, bars, boutiques and service-related establishments have multiplied. The traditionally stable commercial corridor along Court Street also continues to grow, extending to lower Court Street south of Fourth Place (SOFO). On the east side of the canal, restaurants and service establishments have expanded along Fourth Avenue and, farther from the canal, on Fifth Avenue. Hamilton Plaza Shopping Center, located between Eleventh and Fourteenth Streets near the junction of the canal and Hamilton Avenue, contains 58,000 square feet of retail space on 11 acres in the southern part of the study area. More recent development activity on the east side of the Ninth Street canal crossing includes the construction of Loweâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s on a 9.4-acre site and an adjacent public promenade overlooking the canal, as well as a Pathmark store (east side between Eleventh Street and Hamilton Avenue) located under the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

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Community Profile 51

Map 8: Existing Commercial Uses in Gowanus

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Community Profile 52

Industrial There are approximately 118.3 acres of land zoned for industrial uses in the study area (see Map 9). More than 4 million square feet (in 443 buildings) of industrial space exists in the study area. Most buildings are generally small, low-rise structures. More than two-thirds of building heights are only one-story. A survey by the GCCDC found that only 3 percent of industrial spaces were vacant in April 2005. A typical industrial building has 7,500 square feet of ground floor space. Most of the structures have less than 10,000 square feet of total floor space. There are, however, several large structures which represent a substantial amount of total industrial floor area in Gowanus. For example, buildings of more than 100,000 square feet occupy approximately one-third of industrial space. Significant parts of industrial lots of such industries as building material suppliers, public utilities and fuel oil distributors are often devoted to accessory uses and structures, including loading docks, outdoor storage, off-street parking areas, utility enclosures and equipment, etc.

Parking, Vacant and Underutilized Land There are approximately 15.6 acres of unused, vacant land scattered throughout the study area in some 74 parcels. Some of these sites are currently used for automobile parking. Several of these parcels, including underutilized parking facilities, offer opportunities for new commercial, industrial or recreational development (sees Map 10 and 11).

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Community Profile 53

Map 9: Existing Industrial Uses in Gowanus

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Community Profile 54

Map 10: Vacant and Underutilized Land

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Community Profile 55

Map 11: Existing Parking Facilities

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Community Profile 56

Brownfields Soon after the construction of the Gowanus Canal was authorized in 1849 by the New York State Legislature, the canal became the locus of Brooklyn’s maritime and commercial activity and served as one of the major end points for traffic going through the Erie Canal. The canal provided the impetus for industrial growth, which came to include paint factories, tanneries, coal yards, sulfur works, petroleum storage, chemical manufacturing plants, stone works, food distributors, lumber yards, manufactured gas plants (MGP), waste disposal facilities, and many others not mentioned here. Much of the industrial effluent and sanitary waste was dumped into the canal, so much so that the canal acquired the nickname of “Lavender Lake.” Following World War II, industry slowly began its departure from the canal, a process that continues today. Current industrial uses include cement plants, metal recycling, warehousing, small-scale manufacturing, waste disposal, oil storage, and auto mechanic garages. A database of the historical industries along the canal was created for the years 1886 and 1915 from available Sanborn maps. These maps are part of a historical resource that was created for the insurance industry by the Sanborn Company starting in 1867. The available Sanborn maps only showed those properties bordering the canal and one block inland. This database includes the year, block, general industry classification, and company name for each industrial or commercial activity identified. Also included in the database is a simple code to indicate the possible presence of contaminants based on the former use. This database, named the Historical Gowanus Industry Location Database, as well as a summary map based on the database, can be found in the Appendix F. Manufactured Gas Plant Sites Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP) sites in the Gowanus neighborhood are a significant legacy due to the large areas of land they typically cover and more specifically due to the impact of an MGP on the development of Public Place. MGPs were industrial facilities that converted the volatile constituents that were found in coal, oil, and other feed-stocks into gas that was used for lighting, cooking, and heating homes and businesses. Most MGP facilities operated in the New York City region from the early 1800s to the early to mid-1900s. Three such facilities historically operated along the bulkheads of the Gowanus Canal. The Citizen Works site is located along Smith Street on what is now known as Public Place and the adjoining warehouse to the south. The Fulton Municipal Gas Company site is located on the east side of the canal between Douglass and Sackett Streets and includes the Thomas Greene Playground. The Metropolitan Gas Light Company site is located along Second Avenue and is the current location of ShopRite, a mini-mall, and a parking lot. All three facilities became part of KeySpan Energy’s historical legacy (see Map 12).

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Community Profile 57

Map 12: Manufactured Gas Plant Sites

Source: Tax Parcel Base Map was obtained from the New York Department of City Planning â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bytes of the Big Apple.â&#x20AC;?

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Community Profile 58

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has provided some insight regarding the current status of these three MGP sites. At the time of this writing, the Citizens Works site is currently in the remedial investigation phase. KeySpanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s environmental consultant has completed both on and off-site soil borings to investigate the extent of coal tar migration, a by-product of the MGP process. According to DEC officials, the Fulton Municipal Gas Company and Metropolitan Gas Company sites, among many others, have been submitted to the DEC for inclusion into the new Brownfield Cleanup Program, a program that is described in detail hereunder. The DEC and KeySpan are currently negotiating priority rankings for each of the sites on the list. The Citizen Works site remains in the Voluntary Cleanup Program, an earlier version of the Brownfield Cleanup Program. Historical and General Environmental Issues Many former industrial sites still contain products and by-products in the soil and groundwater, such as the MGP sites. These materials may adversely affect the environment and present a potential health risk to those working on the site. In addition, even relatively recent buildings may have building materials and electrical equipment that may pose health risks, especially if mishandled. Table 17 contains a partial list of potential contaminants based on the historical uses within the canal area, potential impacts and potential sources.

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Community Profile 59

Table 17: Partial List of Potential Contaminants, Impacts and Sources in Gowanus Contaminants Potential Impacts Sources Volatile Organic Soil, soil-gas, Oil storage Compounds (VOCs) groundwater, indoor facilities, MGPs, air industrial factories, auto repair shops Semi-volatile Soil, groundwater, Oil and coal storage Organic indoor air facilities, MGPs, Compounds industrial and waste (SVOCs) disposal facilities, power plants Sulfur Soil, soil-gas, MGPs and sulfur groundwater, indoor works air Cyanide Soil, soil-gas, MGPs groundwater, indoor air Metals Soil, groundwater Industrial and waste disposal facilities Herbicides and Soil, groundwater Industrial and waste Pesticides disposal facilities and residential areas Lead-Based Paint Indoor air, soil Industrial and waste disposal facilities and residential areas Asbestos-Containing Indoor air Building insulation Material and mechanical equipment Polychlorinated Soil, groundwater, Electrical Biphenyls (PCBs) indoor air equipment in buildings and power plants Mercury Soil-gas, indoor air Light bulbs

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Community Profile 60

2.8

Zoning

When the New York City Zoning Resolution was adopted in 1961, the study area was primarily zoned for industrial use. While the overall zoning pattern has remained the same, some revisions to the zoning map have been adopted to reflect existing land uses, namely residential, or to facilitate implementation of specific development proposals (see Maps 13 and 14). Generally, the eastern side of the Gowanus Canal is zoned for light and medium manufacturing (M1 and M2) uses and the western side is zoned for light and heavy industrial uses (M1 and M3). An M2-1 district (medium manufacturing) from Hamilton Avenue on the south to Butler Street on the north comprises the bulk of the study area. This 36-block district is three blocks wide at the southern end, bordered by the canal and Third Avenue, narrowing to two blocks between Fourth and Carroll Streets, then to one block with the canal as the spine between Carroll and Sackett Streets, and returning to two blocks until Butler Street, with the exception of a park between Douglas and DeGraw Streets, as well as a three-block M1-2 district at the junction of the canal and Hamilton Avenue (Hamilton Plaza shopping complex). A 21-block M1-2 (light manufacturing) district wraps around the north and east of the M2-1 district as far as Baltic Street on the north, Fourth Avenue on the east and Seventh Street on the south. Most of the block directly north of Wyckoff Gardens Houses, the Bergen Street Urban Renewal Area, is also zoned M1-2. M3-1 (heavy industrial) zoning is limited to a small area between the canal and Smith Street from Hamilton Avenue on the south to Fifth Street on the north, with the exception of a block between Huntington and Ninth Streets which is zoned M21 and the northern half-block between Centre and Bush Streets zoned M1-1. This district includes the 5.8-acre Public Place site.

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Community Profile 61

Map 13: Generalized Zoning

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Community Profile 62

Map 14: Existing Zoning

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Community Profile 63

2.9

Transportation

Roadways/Traffic Circulation The study area is served by the Brooklyn Queens Expressway/ Gowanus Expressway which links the area with the metropolitan region. The canal interrupts the street grid; therefore vehicular traffic circulation is poor within the study area. Only five east-west streets cross the study area: Baltic, Union, Carroll, Third and Ninth Streets. None of the three north-south streets between Third Avenue and Smith Street extend the full length of the Gowanus study area (see Figure15). The four designated truck routes include: Third Avenue, Fourth Avenue, Ninth Street and along the Gowanus Expressway. Mass Transit Numerous mass transit lines serve Gowanus. The IND, F, and G subway lines run along Smith Street and on the west side of the study area to Ninth Street where the F line continues. North of Carroll Street, the line is below grade; it emerges south of Second Place, becomes elevated and dominates the landscape. In fact, the Smith/Ninth Street station is the highest station above street level in the New York City subway system. There are subway stops on the line in Gowanus at Bergen, Carroll, Smith/ Ninth Streets and Fourth Avenue. The BMT, N and RR lines follow Fourth Avenue on the eastern edge of the study area. There are subway stops at Pacific Street, Union Street, Ninth Street and Prospect Avenue. The IND and BMT lines connect with other subway lines to the north in downtown Brooklyn. In addition, seven bus lines connect Gowanus with the surrounding communities. The Court Street-Smith Street bus line runs parallel and to the west of the canal and connects to downtown Brooklyn. The Union Street bus line crosses the canal east to west and connects the neighborhoods of Carroll Gardens and Park Slope.

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Community Profile 64

Figure 15: Roadways and Circulation

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Community Profile 65

Water Transportation and Bridges There are five water-level bridges and two elevated bridges crossing over the canal. Specifically, the Gowanus Expressway and an elevated subway cross the canal but do not restrict vessel traffic. The City of New York operates retractable bridges over the canal at Hamilton Avenue, Ninth Street, Union Street, Carroll Street and Third Street. There are no designated tidal wetlands in the canal. Table 18 lists the bridge clearance heights from the high water line to the lowest point of the bridge, as well as the number of bridge openings in 2003. Table 18: Bridge Clearance Heights Bridge

Clearance

Openings in 2003

Hamilton Street Bridge

19 ft MHW*

824

Ninth Street Bridge

4 ft HW

547

Third Street Bridge

6 ft HW

152

Carroll Street Bridge

2.5 ft HW

186

Union Street Bridge

7 ft HW

24

Bridge openings source: 2003 Bridges and Tunnels Annual Condition Report, NYC DOT. Note: Bridge openings may include test openings. * MHW is Mean High Water and HW is the high water mark.

As is apparent from Table 18 above, the bridge height clearances are, with the exception of the Hamilton Street Bridge, very low. The practical result is that only smaller recreational motorboats can pass under the bridges and are only able to do so at lower tide levels (the mean tidal range for Gowanus Bay is 4.7 ft, so the maximum height clearance would be approximately 4.7 ft plus the values listed in the above table). Although the frequency of bridge openings has dropped significantly, or by about 31 percent since 1993, the canal is still being used for commercial uses, as can be surmised from the bridge opening data presented above.

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Vision Statement 66

3.0

VISION STATEMENT

Visioning is the process that establishes images which define the desired future development of the community. Visioning captures citizens’ aspirations for the future and empowers the community to effectively realize its goals. During this visioning process, the community assessed its strengths and weaknesses to develop a shared “vision statement” aimed at achieving sustainable solutions that support economic, environmental and community objectives. This section synthesizes the results of the outreach effort and reflects the values and interests of the community.

3.1

“Green” Community

Commitment to Environmental Renewal Gowanus’ character has always been dependent on its geographic and historic links to the water and the mixed uses that clustered around it to give considerable impetus to its economic development. From its origins as a creek and tidal wetland, through the industrial success of the canal and its turning basins, to its nadir as a polluted, underutilized waterway with contaminated upland sites, to its future as a resuscitated environment (both water and land), a community of industrial, commercial, retail, residential and recreational uses constantly intermingled. This has been the strength of the community and should continue to be reflected in 21st Century Gowanus. Environmental renewal is a key element in achieving economic health in Gowanus. The health of the canal is the cause that binds the community together and is tied to the health of Gowanus. It is essential to the health and revitalization of the community. The key is to organize the future around the increasingly successful efforts to remediate the environmental errors of the past so that those who live and work or regulate life in Gowanus are collectively involved in establishing a sustainable “green” community around a resurrected waterway. Community-wide commitment to the environment is important in order to increase ecological capital. Through revived geographic links to the water, the canal will gain a new spatial and cultural significance to Gowanus’ residential and business environments. Moreover, the canal will acquire an important role as an orientation point by virtue of its connections with the community. On another level, the canal will become a “green” link between Gowanus and its surrounding landscape. The revitalization of the canal will impart a “green” landscape, including for instance, potential enhancements such as laying out paths along the canal, restoring clean water to the canal, and improving accessibility to the water. Historic elements such as bridges and monumental industrial buildings along the banks will constitute the reference points for the original significance of the canal, and will also give it a new

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“A community vision is an expression of possibility, an ideal future state that the community hopes to attain. Such a vision must be shared by the entire community so that it is truly owned by all -so that it is “ours” in the inclusive sense.”


Vision Statement 67

meaning within the modified context. The long-term plans to restore the canal’s navigability will also impart the actual waterway with a new significance, in particular in terms of its recreational value. The canal and its banks will form an ecological link from north to south.

Commitment to Sustainable Development Gowanus seeks to become a significant leader in the effort to achieve environmental sustainability through a transformation in the way it thinks about growth. The community aims to incorporate many innovations from the “green building” movement, including the construction or renovation/reuse of buildings in an environmentally-sound and resource-efficient manner. “Green buildings” seek to limit adverse environmental impacts throughout their entire life cycles and are designed to meet objectives such as protecting occupant health, using environmentally sustainable materials, reducing operation and maintenance costs; using energy, water, and other resources efficiently; and reducing the overall impact to the environment. Reuse of existing buildings minimizes the need for raw materials and environmental impacts associated with the development of new infrastructure. Green building design is related to the broader concepts of “smart growth” and sustainable development. Smart growth includes policies, regulations and strategies to encourage compact efficient development, which is sustainable and thus promotes economic viability while protecting the natural environment for future generations. “Green buildings” represent an important step in the evolution of buildings and communities toward sustainability. As such, they consider all opportunities to conserve resources, prevent pollution, protect ecosystems and enhance indoor environmental quality. Gowanus will also adopt the “green landscape” method which involves the planting of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants in both indoor and outdoor spaces. By adopting a “green landscape,” plants will help clean the air and improve the health of the community. Gowanus both encourages and insists that developers, investors and builders make the transition to a greener future, setting forth an achievable vision of such a “green community.” Gowanus can emerge as New York’s first sustainable “green community,” advancing the idea of “green” to include emphasis on siting of land uses that increases utilization of community resources (facilities and services); “green” infrastructure and engineering, and promoting “green” businesses that support and strengthen economic development and improve quality of life in Gowanus. It is this vision and goal that will distinguish Gowanus from other communities.

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Sustainability means meeting our needs today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.


Vision Statement 68

As a “green community,” development in Gowanus will be guided by the following concepts: ! Valuing “place,” recognizing that economic activity must be rooted in the places people live and must help improve quality of life in those places; ! Providing community facility and services; ! Designing “green” spaces; and ! Building with environmentally sustainable materials. Some additional benefits of building a green community might include: ! New job opportunities, and businesses and industries that are community-based; ! Redevelopment of underutilized or vacant land and brownfields; ! Increased opportunities for building social and community cohesion; ! Improved appearance of neighborhood; ! Enhanced environmental quality; ! Enhanced business collaboration and networking; and ! New development dynamic resulting from “green” industries. As a “green” community, it is anticipated that Gowanus will attract a wide range of new industries with a “green” spin including, for example, recycling, innovators in indoor air service, ventilation systems, environmental engineering consulting, environmentally friendly cleaning production, researchers, or even potentially a museum dedicated to exploring and promoting environmentally sustainable futures. Gowanus can achieve results toward the goal of building a sustainable community by mobilizing community cooperation to conserve resources, prevent pollution, and protect and enhance natural ecological processes. Such a community can only be built through partnerships among various sectors of the community - municipal government (waste, water, and transportation departments), utilities (gas and electric), businesses (manufacturers and retailers), community organizations (groups, associations, agencies, etc.), and others -- cooperating to achieve shared and/or complementary goals to improve the environment and the community.

3.2

Two Districts: One Community

Following an evaluation of land uses and community character, including the constraints of existing conditions, based upon consensus-building efforts, the consultant team developed recommendations for potential re-use/redevelopment of key sites within the study area which coincide with the broader vision of the Gowanus area as a whole as well as regional context. The potential investment and development sites surrounding the canal have been defined and organized into 2 districts: south and north (see Figure 16). Redevelopment activities at these sites have the potential to strengthen the cultural and economic capital of the Gowanus area.

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Vision Statement 69

Figure 16: North and South Districts

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Vision Statement 70

South District: Industrial Zone The south district extends from Third Street on the north, Hamilton Avenue to Third Avenue on the south and to Public Place and Fifth Street on the west (see Figure 17). This district is characterized by large blocks, large buildings and water-related industries. The district also features a public transit station and provides a variety of industrial circulation services. Most of the Empire Zone exists within the boundaries of this district. The Empire Zone has special incentives to encourage economic development, job creation, and business expansion. Businesses operating inside a zone are eligible for a range of tax benefits that are applied against new capital investments which include: tax reduction credits; a credit for property taxes paid; a sales-tax exemption on the purchase of property or services used by the business; a tax credit for business taxes paid; wage tax credits; utility rate reductions; EZ Investment Tax and Employment Incentives Credit; and technical assistance from qualified professionals. Companies in the zones retain benefits for up to 10 years, with additional savings available on a declining basis in years eleven through fifteen. The south district is intended to advance the development and retention of manufacturing and service industries in Gowanus. It is envisioned that the south district would promote mixed uses, permitted water-related industrial and commercial uses and live/work accommodations; encourage reuse of industrial buildings; and specifically seek to attract environmentally oriented industrial and commercial uses (research, services, production and distribution, etc.). Another aim of this district is to develop a modern industrial circulation system around Second Avenue between Ninth Street and the turning basin.

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Vision Statement 71

Figure 17: South District

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Vision Statement 72

North District: Mixed-Use Zone The north district is bounded by Third Avenue on the east, Public Place on the south, Smith Street on the west and Butler Street on the north (see Figure 18). The area is characterized by smaller blocks and smaller building types than the south district described above. The street system is characterized by many streets ending on either side of the canal. Vehicular traffic is thus disciplined and friendlier to pedestrian movement. It is envisioned that mixed uses would be promoted in this district, i.e., enclosed light industry, local retail/ commercial, and infill contextual residential would all be permitted uses. The district would specifically seek to retain the existing artist housing/live-work spaces and encourage continued growth as an arts community. Rehabilitation and reuse of existing buildings is encouraged. New development should be contextual in height to the prevailing height of the surrounding neighborhood (3-5 stories) with exceptions available through a special permit process that is subject to public review and comment. In addition, water-related commercial and recreational uses are encouraged. Public spaces should be expanded and connected throughout the district, and established on and along the canal taking advantage of the numerous public street ends. Pedestrian circulation is encouraged through design and treatment of walkways and traditional sidewalks. Bicycle paths should be established, connecting the district to adjacent communities as well. Special treatment should be given to filled-in turning basin(s) for public and/or environmental purposes.

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Vision Statement 73

Figure 18: North District â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Mixed-Use Zone

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Vision Statement 74

3.3

South District Redevelopment Opportunity Sites

The following development opportunities in the south district are worth noting and encouraging (see Figure 19): the intersection of Smith and Ninth Streets; the Second Avenue industrial corridor; and the Public Place site and adjacent Smith Street properties are described below. Figure 19: South District Redevelopment Opportunity Sites

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Vision Statement 75

Smith and Ninth Streets Transit Station The area around Smith and Ninth Streets Transit Station was identified as a development opportunity site (see Figure 20). The site is currently underutilized, and it is adjacent to transit and industrial uses. The four corners at Smith and Ninth Streets could be developed with retail and services to complement transit users establishing an activity center. In addition, the Smith and Ninth Street Station should be rehabilitated and improved with additional access and egress from the east side of the canal for the neighborhood. Additionally, ground level retail and a platform level restaurant should be explored. Activities such as a public market and/or recreation could also be developed under the viaduct south of Ninth Street adjacent to Loweâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s parking lot which could increase the use of the public space adjacent to the canal.

Figure 20: Smith & Ninth Streets Redevelopment Possibility

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Vision Statement 76

Second Avenue Corridor from Hamilton Avenue to the Canal Further redevelopment opportunities exist at Second Avenue where industrial uses are concentrated between Ninth Street, Third Avenue and the canal (see Figure 21). The existing infrastructure should be adjusted and improved to properly serve these major industrial operations and control their ecological interaction with the canal. A 21st century industrial district should be established around market interest. The reuse of currently underutilized industrial warehouse structures should be promoted in this area. Expansion grants for existing and new industries should be sought.

Figure 21: Second Avenue Corridor Redevelopment Possibility

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Vision Statement 77

Public Place and the adjacent warehouse Public Place is a major development opportunity site, and its size and location suggest that it be considered independent of both the North and South District characteristics deserving of its own development criteria (see Figure 22). However, the opportunity is heavily dependent upon the remediation required (in both time and money) to bring the site to a developable condition. The site is publicly owned and has the potential to achieve the public goals of appropriate new housing (affordable and market rate), as well as public open space that provides public access to, and on, the canal itself. The current studies analyzing the soil conditions and prescribing the clean up required will be published shortly by others and will suggest a specific development strategy. At this point several potential options are suggested, one of which would be to relocate the concrete batching plant to the south of the site at the water; develop Smith Street frontage with ground level retail/ services and residential above; and residential and public space on the interior with public access brought to the canal (see Figure 23). This option would require the highest degree of remediation. An alternate use could relocate the concrete batching plant to the south of the site at the water and develop Smith Street frontage with some retail, commercial and light industrial uses (e.g. a Center for Environmental Education), but continue to provide public space with access to the canal (see Figure 24). This would require less remediation, be available for use sooner, but require a greater impervious covering of the site.

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Vision Statement 78

Figure 22: Public Place - Potential Redevelopment Site

Figure 23: Public Space â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Unrestricted Use Option

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Vision Statement 79

Figure 24: Public Space - Commercial Use Option

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Vision Statement 80

3.4

North District Redevelopment Opportunity Sites

Several development possibilities in the north district (see Figure 25), including Union and Bond Streets, the Power Station site, and at Thomas Greene Park, are described in detail below. Figure 25: North District Redevelopment Sites

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Vision Statement 81

Development and Reuse Around Thomas Greene Park It is envisioned that enclosed industrial uses would be retained and promoted in this area. Open industrial uses could be relocated and infill contextual residential encouraged to take advantage of the public park. Underutilized loft buildings could be reused commercially or residentially. In addition, the park could be upgraded as the center of a renewed sector of the community (see Figure 26).

Figure 26: Redevelopment Possibility â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Thomas Greene Park

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Vision Statement 82

“Green” Building Site (Union and Bond Streets, southeast corner) Another area of opportunity exists at the southeast corner of Union and Bond Streets. Contextual residential development that provides public space along the canal is encouraged (see Figure 27). The Union Street Bridge pedestrian path should be adjusted to relate to new public space. Reuse of existing structures should be explored and efforts to combine the old with new construction should also be explored to retain authentic memories of the site.

Figure 27: Redevelopment Possibility – Union and Bond Streets

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Vision Statement 83

MTA Power Plant site (Third Street to Carroll Street and Third Avenue to Canal) This superblock should be adjusted to provide a better fit with the overall district. First and Second Streets from the canal to Third Avenue could be remapped for public use, establishing pedestrian-friendly neighborhood blocks. The streets could be used in a variety of ways: Second Street could be established as a public street, serving new development and providing access to the canal; and First Street could re-establish itself as a turning basin for the canal, providing access from the upland to the water, as well as a pubic street connecting to Third Avenue. First Street could also be established as a public environmental resource providing storm water control limiting runoff into the canal, as well as a pedestrian path to and along the canal (see Figure 28). Contextual residential/retail/commercial uses should be encouraged/ permitted. Third Avenue and Third Street could promote ground level retail and residential or commercial uses above. Also, the historic power plant should be retained and reused. Limited building heights (by special permit) would complement the power plant and mark the site. Public access along the canal between Third Street and Carroll Street should be required.

Figure 28: Redevelopment Possibility â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Power Station Site

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Vision Statement 84

3.5

Assets and Opportunities

Various community assets and opportunities, which are outlined below, were identified as resources upon which to build (see Figure 29). Figure 29: Special Sites

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Vision Statement 85

New York City Pumping Station At the end of the canal is the pumping station that was landmarked more than twenty years ago and restored to preserve the legacy of New York’s Masons Guild (see Figure 30). The exterior should be restored and the pumping station, as well as the adjacent building to the east, could be made accessible to the public, demonstrating an operating public environmental facility and provide environmental education. For instance, a Center for Environmental Education that chronicles New York State’s extensive history of maritime shipping and extensive use of canals, the canal’s ecosystem and green zone education, could be created. In addition, special lighting could be used to highlight the infrastructure. Figure 30: New York City Pumping Station

Union Street, Carroll Street and Third Street Bridges These bridges could be rehabilitated and specially lit to highlight the infrastructure. Also, traffic calming devices could be installed to slow vehicular traffic and pedestrian paths improved. In addition, connections to open space along the canal should be designed and expanded to serve as special educational and meeting places (see Figure 31).

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Vision Statement 86

Figure 31: Union Street, Carroll Street and Third Street Bridges

Street Ends Street ends, particularly those of Sackett, DeGraw and First Streets could be developed as gathering spaces (see Figure 32). Connecting street ends with a pedestrian bridge as part of a development opportunity or open space connection program should be explored (see Figures 33 and 34). Bridges should also be well lit to highlight the infrastructure. Figure 32: Street Ends

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Vision Statement 87

Figure 33: Pedestrian Bridge Connections

Figure 34: Pedestrian Bridge Simulation

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Industrial Infrastructure Lighting Important industrial sites could be highlighted with special design lighting to reflect the historic areas of the district and announce its significant features (see Figure 35). A special study should be undertaken to establish feasibility. Figure 35: Industrial Infrastructure Lighting

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4.0

IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY

The section focuses on the development of an “action plan,” outlining implementation of the plan and synthesizing strategies and recommendations to achieve the community vision, including suggested zoning text and map changes, regulatory changes or other approaches to enhance neighborhood assets and promote sustainability.

4.1

“Green” Community

A number of specific steps can be taken to help realize the vision for the Gowanus community as outlined in this plan. Leadership It is important that public officials, as well as public and private agencies, understand and support the plan since implementation will require substantial cooperation among the private sector and local and state organizations. The GCCDC bears the primary responsibility for the implementation of this plan, serving as the liaison with the public sector (NYC DEP, Building Department, DOT, Planning Department, Office of Environmental Coordination, Transit Authority, NYS DEC, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, etc.) While the GCCDC will take a leadership role in this effort as managing entity, the Department of City Planning is the principal anticipated entity necessary to administer and enforce local development policies and land use regulations. Public Sector Contributions It is anticipated that the public sector will contribute to the following: ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Storm water system Pumping station and flushing tunnel Bulkhead repairs Brownfield regulations and grants Transit system and station Recycling Renewed and maintained infrastructure: water, sewerage, streets, public space, street lighting Regulations for sustainable development, redevelopment and construction Enforcement of regulations

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Private Sector Contributions It is anticipated that the private sector will contribute to the following: ! ! !

Repair and maintenance of buildings o Voluntary compliance with sustainable materials and techniques Technology and water conservation o Complement Cooper Union and Columbia University initiatives New construction and rehabilitation/reuse of buildings o Participate in LEED program to meet standards for sustainability o Increase porous surfaces on development sites o Encourage reuse rather than demolition and new construction

Ownership Type The large number of vacant or under-utilized, privately-owned shoreline properties, representing 11 percent of the canal’s linear shoreline, is a tremendous opportunity for public and non-profit entities to partner with private investors to investigate, clean up, and develop these properties to support mixed use and public access. Publicly owned parcels also make up a significant portion of shoreline (28 percent). Many of these, however, are scattered street end plots with small lengths of shoreline (50 to 60 feet). The longer parcels may provide opportunities similar to the private properties discussed above. Smaller plots may be useful in connecting larger private or public parcels and in providing small-scale access to the canal. Environmental Quality/ Infrastructure Improvements Guidelines Sharing a vision for sustainability and coordinated infrastructure improvements, the community strongly supports the recent efforts and publication of the New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC), “High Performance Infrastructure Guidelines.” These guidelines serve as a roadmap for a practical, incremental approach to implementing best management practices into “green” right-of-way infrastructure (streetscape design, pavement, utilities, storm water management, landscape, etc.) capital programs. The best management practices outlined in the document are based on the core principles of sustainable design: !

limiting waste and hazardous substances

!

using materials and resources efficiently

!

reducing detrimental impacts to the air, water, soil and vegetation

!

promoting energy efficiency

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!

improving lifecycle and performance

!

enhancing public health, safety and quality of life

Gowanus embraces the practices and ideals (and associated benefits) embodied within these â&#x20AC;&#x153;greenâ&#x20AC;? infrastructure guidelines to improve the quality of both the natural and built environments. The community is committed to implementing sustainable practices that conserve energy, reduce noise pollution, improve air and water quality, protect waters, etc. and will enrich Gowanus now and for generations to come.

4.2

Water Quality Improvements

Recommended Near Term Water Quality Improvements To improve the water quality beyond what the currently planned facilities upgrade program envisions, the GCCDC should encourage the DEP to incrementally improve the combined-sewer pumping stations and outfalls that were not included in the current plans. Priority should be given to upgrading the facilities at the Second Avenue Pumping Station and its associated outfall, OH-007. If the improvements made at the pumping station and outfall were similar in scale in reducing the CSO discharges as those anticipated at the Gowanus Canal Pumping Station, the total annual CSO discharge could be reduced by 40 percent from current levels versus 26 percent by improving the Gowanus Canal Pumping Station alone. Other projects could be smaller in scale and resemble what is being planned for the outfall RH-035. For example, raising the weir and adding screens at outfalls OH-006 and RH-031, when combined with improvements at the previously mentioned outfalls and pumping stations, could eliminate almost all of the floatable discharges into the canal. The remaining operational outfalls have negligible volumes of CSO discharges relative to the others mentioned previously During the DEPâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s USA Project, a model analysis was made to determine the potential impact of eliminating all of the CSO discharges. The results clearly showed that even if all CSO discharges were eliminated, the canal would only improve its class rating one step to Class I, due to the low levels of oxygenated water. The same model suggests that the planned upgrades, including the upgrades to the Gowanus Canal Pumping Station, associated outfall and flushing tunnel improvements, will have almost the same degree of improvement to the water quality as if all CSO discharges were eliminated. The water quality standards are currently based on two factors: fecal coliform concentration and dissolved oxygen. Although eliminating all CSO discharges may reduce the fecal coliform to an acceptable level, the level of dissolved oxygen would still be below standards required by the state. According to the DEP model,

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the CSO discharges contribute less than 20 percent of the overall dissolved oxygen deficit required for a healthy water body. The water quality models calculated that the canal bottomâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dissolved oxygen level, after the improvements made under the Waterbody/Watershed Facility Plan have been completed, will still be less than five milligrams per liter. According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the dissolved oxygen cannot fall below five milligrams per liter, which is considered a healthy level for marine vertebrates. Note that the average bottom dissolved oxygen level would, according to their model, exceed seven milligrams per liter, offering the possibility that the Gowanus may once again become a productive and diverse ecosystem following such improvements. Recommended Long Term Water Quality Improvements The long term water quality goal for the Gowanus Canal is to improve the water quality to the point where unrestricted swimming is possible. It may well be impossible to achieve this level of water quality without replacing the current CSO system with separate sewer and stormwater systems. Critical to this effort will be the need to design the new stormwater system so that it replicates the function that the wetlands once provided to Gowanus Creek. Without this assurance, the water quality within the canal will only marginally improve over currently planned efforts. Dr. Franco Montalto of eDesign Dynamics, LLC, and a GCCDC board member, has conducted studies that provide many of the components that any new stormwater system can incorporate. He has presented his findings and suggestions to the GCCDC and the DEP, among other local government entities.8 Attempting to replace the CSO system with separate sanitary and stormwater systems would undoubtedly be very expensive and highly disruptive, even if it were decided to introduce such changes incrementally. The following is an alternative list of suggested changes that may ultimately achieve the desired water quality goals. Before introducing changes to improve water quality, the necessity of the Gowanus Flushing Tunnel needs to be acknowledged. The DEP has calculated that without an operating flushing tunnel, the canalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s water would quickly deteriorate into an anoxic condition. It may not be possible to replace the oxygenating services that the flushing tunnel provides with any built stormwater system.

8 Dr. Montalto presented his research to Magdi Farag, Director of Engineering, Bureau of Water and Sewer Operations, DEP on November 30, 2004. Mr. Farag was skeptical about many of the methods that Dr. Montalto suggested to minimize runoff from the public street infrastructure, such as porous pavement and sidewalks. But Mr. Farag indicated that his department was willing to work with the community to further identify worthwhile stormwater improvements.

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“Green” Stormwater District The first change in the current stormwater system could be the establishment of a special “green” watershed district for the existing Gowanus watershed. The watershed would include those parts of the current CSO system that currently discharge their overflows into the canal. It is noted that this watershed area, about 1,600 acres, is much larger than the study area. Within this “green” watershed district, the stormwater regulations could be modified to reduce the inflows into the CSO system and put into place the necessary connections to a future separate stormwater system. Inflows could be reduced, in part, by lowering the current allowable runoff coefficients for any new commercial and multiple residential projects. For example, current rules allow commercial and industrial areas to have runoff coefficients of 0.75 to 0.85, meaning that 75 to 85 percent of the rainfall is assumed to be directly diverted into the CSO system. A possible new maximum runoff coefficient for any new building project could be 0.6, which is equivalent to the standard required for a residential building in an R3 zone. Reducing the allowable runoff coefficient will require that a developer incorporate methods to reduce the flow of stormwater from their property. This can be accomplished by incorporating detention tanks, “green” roofs, and other methods. It is important to note that these changes to the stormwater regulations would be paid for by developers, not by the taxpayer, yet the water quality improvements would benefit the community as a whole. In addition to any reduction in stormwater runoff volumes, requirements would have to be implemented to ensure that the stormwater that does enter the stormwater system or CSO will not be grossly contaminated with pollutants such as oil from parking lots and pesticides, herbicides and fertilizer from lawns. All new construction, regardless of zone or building use, should include separate stormwater and sanitary connections, anticipating that the combined sewer infrastructure might be gradually and/or eventually replaced. Gowanus Canal Wetlands To moderate and filter the influx any future inflows by a separate stormwater system, wetlands could be incorporated into the canal’s immediate watershed. The DEP has already incorporated wetlands into the Staten Island stormwater system, for which they have received national recognition. However, any stormwater wetland system that is incorporated into a dense urban waterway such as the Gowanus Canal would be unprecedented and, as such, the effort would require greater study. The ACOE is considering incorporating wetlands as part of its feasibility project and Dr. Montalto has made a wetland a critical component of his suggestion to transform the CSO system in the Gowanus Canal area. The most favorable location for a wetland is the Fourth Street Turning Basin. Other potential wetland areas

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include those properties already owned by the city, including Public Place and filled former canal turning basins â&#x20AC;&#x201C; in particular those sites being used gratis by private entities. Upgrading the Stormwater System Sewer systems require maintenance and periodic re-construction. During the course of required sewer re-construction, the DEP can incorporate the addition of improvements geared towards water quality, including such elements as screenchambers (for floatables), detention tanks (for increased storage during storms), and even separate stormwater systems on a localized basis. Once major areas have enough new construction with separated stormwater outlets, and assuming construction of receiving wetlands to the canal system, projects can be initiated to connect the new stormwater system to the these wetlands.

4.3

Bulkhead Replacement

Most of the bulkheads that line the sides of the canal are a variation of one of the following: !

Gravity retaining wall bulkheads. These structures use large quantities of concrete and/or masonry to resist the lateral forces from the filled-in land behind it.

!

Crib bulkheads. These structures are built of interlocked timber members (similar to log cabin construction) and filled with stone to form a gravity type structure (described above). The majority of the bulkheads are based on this generic model.

!

Relieving platform bulkheads. These structures consist of a deck of timber or concrete supported on piles. A masonry or timber wall is usually located along the face of the bulkhead to help retain the stone fill that is placed inside.

!

Closely-spaced pile bulkheads. These structures consist of timber or steel sheet piles that have been driven in side by side to form a continuous wall. A cantilever pile bulkhead relies on the strength of the driven pile to resist the lateral forces of the fill behind it. An anchored pile bulkhead uses a system of tiebacks that transfers some of the lateral load on the pile wall far back into the soil that sits behind it.

Most of the original bulkheads within the canal were built with timber. In the years since construction, wood rot and marine borers have taken their toll on the bulkheadsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; integrity. Steel sheet pile bulkheads appear to be the replacement bulkhead of choice based on the databaseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s listings. However, timber crib bulkheads are still constructed, including the bridge piers at the Carroll Street

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Bridge. Relieving platforms may still find uses within the canal, especially at those locations where bulkheads have completely failed. A “soft-edge” should become another option for bulkhead replacement projects. A soft-edge, as opposed to the “hard” bulkheads described above, consist of a sloping shoreline, usually protected from wakes and current by riprap and other erosion control methods. Unfortunately, many bulkheads that have failed have become, by default, unprotected soft bulkheads. On a positive note, however, properly engineered soft bulkheads offer the possibility of easy access to the canal’s water’s edge for recreational use. Typical Costs for Bulkhead Construction New bulkhead costs in the canal will vary depending upon the type of bulkhead chosen, and whether a new buried concrete deadman with tie-backs for lateral passive resistance or a relieving platform is used: Type of Bulkhead Work

Budget Cost $ per Lineal Foot

New Steel Sheeting and Deadman

$5,000

New Timber Cribbing, Sheeting and Tie-Backs

$3,500

New Timber Cribbing, Relieving Platform

$4,000

New Concrete Gravity Retaining Wall

$6,500

This cost estimate does not include engineering, demolition and removal of the old bulkhead, decorative railings, hard-scape walkway surface, lighting, or the environmental engineering controls that may be required. Dependant upon the combination of factors at issue, and also upon the length of bulkhead, total costs can range from $7,500 to $10,000 per lineal foot. However, where portions of the existing bulkhead, including tie-backs and/or buried deadman can be salvaged, remedial costs will usually be just a fraction of these costs, below $2,000 or even $1,000 per lineal foot. Importance of the Gowanus Canal Bulkheads The canal’s bulkheads were once designed as work platforms to transfer goods between the shore and merchant vessels. That need no longer exists, as nearly all maritime commerce has ceased on the canal. However, the need for bulkheads still exists for other reasons. Bulkheads now serve as the primary structures that hold back the fill that lies behind them. Bulkheads that have failed are in violation of Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, which does not allow these discharges into water bodies without a federal

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permit. Failed bulkheads let soil erode into the canal. This erosion reduces water depths, silts the water column, and can allow the release of the site’s contaminants. Bulkheads have completely failed at two of the former MGP sites including Citizens Works (now part of Public Place) and the Metropolitan Gas Works (where a Shoprite now resides). At the third Gowanus Canal MGP site, Fulton Gas Works, the bulkhead was reported to be 80 percent deteriorated. Bulkheads also serve to support the structures that are located nearby. At the Metropolitan Gas Works site, Shoprite has lost at least four parking spots due to the complete bulkhead failure. Another example is the “Figliolia” property located on block 453, where the failing bulkhead is causing a foundation failure along one corner of a warehouse. Bulkhead Challenges There are a number of issues that have made repairing or replacing the bulkheads within the canal problematic. According to program managers at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE), the waterfront property owner is responsible for maintaining the bulkheads within their property. Allowing a bulkhead to fail may result in regulatory action by federal and state agencies for adversely affecting the water quality and illegally “filling” the canal. New York City owns the canal, bulkhead face to bulkhead face. But in those situations where the bulkheads have illegally extended into the canal, ownership may reside with the city, which may add legal hurdles in repairing these bulkheads. For example, this situation is believed to exist at the previously mentioned Figliolia site, where part of the bulkhead reportedly extends beyond the authorized limit. Historically, ACOE has allowed methods of bulkhead replacement or repair that would further extend the bulkhead into the canal by no more than 18 inches laterally. It is often easiest to drive a new bulkhead in front of the previous one. Recently, ACOE has tended to favor engineered soft-edges over replacing the failed bulkhead with another hard bulkhead. For the Gowanus Canal, the approval remedy may depend on ACOE, the actual site specifics, and the owner’s preference. Obtaining the required federal, state, and city permits can be a complex, lengthy and time-consuming process. For bulkheads that are still functional, the repair (providing that it does not extend further outboard of the existing structure) will only require a city waterfront permit from the Derrick and Cranes Division, New York City Department of Buildings. The replacement of a failed bulkhead or a new configuration will require a more extensive permit process. A further complicating factor may include the fact that the bulkhead being replaced may be considered eligible for the National Register of Historic Places according to the ACOE. The issue of the failing bulkheads will become an important factor in the decision to dredge the canal. The New York City Department of Environmental Protection

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favors dredging the canal to improve its water quality, and the ACOE is currently studying this option. Dredging the canal has many positive benefits including improving water flow through the canal and removing much of the contaminated sediments. However, dredging along marginal bulkheads may accelerate their failure, as the lateral forces from the shoreward soils are no longer supported in part by the accumulated sediments. Recommendations To encourage the very necessary repairs to the Gowanus Canal’s bulkheads, the GCCDC should take the initiative and become a facilitator for bulkhead repair and replacement. This facilitator role may include assisting bulkhead owners in the permit process, negotiating with the city when the ownership of a bulkhead is in doubt, and helping obtain construction funding if the bulkhead in question is adversely affecting the canal. The GCCDC should also ensure that repaired or replaced bulkheads also function as contaminant barriers if necessary. Conversely, if the bulkhead owner does not show interest in repairing a failed bulkhead, the GCCDC should encourage the regulatory agencies to take action. It is hoped that this action would be the option of last resort, but there would remain the possibility that the uncooperative bulkhead owner would negotiate to rebuild the bulkhead in order to avoid legal action.

4.4

Brownfields Redevelopment

Selection of Priority Brownfield Sites for Remediation Based upon the Sanborn documents, nearly every block of the study area has had a use that may have adversely affected the soil and groundwater. But many of these same sites are being utilized today and have concrete or asphalt barriers preventing exposure to the soil and groundwater. The following sites are highlighted due to their potential impacts to the canal’s sediments and water and the community based on historical use. Former Citizen Works MGP Site This site includes Public Place and the adjoining warehouse to the south. Based on the remedial investigation to date, deposits of coal tar have been found on and off site and the tar may be migrating into the canal’s sediments. The DEC is responsible for setting the cleanup criteria for this site, which is based on the anticipated use. The DEC has indicated that it will be difficult to determine the appropriate clean-up plan without an understanding of the city’s plans for the site. Accordingly, the GCCDC should make every effort to ensure that a consensus is reached on an

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anticipated use for the Public Place site before the remedial investigation is completed and the alternative clean-up analysis is begun. Former Metropolitan Gas Works MGP Site The bulkhead has failed completely along a long length of this former MGP site, potentially allowing coal tars and other MGP related contaminants to deposit into the canal. The landowner has not responded to attempts made in the past by the GCCDC to work together on the bulkhead issue. The GCCDC should work with the state and city to force the landowner to determine the contaminants being eroded into the canal and to build a bulkhead that would impede further migration of MGP waste. Former Fulton Gas Works MGP Site The bulkhead along a portion of this former MGP site has almost completely failed, offering similar risks to the canal as the two sites mentioned above. In addition, the two properties that lie north of the former MGP site were former coal yards, which may have deposited coal tars into the soil and groundwater. Currently auto garages and a crowded truck storage facility occupy the site along the waterfront. Oil leaking from these trucks could also be impacting the canal. The GCCDC also should work with the current owners of the site to repair the bulkheads and to address any contaminants that might be migrating into the canal. It is also important to note the Thomas Greene Playground was once part of the former MGP site, although the consultant does not have any information regarding potential community exposure. The GCCDC should work with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to determine if any community health risks do exist at this playground. Fourth, Sixth and Seventh Street Turning Basins The bulkheads in many locations within these three turning basins have completely failed. Former industrial activities that have been known to occur along these bulkheads include, among others, petroleum and coal bulk storage, sulfur works, and waste disposal. All of these potential contaminants may be eroding into the canal via the failed bulkheads. The GCCDC should cooperate with the state and city to work with the current landowners to determine the contaminants being eroded into the canal and to build a bulkhead that would impede further erosion and contaminant transport.

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Former Brooklyn Rapid Transit Authority Power Station Site The former power station may still contain asbestos-containing material within its insulation and PCB oil within the remaining electrical equipment. The station was powered with coal, which may have resulted in coal tar impacts in the soil and groundwater. The property to the south contained several coal yards and a sulfur works, which are additional potential sources of contamination. To the north lies the filled-in First Street Turning Basin and stretch of bulkhead that has completely failed. Nothing for certain is known about when or with what the turning basin was filled in. In short, there are enough potential sources of concern at this site that the GCCDC should work closely with the site developer to ensure that any environmental impacts that are found are adequately addressed. Site remediation refers to any procedures or strategies used to address environmental impacts on a site. Remediation can be accomplished with a variety of techniques including contaminant source removal and stabilization, engineering controls such as barriers and ventilation systems, and institutional controls such as restricting certain activities on a site. Typically in New York City, remedial actions involve source removal and barriers. Table 19 can be used as a cost guide for soil removal. Cost estimates for all other remedial techniques will vary greatly based on the particulars of a site.

Table 19: Generic Cost to Dispose Contaminated Soil Transportation ! Non-Hazardous Waste Category 1, slight regulatory and Disposal limit exceedances, $50 per short ton ! Non-Hazardous Waste Category 2, petroleum and higher exceedances than Category 1, $100 per short ton ! Hazardous Waste, $250 per ton Labor and $10 per short ton with minimum of 5,000 tons Equipment

It is important to note that the actual remediation is only part of the overall cost of remediating a site. Other brownfield remediation cost components include, in part, due diligence studies (Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessments), remedial investigation studies, alternative remediation analyses, remediation oversight, and post-remediation testing and documentation. The regulatory hurdles and remediation costs have been considerable impediments to brownfield development, but recent changes in New York State law and new incentives have begun to make brownfields very attractive to developers and communities.

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Regulatory Programs and Community Assistance The DEC has a number of programs that are designed to assist and encourage developers, communities and municipalities to remediate what are known as brownfields, which are defined by the DEC as “any real property where redevelopment or re-use may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous waste, petroleum, pollutant, or contaminant.” Principally, these programs are the Brownfield Cleanup Program, the Environmental Restoration Program, and the Brownfield Opportunity Assistance Program. The Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) is the successor to the Voluntary Cleanup Program. It is designed to encourage redevelopment of brownfields by private developers. The BCP has become very popular with developers due to the attractive tax credits that are available to participants. Much of the study area is situated within what is known as an En-Zone, which is an economically depressed area as determined by the state. Because of this status, qualified developers within this zone will earn a Brownfield Redevelopment Credit of up to 22 percent of the site remediation costs, tangible property costs and on-site groundwater remediation costs. Outside the En-Zone, this tax credit it limited to 14 percent. Other financial incentives include credit for the number of employees who work on a qualified site after the development is complete and a credit for environmental remediation insurance credit. The current tax incentives program will expire at the end of 2006. A flow chart summarizing the BCP process can be found in Appendix G. A subset to the BCP of relevance to the GCCDC is that public participation is integral to the program. Technical Assistance Grants worth up to $50,000 can be granted by the state to the GCCDC or other community groups to help the community obtain independent technical assistance in interpreting and understanding the environmental information and to increase public awareness for BCP sites that represent a “significant threat.” The Environmental Restoration Program (ERP) is a state grant program for municipalities that reimburses up to 90 percent of on-site eligible costs and 100 percent of off-site eligible costs for site investigation and remediation activities. There are no restrictions on the reuse of the property. The GCCDC could qualify for inclusion in this program if it partners with a municipality. Provisos are that the municipality must own the property and can not be responsible for the contamination. Approximately $175 million is available for use within this program.9

9

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website.

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The Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) Program provides municipalities and community-based organizations such as the GCCDC financial assistance to complete area-wide approaches to brownfield redevelopment planning. Objectives of this program include: ! ! !

addressing the range of problems posed by large numbers of brownfield sites; building consensus on the future uses of priority brownfield sites; and establishing the multi-agency and private-sector partnerships necessary to leverage assistance and investments required.

Funding is available to cover 90 percent of the costs to complete Pre-Nomination Studies (PNS), Nomination Documents and Site Assessments. The PNS includes documenting the borders of the proposed area, the number and size of the brownfield sites, the current and anticipated uses of sites in the area and the current and anticipated uses of the groundwater in the area. (Based on the material that was collected and summarized for this Comprehensive Community Plan, the GCCDC has much of the material required for a PNS). The Nomination Document is a more detailed PNS and the Site Assessments are full environmental investigations for selected brownfield sites (similar in scope to the remedial investigation occurring at the Public Place site.) The City of New York has an appointed brownfield coordinator who is responsible for assisting community organizations in applying for brownfield grants. Before the Brownfield Coordinator can assist the GCCDC in applying for a particular grant, the GCCDC must obtain a letter from the Mayor or Borough President that endorses the effort. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has a number of grant programs similar to the DECâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s for which the GCCDC is also eligible. Assessment Grants, for which there is no cost sharing requirement, are similar to the BOA Program described above. The Revolving Loan Fund grants provide funding for the recipient to capitalize a revolving loan fund and to provide subgrants to carry out remediation activities at brownfield sites. Cleanup grants provide funding to perform remediation activities at brownfield sites.

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4.5

Special Mixed-Use Zoning District

Zoning is considered one of the principal tools for implementing land use, development and design principles established in the plan. Zoning generally divides the community into exclusive districts, specifying the particular uses that will be allowed in each district. Standards are then set for each district. A primary element of the implementation strategy is the creation of a special mixeduse zoning district, similar to those currently mapped in several locations throughout Brooklyn, combining a light industrial district with a residential district to permit a mix of selected light industrial, commercial, and residential uses (under the applicable land use, lot, and bulk regulations). In the spirit of sustainability, this district would be intended to encourage adaptive reuse of existing structures (preservation of building materials and energy conservation), permitting mixed-use buildings, and including an expanded definition of home occupations, permitting a broad variety of live-work accommodations. In addition, this special mixed-use zoning district would be subject to development and design standards/guidelines such as development densities, building heights, set backs, and landscape standards.

4.6

Canal Improvement District

Another key element of the implementation strategy is the development of a Canal Improvement District (CID). The basic purpose of this public/private sector partnership would be to improve business conditions and quality of life, and enhance the district to promote, achieve and maintain a sustainable, â&#x20AC;&#x153;greenâ&#x20AC;? community. A CID would be driven by community support and would require legislative authorization in order to be established. Such a district would be funded through monies collected from all property and business owners in the defined boundaries of the district. The financial contribution would be used to supplement existing public services (security, sanitation, marketing and promotional efforts, capital improvements and beautification, etc.) and foster business improvements. The formation of a CID requires strong local support and would be overseen by a board of directors comprising business and local government leaders that would be elected by the members of the district. This district would be similar to the Business Improvement District (BID) program for which any commercial, retail and industrial area is eligible. In New York City, BIDs are critical partners in ongoing initiatives of neighborhood revitalization and economic development across the five boroughs.

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4.7

Financial Resources

In addition to those noted elsewhere in the report, Gowanus has a variety of potential revenue sources at its disposal, for use in implementing this plan (see Table 20). Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Program Building owners can take advantage of various programs that provide tips for implementing â&#x20AC;&#x153;green technology.â&#x20AC;? LEED is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. LEED guidelines provide a rating system for environmental sustainability. Building designs are awarded points for a wide variety of energy-efficient and environmentally friendly features, from the installation of floor-based heating to reduce energy consumption to the use of local building materials that take less energy to transport. Developers can earn special tax incentives by following these guidelines. In addition, there may be some indirect cost benefits to green design, i.e., the economic gains for building owners who invest in green technology go beyond the monthly reductions in energy bills. Green buildings reflect attention to detail, which ultimately results in a better quality product.

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Table 20: Implementation Strategy Implementation Objective Land Use/ Zoning Amend Zoning Resolution (and update zoning map) to reflect proposed land use development (Special Mixed-Use District) Economic Development Attract industry to designated areas/ market Empire Zone Redevelop underutilized land/ brownfields Develop Special Improvement District (SID) Historic Resources Designate local historic properties Offer incentives for rehabilitating and reoccupying vacant, historic structures Improve aesthetics of historic properties with signage, installation of lighting, etc. Open Space and Natural Resources Develop a greenway along the canal Canal bulkhead improvements Community Facilities and Services Select site, design and construct new museum Upgrade existing parks Develop multi-use facility Transportation Construct pedestrian bridges

Responsible Entities

Funding Source

Projected Time Frame

New York City Department of City Planning

Not Applicable

Fall or Winter 2007

SWBIDC

City, State and Federal agencies Private, State and Federal agencies Not applicable

Continuous

2007

Private and Public sectors GCCDC, CBG, NYGDADT of City Planning

Continuous beginning in Winter 2007

New York City Landmarks Preservation Committee New York City/ State

Not applicable

Continuous

New York City

2008

GCCDC, CBG, City of New York

City, State and Federal agencies

2008

GCCDC, CBG, New York City Department of Parks Department of Environmental Protection

Private sector

2008-2009

State, City

2008-2010

GCCDC, CBG, Gowanus Canal Conservation Agency GCCDC, CBG, New York City Department of Planning GCCDC, CBG, Conservation Agency

Public, private sector Public, private sector

2008-2010

New York City Department of Transportation

City, State

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Acknowledgements 105

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Listed below are the GCCDC Board members and all those individuals and groups/ organizations that participated and provided valuable input in connection with developing the Gowanus Canal Comprehensive Community Plan. The list was generated from the sign-in sheets at the different project-related meetings. Affiliations are included for those who provided the information on sign-in sheets.

GCCDC Board Members William Appel, Secretary Jean Austin, Vice Chairperson Paul Bader, Emeritus Director Christopher Conroy Frank D'Amico Linda Devereaux, Treasurer Robert Fritz Ellie Hanlon, Ph.D. Michael Ingui, Chairperson Thomas McMahon Joseph F. Messineo Franco Montalto, Ph.D. Alicia Moore Salvatore â&#x20AC;&#x153;Buddyâ&#x20AC;? Scotto Thomas Chardavoyne, Executive Director Jeanne DeLascio, former Executive Director Participants 1. Tony Ameruso, Ferrara Brothers (deceased) 2. Bill Appel 3. Katie Appel, Department of Homeless Services 4. Carl Arnold 5. Kevin Barns 6. Kristen Barrett 7. Kevin Barry, Waterfront Disposal 8. Susan Baxt 9. Alan Bell, The Hudson Cols Inc. 10. Jon Benguiat, Brooklyn Borough City Planning

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Acknowledgements 106

11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48.

Carolyn Bennett Benjamin Bennett Mattew Betteil Marsha Borenstein, Congressman Major Owens Katherine Bragdon David Briggs, Loci Architecture PC Marianne Brown Michael Brown, Regional Plan Association Kate Brunner, AKRF Joseph F. Bruno Celia Cacace Kevin Catucci Henry Cortes, Citibank Darren Costanzo Enrico Cullen, Brooklyn Center for the Urban Environment Ashley Cushing Frank D'Ganie Marlene Donnelly John Doyle Frederick Edmond, NYC DEP Kirsten Eiler, Brooklyn City Planning Nathan F. Elbogen Dan Falt, USACE Joel Farber Reho Joseph J. Ferrara Michael Fox Cathy Fuda, Assemblyman Millman Ellen Gottlieb, Brooklyn Bridge Realty Howard Granbard Katherine Grennan Todd Griffin Craig Hammerman, Community Board 6 Chris Hardej, NY Metropolitan Transportation Council Julie Herzner Ben Herzog Lee Ilan, NYC Office of Environmental Coordination Hsiaoping Jao Seth Johnson

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Acknowledgements 107

49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 78. 79. 80. 81. 82. 83. 84. 85. 86.

Marcie Kesner Connor Lacefield, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce Garrick Landsberg Linda LaViolette Jennifer Ling, Gowanus Canal Summer Research Pamela Lynch, USACE George Magnifico, Magnifico Enterprises Lindy Mariano George Nunez Matthewson, Audio Art Productions Margaret Maugenest J. Mc Gettrick, Red Hook Civic Association/Carroll Gardens Association Tom McMahon Ryann McMahon Ernest Migliaccio, Friends & Residents of Greater Gowanus (deceased) Adrienne Milea Fay Milea Alicia Moore, Brooklyn Borough City Planning John C. Muir, Brooklyn Center for the Urban Environment Margaret Nelson Betsy Nordlander Naomi Nwosu, High School for Environmental Studies Marilyn Oliva Everett H. Ortner Douglas Rice Esther Robinson, C.A.T.S. Elizabeth Rueckerl Betteil Carolina Salguero Thomas Shea, USACE, NY District Marcus Simons, AKRF Andrew Sloat, Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club Stefan Smith, Korner Environmental, Inc. Anthony Srudone, M.S. Recycling Yuwie Tan Phaedra Thomas, Southwest Brooklyn IDC John Venezia, M.S. Recycling Chris J. Villari, NYC DEP David Von Spreckelsen Joshua Wallack, Congressman Bill de Blasio

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Acknowledgements 108

87. 88. 89. 90. 91. 92. 93. 94. 95. 96. 97.

Paul Wilcox Daniel Wiley, Office of the Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez Michael Wilson Adam Wolff Matt Yates Vimarie Tilelli, Architectural Grille Bette Stoltz, South Brooklyn Local Development Corporation Joseph Guido, Marble Co. Inc. Leah Archibald, Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation Office of the Brooklyn Borough President

We thank all those who contributed and are not listed above. Special thanks to Community Board 6 for providing a mailing list for community outreach and to those news publications who advertised community meetings.

Although the following studies are not included in connection with this report, we are aware that future findings could affect the recommendations outlined herein: !

New York City Industrial Policy Protecting and Growing New York Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Industrial Job Base. [Launch IBZ /redraw boundaries to reflect more accurately areas of significant manufacturing or industrial use. Program offers incentives for those relocating to IBZs]. January 2005.

!

Up From the Ruins: Why Rezoning New York Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Manufacturing Areas for Housing Makes Sense. Manhattan Institute Rethinking Development Report. No. 2, June 2005.

!

Thomas Greene Park/ Open Space Study. Boerum Hill Association.

!

Gowanus Expressway Transportation.

Project.

New

York

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State

Department

of


Consultant Team 109

CONSULTANT TEAM FERRANDINO & ASSOCIATES INC. (Lead consultant) Vince Ferrandino, AICP, Principal in Charge Teresa Bergey, Planner/Project Manager Aiken Kwok, Senior Planner/GIS Lisa Bassett, Administrative

EHRENKRANTZ ECKSTUT & KUHN ARCHITECTS William Donohoe, Principal in Charge Georgeen Theodore, Associate/Senior Designer Annisia Cialone, Associate/Designer Larry Fabbroni/Planner

LANGAN ENGINEERING AND ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES Gerry McDonnell, P.E., Project Manager Eric Muller, Assistant Project Engineer

ACP VISIONING AND PLANNING, Ltd. Jennifer Lindbom, AICP, Project Manager

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Works Cited 110

Works Cited Brown, Adam (Marine Consulting). Gowanus Canal Bulkhead Inventory Survey, prepared for the Gowanus Canal Community Development Corporation, July 2000. “Carroll Gardens Public Place, Investigation of a Former Manufactured Gas Plant Site in an Urban Area.” Brooklyn, New York. Presentation by Alessandra Sumowicz, Director, Mayor’s Office of Environmental Coordination, City of New York at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Brownfields Conference, October 2000. Gowanus Canal Community Development Corporation. Strategic Plan, prepared for the NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal, July 2003. Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club. “Gowanus Canal History.” [http://www.waterfrontmuseum.org/dredger/history.html], accessed 05/12/04. Hazen and Sawyer, P.C. Gowanus Canal, 201 Facility Plan - Volume 3, Water Quality Study, prepared for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, December 1983. Hazen and Sawyer, P.C. and HydroQual, Inc. Inner Harbor CSO Facility Planning Project, Draft Facilities Planning Project, prepared for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Environmental Engineering, January 1993. Hazen and Sawyer, P.C. Water Quality and Biological Improvements after Reactivation of the Gowanus Canal Flushing Tunnel, Draft Interim Report, prepared for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Environmental Engineering, October 2000. Holt, Dennis. “How It Was” (recalling privately owned, 19th century working shore). Brooklyn Heights Press and Cobble Hill News, January 2003. HydroQual, Inc. Inner Harbor CSO Facility Planning Project Task 4.3B, Gowanus Canal Modeling, prepared for the City of New York Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Environmental Engineering, Division of CSO Abatement, December 1993. HydroQual, Inc. City-Wide Floatables Study: Floatables Pilot Program, prepared for the City of New York Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of

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Works Cited 111

Environmental Engineering, Division of Water Quality Improvement, January 1995. Maloghney, Joesph (NYSDEC Project Manager for Public Place site). Telephone Conversation, September 1, 2004. McManus M., K.W. Jones, N.L. Clescen, I.L. Preiss. “Renewal of Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal Area.” The Journal of Urban Technology, Vol. 2, No. 2, p. 51-64, 1995. New York City Department of City Planning. Gowanus: A Strategy for Industrial Retention. October 1985. New York City Department of City Planning. Plan for the Brooklyn Waterfront, Fall 1994. New York City Department of Environmental Protection, “Draft Rules and Regulations Governing the Construction of Private Sewers & Drains,” 1997. New York City Department of Environmental Protection, “Gowanus Canal Waterbody/ Watershed Assessment and Preliminary Facility Plan,” Gowanus Canal Waterbody/ Watershed. Stakeholder Team Meeting No. 5, April 20, 2004 public presentation. New York City Department of Environmental Protection. “2003 New York Harbor Water Quality Report,” [http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/]. New York City Department of Environmental Protection. 1998 Summary of Plant Operations, Fiscal Year, 1999. New York City Department of Environmental Protection. “Use and Standards Attainment Project: Preliminary Waterbody/ Watershed Characterization Report, Gowanus Canal,” 2003. New Yorkers for Parks (formerly the “Parks Council”). Creating Public Access to the Brooklyn Waterfront, February 1990. New Yorkers for Parks (formerly the “Parks Council”). Red Hook’s Waterfront Access Plan, Summer 1995. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Brownfield website: [http:// www.dec.state.ny.us/website/der/bfield/index.html]. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation MGP website: [http:// www.dec.state.ny.us/website/der/mgp/index.html].

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Works Cited 112

New York State Department of Health. New York City Water Survey Series Report No.1, Upper Bay - East Lower Bay, prepared by the New York State Department of Health, Water Pollution Control Board, July 1960. New York State Environmental Protection Agency website: [http://www.epa.gov/ brownfields/]. Pratt Institute Center for Community and Environmental Development. A Program for Competitiveness, 1987. “Remedial Investigation to Begin at Former MGP Site, Citizens Gas Works Former MGP Site, Site No. V00360-2,” February 2003. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Project Management Plan, Gowanus Bay and Canal, Brooklyn New York, Ecosystem Restoration Study, prepared by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District, November 2001. U.S. Census Bureau. Census 2000, Summary File 1 (SF 1), American FactFinder, 2005 [http://fctfinder.census.gov].

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APPENDIX A

Gowanus Canal Comprehensive Community Plan | Gowanus Canal CDC


Report Summaries Curry, Rex et al. Pratt Institute Center for Community and Environmental Development. A Program for Competitiveness, prepared for Gowanus Canal Community Development Corporation. New York, NY, 1987. Report provides comprehensive plan for the area surrounding the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn. The Study anticipates changes in land use encouraged by “clean water” in the canal, outlining opportunities for manufacturing networks to bring innovative ideas to existing unproductive land uses coupled with resources to deal with ongoing environmental contamination. The report addresses the future of business development in the canal area, developing a vision for a diverse business network that promotes existing industrial while utilizing advance technologies; innovative public partnerships that create new land uses; and resourceful management of the area’s natural environment. The report examines a series of probable development sites and potential development initiatives. Gowanus Canal Community Development Corporation. Strategic Plan, prepared for NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal. New York, NY, July 2003. Report describes the Gowanus Canal Community Development Corporation’s organizational mission, history and accomplishments with respect to housing development and services and canal revitalization efforts, commercial revitalization and community renewal, as well as the strategic planning process. Report also provides a demographic snapshot of the area; describes issues and current development trends; and recommends potential opportunities. The following points from the report are relevant to this Plan: !

A former ribbon factory, located a half block from the canal, is a potential site for senior housing development.

!

The development of a 60-unit rental housing project on the site of a manufacturing building located one- half block from the canal has proven to be successful.

!

The Neighborhood Preservation Program (NPP) has made it possible for GCCDC to preserve and promote safe, secure and affordable housing for seniors and low-income families and individuals in the community.

!

GCCDC is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the NYC Department of Environmental Protection to explore alternatives for further remediation of the canal.

!

Following the creation of three street-end sitting areas, GCCDC has been working toward the development of a pilot walkway project, with the long-term aim being a continuous linear walkway along the shoreline of the canal. For example, the first section of the public access walkway along the canal waterfront has been proposed at the Lowe’s site (former Post Office portion).


!

GCCDC is engaged in facilitating development on large brownfield sites located along the canal, such as the Public Place site.

!

Demographic characteristics of the study area show that there is great demand for affordable housing and the expansion of economic and commercial opportunities, as well as housing and community development services.

!

GCCDC and the Carroll Gardens Association are pursuing an opportunity to co-sponsor the development of the Public Place site.

Several trends are evident: 1. Gentrification â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Rising real estate prices for both housing and retail affect low income groups and small local businesses. 2. Land speculation and gentrification have contributed to an unstable real estate market for land zoned for manufacturing use. This results in available land not being fully utilized for economic development. 3. Competition for resources among community-based organizations has increased. New York City Department of City Planning. Gowanus: A Strategy for Industrial Retention (NYC-DCP 85-09), prepared for NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal. New York, NY, October 1985. Report affirms the importance of Gowanus as a stable industrial district and outlines a strategy to build upon recent stability to enhance the areaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s valuable employment opportunities while responding to the concerns of adjacent communities. Recommendations included: enforce manufacturing zoning to prevent illegal residential conversions and encourage continued industrial retention and growth; rezone active industrial areas in residential zoning districts to protect them from conversion pressures; rezone some manufacturing zones to a new light manufacturing district to support and protect residential enclaves; develop Public Place as industry; target Gowanus for relocating industry and assist existing firms to expand; disseminate information about the Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s financial assistance programs; encourage local incentives; and improve local traffic circulation to enhance efficiency of industrial operations. Documented efforts in this report which are relevant to the study area of this Plan include the designation of the Gowanus Industrial Development Area (part of study area), designation of Public Place and the implementation of the Gowanus Canal 201 Facilities Plan (designed to reduce canal pollution by dredging and activating the flushing tunnel and the Gowanus pumping station). New York City Housing and Development Administration, Department of Development. Gowanus Industrial Development Project: First Amended Urban Renewal Plan, November 1976.

Gowanus Canal Comprehensive Community Plan | Gowanus Canal CDC


Report objectives included minimizing the non-conformance of land use; eliminating impediments to land disposition and development; creating jobs for residents of nearby neighborhoods; relocating resource for industries displaced from urban renewal areas; and establishing appropriate industrial land uses. Report also described the deficiencies of the project area at that time, which included automobile repairs on sidewalks, abandoned and dilapidated block/structures, traffic congestion caused by junkyard and repairs, incompatible land uses and inadequate loading and parking facilities. The proposed renewal actions included: !

Land Acquisition for purposes of clearance and redevelopment or rehabilitation.

!

Owners of properties within the designated area who desire to develop or redevelop their properties may secure exclusion of such properties from acquisition by the City.

!

Acquisition for clearance and redevelopment may be required for properties not kept at a high level of maintenance or which do not otherwise meet the objectives of the plan.

!

Regulations and controls pertaining covenants, agreements for land disposition and conveyance would be implemented.

In addition, proposed land us changes were described as well as other provisions to meet state and local requirements with respect to land uses, acquisition, demolition, public and community facilities/utilities, air rights and easements and time schedule for implementation of the Plan.

Weisbrod, Roberta. Gowanus Canal Rediscovery Plan: Preparation of the Strategy for the Revitalization of the Gowanus Canal, prepared for New York State Department of State. New York, NY, August 2003. The report solicits and compiles existing historical and municipal documents and studies, as well as public and stakeholder input to satisfy tasks 7A and 7B of the Gowanus Rediscovery Plan, which outlines the framework for the longterm revitalization strategy of the Gowanus Canal area including short-term projects (street end parks, public access walkways, and habitat restoration design). The report first outlines the vision and objectives of the Gowanus Canal Revitalization. Next, a community profile including current land use, demographics and employment trends in the immediate area are presented. Implications for revitalization are then analyzed in reference to: zoning, ownership, structures, bulkheads, transportation and infrastructure, public access and open space, topology and hydrology, natural resources, habitat, land, architectural resources, cultural resources and community resources. Battelle and Norhern Ecological Associates (NEA). Gowanus Canal Data Assessment Report, prepared for United States Army Corps of Engineers. New York, NY, October 2003. Gowanus Canal Comprehensive Community Plan | Gowanus Canal CDC


Report identifies and reviews existing data on the Gowanus Bay and Canal to form an ecological baseline for evaluation in the Gowanus Restoration Program including appropriate chemical, biological and physical analyses and sample collection sites. This is not a full report. Crowser, Hart. Gowanus CDC Task 9A Report: 7413-00, prepared for New York State Department of State. New York, NY, September 2003. Report describes site reconnaissance and selection requirement for the New York State Department of Stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Gowanus Canal Rediscovery Plan Task 9A, in which thirteen waterfront properties in the area were chosen for development of a public walkway. Sites were screened using the following criteria: owner participation; surrounding land use; connectivity; future expansion; aesthetic considerations; bulkhead improvement; and time to implement. Three top sites were selected based on the conclusions from this evaluation for candidate pilot sites. Brown, Adam (Marine Consulting). Gowanus Canal: Bulkhead Inventory Survey, prepared for the Gowanus Canal Community Development Corporation. New York, NY, July 2000. Report is a preliminary survey and inventory of the bulkheads and fillretaining structures within the Gowanus Canal. No prior surveys were conducted. Report includes: layout, surroundings, condition survey, photography and a final report.

Gowanus Canal Comprehensive Community Plan | Gowanus Canal CDC


APPENDIX B


COMPREHENSIVE COMMUNITY PLAN

Participants at the Kickoff Meeting

on July 15, 2004

The Gowanus Canal Community Development Corporation (GCCDC) is a neighborhood preservation non-profit organization dedicated to the revitalization of the Gowanus Canal area in South Brooklyn for twenty-six years.

Kickoff Meeting Summary Introduction The Gowanus Canal Community Development Corporation (GCCDC) has initiated a planning and public participation process to develop a Comprehensive Community Plan for the Gowanus Canal waterway and its surrounding neighborhoods. Through a combination of technical analysis and community input, the Plan will address a variety of community issues including environmental restoration efforts, development of residential and mixed-use zones, and public access to the canal in order to maximize land value, create jobs, support existing commerce, and improve the quality of life for residents. The GCCDC received an EDI Special Project Grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to fund the development of the plan. The consultant team selected by the GCCDC Board to carry out the planning effort includes Ferrandino and Associates Inc., Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects, Langan Engineering and Environmental Services, and ACP窶天isioning and Planning, Ltd. The Kickoff Meeting for the project was held on July 15, 2004 in the Community Room of the Brooklyn Borough Hall. Sixty-five representatives of the community, government, and business establishments were in attendance. This document summarizes the meeting, presents the results of two activities conducted during the meeting, and comments collected (see attachments). The PowerPoint presentation used during the event is available under separate cover.


Kickoff Meeting Summary

Methodology A combination of presentations, written questionnaires, and open forums were employed during the meeting to provide an overview of the planning process, to document participants’ evaluation of 11 draft Guiding Principles for Development and Design, and to provide them with an opportunity to share their reactions with the rest of the participants. The agenda for the meeting is listed below. Agenda 6:30 Welcome 6:40 Introduction 6:50 What is the Gowanus Canal Community Comprehensive Plan?: An overview of the process 7:10 Questions and Answers 7:20 What principles should guide the development of the Gowanus Canal and surroundings?: Rating questionnaire 7:40 Advocacy Minutes 8:00 What are our priorities?: Ranking the Principles 8:20 Summary and Wrap-up 8:30 Adjourn The Gowanus Canal Community Comprehensive Plan A description of the planning process was presented. The map at left represents the primary focus area of the plan. The plan is intended to lay out the “vision” for the future development and redevelopment of the community, it will describe what the community will be like and look like in the future, serve as a guide for community decisions, and provide policy and program guidance to promote the community’s vision. The presentation also listed the general framework for preparing the plan. Please refer to the PowerPoint (under separate cover) for the complete presentation. Questions and Answers After the presentation of the process, the meeting was opened for questions and answers. Discussion focused on outreach, implementation and maintaining the area’s character and industry. A summary of the Q&A is included in the attachments. Primary Focus Area (delineated by red border)

07/15/04

Draft Guiding Principles for Development and Design A key component of the Kickoff Meeting was the presentation and evaluation of the draft Guiding Principles for Development and Design. The Kickoff meeting was intended not only to provide an introduction See it. Shape it. Share it. – Gowanus Canal Comprehensive Community Plan


Kickoff Meeting Summary

to the process, but to also begin a dialogue about the future of the Gowanus Canal and surroundings. Eleven draft Guiding Principles were developed through a combination of the GCCDCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s goals from the RFP, discussions with the Board, review of previous studies, and consultant team experience/expertise. Additions, subtractions, and revisions of these principles will take place as the planning process continues and more public input is incorporated. The principles addressed the canal, development, design, and the process. See the attached participant handout for the complete list of principles.

Participants complete the rating questionnaire

Results of the Rating and Ranking Rating the draft Guiding Principles for Development and Design Each of the principles was described in a PowerPoint presentation. After which, participants were asked to respond to the following question and rate the principle on a scale of one to five. ! How important is this principle to the development and revitalization of the Gowanus Canal Community? (1=not at all important, 5=Very important) In general, all of the principles were considered important as none received an average score lower than 4. They are listed below from highest to lowest average score. Rating Results

Participants rank the principles on large posters

Principle

Average Score

1. To clean up the water and restore habitat in and along the Gowanus canal. 10. To incorporate public involvement throughout the planning process. 9. To restore and reuse existing structures and brownfields. 11. To formulate and implement a plan with short-, medium-, and longterm actions that promote the coordinated development of the Gowanus Canal Community. 7. To retain the historic fabric of the Gowanus Canal and adjacent development.

4.8 4.5 4.4 4.4

4.3

3. To provide public access to the Gowanus Canal for passive and active recreation. 6. To retain viable existing businesses and attract new economic development.

4.2

2. To promote maritime use of the Gowanus Canal. 8. To create a high-quality public environment of appealing streets, sidewalks, parks, and open spaces. 4. To encourage an appropriate mix of land uses (residential, retail, commercial, industrial, and public spaces). 5. To balance existing land uses and new development.

4.1 4.0

4.1

4.0 4.0


Kickoff Meeting Summary

Ranking the draft Guiding Principles for Development and Design After rating the principles on their individual merit, participants were given three sticky dots and asked to indicate which principles they believed were the most important to the development and revitalization of the Gowanus Canal Community. In this case, participants were only asked to choose among the nine principles relating to the canal, development, and design. They placed their stickers on large posters. The principles are listed below from the highest to lowest number of dots received.

Ranking Results Principle 1. To clean up the water and restore habitat in and along the Gowanus Canal. 7. To retain the historic fabric of the Gowanus Canal and adjacent development. 6. To retain viable existing businesses and attract new economic development. 8. To create a high-quality public environment of appealing streets, sidewalks, parks, and open spaces. 2. To promote maritime use of the Gowanus Canal. 9. To restore and reuse existing structures and brownfields. 5. To balance existing land uses and new development. 4. To encourage an appropriate mix of land uses (residential, retail, commercial, industrial, and public spaces). 3. To provide public access to the Gowanus Canal for passive and active recreation.

Number of Dots 32 24 22 16 14 13 10 8 6


Kickoff Meeting Summary

Summary of Results

Results of the ranking excercise

It is important to note that the results of both the rating and the ranking represent the opinions of a relatively small sample of community residents, businesses, and government representatives. At the same time, the results provide a preliminary assessment of priorities/concerns. In both the rating and the ranking, the most important principle is to clean up the water and restore habitat in and along the canal. According to the rating, there is a strong desire to incorporate public involvement in the planning process and to formulate an actionable plan, which was further borne out by the comments during the question and answer period. The desire to retain the historic fabric of the community scored high in both the rating and ranking. Interestingly, although participants indicated in the rating that providing public access was relatively important, it was ranked lowest. Advocacy Minutes To ensure there was adequate time for ranking, the activity took place before the Advocacy Minutes open forum. During this portion of the program, participants were encouraged to react to the principles and make suggestions for improving them. Some of the topics discussed include transparency of the process, the environment, and design. The discussion was documented on flipchart paper and is included in the attachments.


Attachments 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

07/15/04

Participant Handout Notes on Questions and Answers Advocacy Minutes Comments on the Rating Questionnaire Comment Card Submissions

See it. Shape it. Share it. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Gowanus Canal Comprehensive Community Plan


See it. Shape it. Share it. Kickoff Meeting The Gowanus Canal Comprehensive Community Plan Agenda 6:30 6:40 6:50 7:10 7:20 7:40 8:00 8:20 8:30

Welcome Introduction What is the Gowanus Canal Comprehensive Community Plan?: An overview of the process Questions and Answers What principles should guide the development of the Gowanus Canal and surroundings?: Rating questionnaire Advocacy Minutes What are our priorities?: Ranking the Principles Summary and Wrap-up Adjourn

Introduction The Gowanus Canal Community Development Corporation (GCCDC) has initiated a planning and public participation process to develop a Comprehensive Community Plan for the Gowanus Canal waterway and its surrounding neighborhoods. Through a combination of technical analysis and community input, the Plan will address a variety of community issues including environmental restoration efforts, development of residential and mixed-use zones, and public access to the Canal in order to maximize land value, create jobs, support existing commerce, and improve the quality of life for residents. The GCCDC received an EDI Special Project Grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to fund the development of the plan. The consultant team selected by the GCCDC Board to carry out the planning effort includes Ferrandino and Associates, Inc., Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects, Langan Engineering and Environmental Services, and ACPâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;Visioning and Planning, Ltd. Join us at our next Public Meeting The Gowanus Canal Comprehensive Community Plan process will incorporate significant public involvement throughout the preparation of the plan. Please be sure to turn in your Exit Questionnaire with your current contact information to ensure you receive invitations to upcoming meetings and check our website for announcements. We look forward to seeing you at the next Public Meeting for See it. Shape it. Share it. The Gowanus Canal Community Development Corporation The Gowanus Canal Community Development Corporation (GCCDC) is a neighborhood preservation nonprofit organization dedicated to the revitalization of the Gowanus Canal area in South Brooklyn for twenty-six years.

For more information For more information contact: Jeanne DiLascio, Executive Director Gowanus Canal Community Development Corporation (GCCDC) 515 Court Street Brooklyn, New York 11213 Phone: 718.858.0557 Fax: 718.237.0217 Email: gowanuscdc@aol.com Or visit our website at: www.gowanus.org

07/15/04

See it. Shape it. Share it. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Gowanus Canal Comprehensive Community Plan


Guiding Principles for Development and Design These following draft Guiding Principles for Development and Design are a series of statements that will be used to shape the development of the Gowanus Canal Comprehensive Community Plan. The 11 principles address four categories: the canal, development, design, and the process. A series of bulleted statements is included to provide a general definition of each principle. The principles will be evaluated by participants of the Kickoff Meeting. The Canal Principle #1:

To clean up the water and restore habitat in and along the Gowanus Canal.

! Continue and accelerate current efforts of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and US Army Corps of Engineers. ! Establish environmentally sound practices for the district that are pragmatic and enforceable. Principle #2:

To promote maritime use of the Gowanus Canal.

! Develop a water plan for the length of the canal. ! The water plan will influence upland uses. ! Gowanus Community with canal is unique in New York City. Principle #3:

To provide public access to the Gowanus Canal for passive and active recreation.

! Access to and along the canal where practical. ! Access related to public spaces and appropriate uses. ! Coordinate with view corridors. Development Principle #4: To create an appropriate mix of land uses (residential, retail, commercial, industrial, and public spaces).

! Mixed land uses, both horizontally and vertically, promote variety and longer periods of social activity. ! Mixed use helps to develop â&#x20AC;&#x153;placesâ&#x20AC;? that people want to live in and visit. Principle #5:

To balance existing land uses and new development.

! Gowanus Community should be strengthened by new development not radically altered. ! Existing uses retain historic character and new development provides energy. Principle #6:

To retain viable existing businesses and attract new economic development.

! Important to build on the existing strengths of the community. ! New economic development should correspond to the vision for the Gowanus Community. Design Principle #7:

To retain the historic fabric of the Gowanus Canal and adjacent development.

! Special structures and places are retained and featured. ! New development, while contemporary, respects memories and character of Gowanus Community. Principle #8:

To create a high-quality public environment of appealing streets, sidewalks, parks, and open spaces.

! Public environment establishes value and address for private development.


! Public environment sets standards for quality and must be maintained. Principle #9:

To restore and reuse existing structures and brownfields.

! Prioritize structures to be reused and establish procedures. ! Brownfields to be identified, prioritized as to remediation needed, and funding assistance identified and sought for public and private sectors. The Process Principle #10: To incorporate public involvement throughout the planning process.

! Public involvement is a necessary condition to successful development. ! Public receives: professional advice and experience information, creativity, technical expertise. ! Public contributes: History, practicality, urgency, caution, energy, support. ! Vision and plans achieved through consensus. Principle #11: To formulate and implement a plan with short-, medium-, and long-term actions that promote the coordinated development of the Gowanus Canal Community.

! Large scale plans are difficult and have many false starts; the key is to have agreed upon overall vision made up of discrete smaller pieces. ! Initial development must be successful in three to five years required both public and private investment.


Notes on Questions and Answers Outlined below are notes taken by the consultant team to document the question and answer period. Q: Resident is concerned that GCCDC favors residential development versus community development. A: The GCCCC wants to listen to everyone and invited many community groups to the Kickoff meeting. Q: What will be the consequences and vision of a completed study? A: It won’t sit on a shelf and will be agreed upon through consensus. Q: How were people notified about the Kickoff meeting? A: Through a mailing and a flyer. Q: What will be the difference between this meeting and the next one on September 14th? A: It will be more interactive. Q: With regard to scheduling - offer advance notice. Q: Suggestion about laying out the process and managing expectations. Q: Suggestion that mailing be handled by different consultant or a different entity. Q: What is the reason for such a short time frame? A: The project is publicly funded and has a deadline. The consultant team wanted to get the process started sooner rather than later. Q: From where did guiding principles originate? A: They were developed from a variety of sources – past plans, with the GCCDC Board, etc. Q: We have such a short time period. Let’s get to work. Q: Suggestion to cooperate with community, leave manufacturing base in tact to supply World Trade Center and jobs because that industry gives a lot to the community and the city.


A: This plan is not beginning with any preconceived ideas or predilection for any particular focus. Q: Suggestion to balance existing uses and new development Q: How will the information be processed, evaluated and weighted? Will there be a filtering process engaged to establish consensus behind the principles? A: The consultant team’s job is to get as many views as possible and to give advice. It is the community’s job to tell the team what it is like to live in Gowanus. The team will push you to give as many ideas as possible and the community needs to push back in order to create the best plan possible. Q: The consultant team should take over outreach. Q: Will there be other opportunities to provide feedback? Q: What’s next? Plan implementation? A: There will be a Tour of Gowanus Canal – posted in NY Times


Advocacy Minutes During this portion of the program, participants were encouraged to react to the principles and make suggestions for improving them. The following discussion was documented on flipchart paper. 1. Highest level of transparency and clarity in the process 2. Design – low height, density, unique, open space, open to sky 3. Examples not appropriate – reflect mixed uses, mixed incomes; presentation too up-market; clean up surrounding neighborhoods without displacement 4. Understanding of environment for community residents 5. Environmental education – schools in region can come to study; include in vision 6. Timeline of events – clean up canal, prioritize the rest 7. Future meetings to be held in community 8. Expertise linked to community, vicinity of canal – unique opportunity to model a new type of development (not up-market) 9. Vision of what area can be used for – not many uses, but there are other possibilities 10. Getting information out – make/host website (forum) where people can submit info/thoughts/opinions/essays; also helpful for stakeholder interviews 11. Review of meetings on website as well 12. Small groups before or after Septemter meeting 13. July 27 – branch off of – 249 9th Street – 7PM (upcoming meeting of DEP)


Comments on Rating Questionnaire Principle 1 ! Restore habitat crossed out – ‘as it is not defined, I cross it out.’ Principle 2 ! Which must include industrial and transportation vessels ! Wrote in i.e. boat usage with a line from maritime. ! Wrote in ‘small boating ok.’ ! Wrote ‘recreational’ and ‘industrial’ under the question. ! Circled “maritime” – wrote in ‘public access – visual and physical’ and ‘as required by state law.’ Principle 3 ! Battery Park (in your slides) should not be a model it fails to interact with the water. ! Provided it’s cleaned up. ! Crossed out “to provide” and wrote ‘already was provided.’ Also crossed out “for passive and active recreation.” Wrote in ‘The designers of the canal laid out numerous public streets that run to the canal for required public access – this needs to be renovated and renewed.’ Principle 4 ! View ! According to your slide examples no! Chichi shopping in the target zone is not the idea. ! Circled the words “land uses” and added appropriate. Crossed out all other words in the principle. ! Wrote after principle ‘without creating an environment in which only luxury housing is economically feasible.’ ! Underlined “appropriate” in the principle – not all uses are cocompatible. ! I cannot answer these questions at this time may be if they were directed more towards character. Principle 5 ! Circled “existing land uses” and crossed out all other words in the principle. ! Crossed out the rating scale. Principle 6 ! Crossed out “and attract new economic development” – I don’t trust GCCDC to do this. ! Crossed out “and attract new economic development.” ! Circled principle and question and wrote a question mark. ! Retention and attraction may conflict.


Principle 7 ! Crossed out and adjacent development. ! And most importantly the low-density and open sky feeling. Principle 8 ! Metrotech is not a great example. ! Crossed out entire principle. ! This is so highly interpretive. My idea of quality means that streets have cobblestones restored – there can be no higher quality street to me. But your question could be referring to suburban style streets. Principle 9 ! Crossed out entire principle. ! Crossed out “existing structures and” in the principle. ! Crossed out “and brownfields.” Principle 10 ! Crossed out “development and” in the question. Principle 11 ! Crossed out “promote the coordinated development of” and wrote in the margin ‘clean’ and ‘waterway.’ ! Wrote in ‘allow for organic development.’ ! Crossed out question and wrote ‘what?’ Comments ! Maintaining economic mix (income mix) in community – not like Dumbo, Battery Park City or Soho examples. ! This questionnaire is not sincere. ! Instead of 3X3 symmetry let’s focus on the issues and make more meaningful statements…specifically around the DESIGN issues…the vision needs to translate into specifics. ! Guiding principles for a “community plan” should never be developed without community input. No input from my organization or the active business community was solicited. ! It’s all very nice and important – who would argue with the principles? But who will decide on them and by what standards? ! Wrote “draft” by the title of the document. ! Principles 4, 5 and 6 are faulty attempts to reconcile opposite poles of view, and it is difficult thereby to score. Principles 10 and 11 are apparently meaningless and self-serving. ! Number 9 is two distinct issues. It is not necessary to restore and reuse existing structures to restore brownfields. ! Be more comprehensive. ! This is sort of like preaching to the choir. Hopefully, the questions will become more specific as to the type of development. There’s a lot of different views on this in the community.


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This project should include further outreach to all community members affected by the Plan. Tonight a clear representation of the Gowanus community was not represented. (Ex. Residents of housing projects, etc.) It may be useful to get an idea of how people would rank oftencompeting uses such as habitat/environment, housing, industrial, etc. Unless the circled terms are defined and specified, and their implementation described, this questionnaire is useless. The details of these principles will be important. For example, I would not mind new economic development if it does not change the unique shop, etc. currently in the neighborhood. New shops consisting Starbucks, Williams-Sonoma, …chains are not welcome. I am more interested in seeing and voting on the next phase of this questionnaire, as these above ideas concepts are vague and could mean a multitude of things. Should have had 11 in prioritization, as a plan is a requirement for public funding. Excellent presentation – ignore the nonsense griping and keep your eye on the purposes of the project – to restore the Gowanus and its surroundings to its former great self. The devil is in the details. These are virtually meaningless! Number 2 is overly vague – “maritime” could be any number of uses that could be difficult to reconcile. The issue of industry should be dealt with explicitly. In addition, where’s the new thinking going to come from? This smacks of rubberstamping pre-existing ideas and/or agendas. And, yes, mostly they’re valid and valuable, but it’s not terribly honest seeming. Why aren’t we being asked about character, assets, and levels of density: these questions don’t attempt to get at any vision.


Comment Card Submissions Upon registration, participants were given comment cards to contribute ideas and submit remarks on the project, the kickoff meeting, or other issues of concern. All comment cards were collected, encoded verbatim, and sorted into three categories depending on whether the comments related to the process, the project, or other issues. All comments submitted on the cards are listed below. The Process ! There were good comments from the presenters about consensus and respect for the democratic process. If that is real, people will go along. But many in the community have already been burned. Even now, with the oil company on the canal and with the Ratner/Arena project, normal, legal political processes are being circumvented. Respect the law, respect the community – then we’ll benefit from the process. ! Great job – we have a way to go. Don’t let some discontent (limited as it is) to slow our progress. Let’s expand the bar and move on. ! It is my experience that the people in this community want to be fully engaged in the process, not just by filling out forms, but by joining committees, etc. They want to learn about the real constraints, challenges and trade-offs that will factor into their decisions to determine priorities and, ultimately, a plan. They want you to help them make informed decisions about the future of their community. ! Contact is essential to establishing good faith. ! The effectiveness and value of mixed use depends on its granularity. ! It would be helpful if a copy of the PowerPoint presentation was available as a handout. ! You should have asked how many planning events, meetings we attend. Most of us are very experienced with this and many have related professional backgrounds. It was a bit simplistic for many of us. You should not have continually said GCCDC site would have into. There is no trust there. ! Too much fluff, not enough content. Bill Donohoe’s presentation was the best part because he showed examples of specifics. These meetings need to move beyond the talking and get into design details…show examples and illustrations of ideas/design concepts and let the community respond. ! I admire your patience dealing with hostile community members who don’t listen. I can’t even imagine. ! I wonder if there is a way to involve residents of the housing projects in the area (Wyckoff Gardens, Gowanus Houses).


Your meeting was nearly out of control when you allowed paid representatives of pressure groups to bully you into answering their challenges. Learn the phrase, “Order please,” and pass them by. This was not a good start. ! No real place for authentic public commentary. ! A public forum should be a democratic process. ! Too many leading directions – no real choice. ! Further outreach to incorporate all community members affected by the Gowanus Canal should be done. Only a small fraction of the Gowanus Community was in attendance. ! There needs to be an awareness of the less than sterling reputation (deserved) of the GDC as regards to community inclusion. Articulated redress seems in order. ! Please contact me ASAP to organize a daytime meeting with a focus group of Gowanus businesses: Phaedra Thomas, Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Devel. Corp., 241 41st Street, Brooklyn, NY 11232 718/965-3800 ext. 108, pthomas@swbid.org, fax: 718/965-4906. Please contact: Matt Yates, Director of Policy, Red Hook Container Terminal, PA Pier 5, Furman Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201, 718/797-4278 ext 114, matty@aw-ny.com The Plan ! As a resident of the Gowanus, I am concerned that “development” will result in tall structures and box stores (IKEA, Lowes). I hope this will be addressed in future meetings and in the comprehensive plan. ! You should contact the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance and the Municipal Art Society’s Planning Center if possible. ! Need to coordinate with the USEPA, PANYNJ, and USACE’s comprehensive port improvement plan (CPIP) for consistency of planning assumptions. ! Not all uses are compatible where public access is dangerous near industrial use. Area along canal prime for needed jobs and industry where Columbia Street has excellent public access. Job promote eco vitality. ! The beauty of the canal is the light! It’s so open to the sky! You can still feel the old landscape of the original waterway because of this openness. It’s of the utmost importance that any building done in this area be very low – one story 19th Century industrial buildings are appropriate for this. ! All streets provide public access – rehabilitate the cobblestone roads. Do not allow blocks to overtake roads for private use or development. !


Other !

My name is Darren Costanzo. I currently rent in Boreum Hill with my fiancĂŠ: I am a finance supervisor for UPS. I am very interested in the Gowanus project and the future revitalization of the South Brooklyn area. I would like to invest in my first home in the Gowanus area. Would you suggest any organizations or agents to speak with. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. 516/316-3248


APPENDIX C


Community Visioning Workshop Summary This document, prepared by ACP–Visioining and Planning, summarizes the Community Visioning Workshop conducted as part of the Gowanus Canal Comprehensive Community Plan on September 13, 2004 at the St. Thomas Aquinas church. The summary includes the agenda, general outline of the PowerPoint presentation, and documentation of the mapping exercise from each of the six small group discussions. It also includes verbatim documentation of all comment cards submitted by participants at the meeting. A total of 54 participants registered at the workshop. Agenda Welcome Presentation Small Group Work Reporting Adjourn Presentation The following topics were covered during a PowerPoint presentation conducted by the consultant team. A summary of each of the topics is included below. 1. Summary of Kickoff Meeting 2. Our Process 3. The Site Seen — Gowanus Today 4. Completed and Ongoing Projects 5. Analysis 1. Summary of Kickoff Meeting: A brief overview of the Kickoff Meeting held on August 15, 2004 at the Brooklyn Borough Hall was presented. For the complete proceedings and results, please visit www.gowanus.org. 2. Our Process: The process for creating the Gowanus Canal Comprehensive Community Plan is comprised of four major steps: the Kickoff, Creative Analysis, the Draft Plan, and the Final Plan. Currently, creative analysis is being conducted to look and observe what’s on and around the site, engage with stakeholders to understand context and issues, understand what’s happened before us (we’re not starting from scratch), process these observations and research, get feedback from the public on the analysis. 3. The Site Seen — Gowanus Today: The canal is the name and icon of the neighborhood and is central to its history and evolution. There is a long history of manufacturing and current zoning reflects this history. There is a mix of uses and businesses in the area. 4. Completed and Ongoing Projects: 1987 Gowanus Canal Development Study; 1999 Bulkhead Study; 2000 Creation of three street end public spaces, Greenstreets Program; 2001 Report on Water Quality and Biological Improvements After Reactivation of Flushing Tunnel; 2001 Revitalization Plan; 2002 Pilot Program on the shoreline; and 2002 Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study. 5. Analysis: An analysis of existing conditions and trends was presented. In the community, zoning is fairly homogeneous and mostly manufacturing. Land use is more mixed and current data suggest land uses are changing rapidly. The context and surrounding neighborhoods greatly influence land use in the study area. In regards to open spaces, they are small and scattered and none are located on the canal. There was a brief overview of site circulation for cars, buses, and transit. The consultant team also identified areas of steady use where the land uses are relatively constant and consistent; for example, the manufacturing in the south and along the Fourth Ave corridor and residential in the west portion of the study area. The team also identified that the mix of uses in the study area is determined both by zoning and by market forces (e.g. adaptive reuse). The presentation ended by identifying two key questions that need to be addressed as the planning process proceeds: what is the appropriate mix of uses for the study area and where should uses be located?

09/13/04

See it. Shape it. Share it. – Gowanus Canal Comprehensive Community Plan


Small Group Work Documentation After the presentation by the consultant team of the learnings and analysis to date, the participants worked in small groups of 6-10 participants on one of the following six topics: 1. Manufacturing/industrial uses 2. Residential uses 3. Commerical uses 4. Public gathering places (outdoor) 5. Historic/special structures and areas; and 6. Circulation/transportation. After the small groups discussed existing conditions and familiarized themselves with a base map of the primary focus area, they brainstormed future uses, suggested areas on the map for these uses, and then developed a summary of the areas of consensus (and/or contention) surrounding the group discussion. This summary was presented to the entire group during the plenary reporting session. The documentation for each of the small groups are provided below and include a synopsis prepared by the facilitator as well as the bullet points documented on the flipchart paper. Group 1: Manufacturing/Industrial Uses Facilitated by Vince Ferrandino and Aiken Kwok Ferrandino & Associations Inc. (Lead consultant) Summary The group stated that criteria for changing the existing industrial use on a site to other uses may include a consideration of employee density on that site, i.e. number of jobs to be displaced. However, it is difficult to articulate this relationship (i.e. a site with less than a certain number of employees may be considered to be underutilized). Also, it was agreed that commercial uses can act as an appropriate buffer between residential and industrial uses. Discharge of waste into the canal remains a public concern. Any potential residential use by the canal will be affected. The group was also concerned that fast-growing development would overload the relatively slow-growing infrastructure in the study area. Implementing controls to avoid excessive development appears to be one of the solutions to infrastructure demand. Flipchart bullet points It is difficult to articulate the relationship between the density of people living/working in an area and the feasibility of changing the industrial use to other uses. Commercial uses act as a buffer between residential and industrial and should be maintained. Discharge of waste into the canal remains a concern. This issue will affect any potential residential use near the canal, despite this fact, people may still like living by the canal. Future development will generate the need for infrastructure. Action now is to control excessive future development such that additional infrastructure, though it would be provided, will be able to meet the projected demand. Group 2: Residential Uses Facilitated by Annisia Cialone Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects (Urban design) Summary A key area of agreement within the group was that residential development is to occur, it should not contribute to the environmental degradation of the canal. In general, they wanted to see public access to the water along as much of the canal as possible. In locations where residential development is to occur, they would like to see an easement in place to ensure water access. The group noted that the density and heights of new development should be consistent with the existing fabric and that new development should not hinder view corridors or block visual access.


In regard to location, most of the group wanted to see residential development on the western side of the canal allowing for commercial in mixed-use properties along Bond Street. There was interest in encouraging live-work spaces on the eastern side in the north and leaving the southern portion largely as it is, for industrial/manufacturing businesses. With this said, the group did not want to see current uses forced out. They expressed that successful commercial and industrial uses should not have to move to make way for residential. Flipchart bullet points (Note: Underlined items were presented during the reporting session.) ! Public access to water – easement if there is residential development to occur. o Alternate view: Residential is private. It should not be on canal. It does not attract people to the area. Not a destination spot for the public. ! Residential development should not interfere with public access. ! Any residential development should not contribute to environmental degradation of the canal. ! Any zoning changes that allow residential development should include requirement for affordable and senior housing. o This requirement should be limited because there have been additions to affordable housing in this area. ! Density should be consistent with existing fabric. ! No new development should hinder view corridors/visual access. ! Canal itself is a green belt. ! No new development should force anyone out. ! Parking should be provided by multifamily buildings. ! Small ground floor retail should be included to service new residential development specifically on the longitudinal streets (avenues), also on bridge streets. ! Live-work space is the type of residential to be encouraged. ! If residential development is to occur, traffic needs to be slowed down on both Third Street and Union Street, minimally; Carroll would be nice as well. ! Cobblestone streets. ! As much access as possible to water where viable. ! Brownfield sites should not be used for residential. Contaminated earth should not be moved offsite. ! Successful industrial uses should not be moved to make way for residential. Group 3: Commercial Uses Facilitated by Teresa Bergey Ferrandino & Associates Inc. (Lead consultant) Summary Overall, small businesses were favored over regional commercial businesses. The group felt “big box” style retail should be limited to those existing uses, and to areas with the required vehicular access. The main reason for this sentiment could be attributed to traffic/parking challenges. Preferred commercial uses include restaurants, delis, cafes, offices, art-related (production, presentation) uses, including galleries, etc. The preferred location for such uses is along the western edge of the canal, east of Third Avenue and north of Carroll Street; specifically, at canal street ends and bridge crossings. The group strongly favored the idea of developing a “RiverWalk” as a neighborhood gathering place connected to amenities, including boat/kayak rentals, eateries, bars, and other small-scale commercial uses. Another location cited for commercial development is the area surrounding Public Place. It was suggested that the site be developed with public uses, and small businesses adjacent to this site could then serve those who patronize Public Place. The group recognized the existing industry located on a portion of the site as a challenge to this vision. An overwhelming majority of the group strongly supported the retention of industry in the neighborhood in general, adjacent commercial uses, particularly east of the canal.


Flipchart bullet points Types of Commercial Uses ! Limit big box to existing uses ! Limit auto, hardware shops ! Favor building above surface parking ! No exclusive manufacturing uses; commercial uses can coexist ! Boat rental, kayak rental ! Boathouse (public), Marina ! Restaurants (esp. at canal street ends/bridge crossings ! Restaurants, cafes, (offices, galleries) foster bringing people to water’s edge ! Favor local stores ! Do not favor regional commercial uses (and resulting parking/traffic issues) ! West side of canal – residential, small-scale commercial uses ! East side of canal – remain light manufacturing, related uses ! Commercial uses like Whole Foods should not be allowed to extend into Manufacturing district west of Third Avenue, okay along Fourth Avenue ! Third Street – resist retail uses – remain open thoroughfare (Park Slope served by Fourth/Fifth Avenue commercial uses) ! Riverwalk along western edge, or eastern, small businesses north (far less manufacturing/industrial activity west side of canal – businesses sitting on land) ! Public Place - develop public uses; small-scale commercial uses for visitors to Public Place (issue: surrounding industrial uses) Consensus ! Small businesses, e.g. restaurants, groceries, art-related (galleries), art producing/presenting ! Limited big box retail (limit to areas with vehicular access) ! Keep mixed (industrial/commercial/residential) – west side of canal where people cross canal/neighborhood ! North of Carroll Street - small scale commercial (residential) zone (east of canal) ! Commercial uses to support Riverwalk ! Need for better enforcement of illegal parking ! Better uses for land other than surface parking (e.g. Lowe’s) Disagreement ! Retention of large, dirty, old industrial uses ! Industry adjacent to commercial ! Limit commercial parking operations (trucks) versus parking is necessary to support local businesses Group 4: Public Gathering Places (Outdoor) Facilitated by Georgeen Theodore Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects (Urban design) The group was composed of a fairly diverse collection of stakeholders. The discussion at the table was both heated and dynamic. While it was argued that Gowanus lacks a significant public gathering place, many small but cherished gathering places were identified, with the bridges being the most important. Interestingly, the street dead-ends (at the canal) were also described as sites of informal gatherings, such as barbecues and pick-up ball games. Also, the Dredger’s Launch occurs on the canal’s edge at a dead end.


The Lowe’s Esplanade was commended for establishing a public place at the water’s edge; however, it has not yet become a major destination or significant gathering place. When potential or preferred gathering places were addressed, the discussion focused on sites at the canal’s edge. Building on the popularity of the bridges as gathering places, parks next to the bridges were proposed by some. A public canal greenway was reviewed with enthusiasm. Focusing on the notion of canal access and a significant gathering place, Public Place was identified as the site with the most potential. Flipchart bullet points Existing Gathering Places ! Dredger’s Launch ! Carroll Street Bridge ! Ninth Street Bridge ! Lowe’s Esplanade ! Canal (is it accessible?) ! Dead ends (at canal) ! Subway stops Preferred Gathering Places ! Park next to bridges ! Canal Greenway ! Creative bus stops ! Near residential ! Public Place (with water access/boat launch) Group 5: Historic/Special Structures and Areas Facilitated by Bill Donohoe Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects (Urban design) Summary of discussion and bullet points The goal of the table activity was to identify special structures and places that were significant in the history of the Gowanus Community. They need not be landmarked or identified as historic districts or places, but rather structures and places that individuals felt were special to the community today. These special areas would then have an opportunity to influence plans for future development—to assist in creating a place that reflects the memories of the Gowanus community over time. Overall, the group identified 18 specific locations that at least someone felt was significant. Most significant were the infrastructure that was identified: Canal itself as the life line of the community All four bridges (Ninth Street, Third Street, Carroll Street, and Union Street) were important. Subway station noted as the highest point in the neighborhood (views from). Individual buildings were identified: Former Transit Authority Power Station near Carroll Street. Litchfield Office Building Paulus Building Old Stone House (just outside of study area) Loft buildings, clustered around Third Street and Third Avenue Three other positions were registered: Recognize structures or signs that are no longer there: o Industrial Crane at Sackett Street west side of canal.


o Old KenTile sign (similar to Pepsi Sign in Long Island City). Arch. Students wished to recognize threatened industrial uses: o Concrete plants, four remain, need water for delivery of stone and gravel. o Coal silos south of Third St. along east side of canal (reused for museum or cultural uses). Con Edison Wall commemorating ball field used by the pre-Brooklyn Dodgers. Group 6: Circulation and Transportation Facilitated by Gerry McDonnell Langan Engineering & Environmental Services Summary of discussion and bullet points A. Automobile traffic 1. This did not seem to be a big issue with the group. In all probability, it is no worse than other parts of the City. 2. Reportedly only Third Ave and Fourth Avenue are congested. Some agreement that traffic could be siphoned off onto Ninth Street to Smith Street & Hamilton Avenue, it seems to have capacity. 3. It was pointed out that some cars get lost trying to cross the canal, due to dead-end streets. But we agreed this may be a deterrent to cars entering the neighborhood for a short cut. 4. More directional signage would be useful in moving traffic along. B. Truck /Industrial/Commercial Traffic 5. Truck traffic has few fans but there is acceptance that industrial uses will continue. 6. Industrial use traffic at Ninth Street near the Canal, and also on Carroll Street and Union Street heading east from businesses (phone company and plumbing outfit) are very visible. 7. Truck traffic damages pavements, which are poorly maintained in these industrial areas. Participants questioned if these uses “give-back” to upkeep pavement? 8. Promote use of barges on canal, to cut truck traffic. 9. All future development plans must recognize the challenge of truck traffic. C. Bridge Traffic 10. Some confusion for traffic is caused by one-way bridges; but it was not disputed that this is a deterrent to “cut-through” traffic. 11. More directional signage would be useful. 12. More truck restrictions and enforcement would be welcome. D. Bicycle & Pedestrian Access 13. In the east-west direction, favorable low-volume vehicular traffic conditions generally exist. 14. Need to improve experience (bridge-decks, street pavements & sidewalks) and destinations (canal or walkway). See more below under Visual Access, Recreational Access and Green Strip. E. Visual Access 15. Improve access at dead-end streets. Some conditions are very poor. F. Recreational Access 16. Improve access for boats/kayaks. No good access currently exists; users launch on a dead-end street. Explore possibility of building a floating dock in the canal, in order to match tidal changes. G. “Green Strip” Walkway 17. A continuous “Green Strip” waterfront walkway was a popular idea, despite the obvious difficulties in implementation.


18. One participant stated that such a continuous walkway had overcome similar challenges in the case of the West Side Highway. It was discussed whether in fact significant City ownership of property had made that walkway more realistic. 19. It was discussed that to have walkway components in the industrial area may be pointless as any such components might likely stay isolated. 20. Along the canal northern reaches, a continuous walkway, or at least some continuous elements thereof, might be more feasible. H. Zoning Comments 21. A comment stemming from the “Green Strip” discussion was the idea that a “Green Strip” might serve as a buffer between industrial and residential uses. I. Public Transportation 22. There was not ample time to discuss this topic. Only comment was that “the buses move very easily on Ninth Street”.


Comment Cards Participants were provided with comment cards to submit their ideas, reactions, and suggestions. They are listed below verbatim. 1. I would like to see the streets that cross over the canal (not necessarily Ninth Street and Hamilton) enhanced for pedestrian and cyclist use. This means maintaining existing circulation routes (Third Ave, Ninth Street, Hamilton, Smith) and improving cross-canal streets (bike lanes, trees, pocket parks) 2. This study should be driven by the environmental issues, not by upland uses. Why are the canal area concerns and solutions being driven by market forces? We should be freed by those outside forces. 3. The venue was terrible – could not hear anyone. Also the advertising for the meeting was scant – saw a small blurb in the Daily News. 4. A microphone! Or a less echoing room. I like the small groups, but we were just getting clear on the issues when they ended. Fourth Avenue’s development seems to have a huge impact on. I didn’t sign in, although I got the email for this one: Gowanus@andrewsloat.com 5. Would prefer that workshops were self selected (it worked at BBPark) 6. The Gowanus Canal is vital to the manufacturing companies that are – and have been – located on the canal for the past 30 years. Barge transportation or raw materials (i.e. sand and stone) to the four concrete plans and one asphalt plant save 100’s of trucks per day. 7. From the commerce group, an unmentioned consensus was that Gowanus not become a “Soho”: that industry, whether only light industry, or mix health and light, continue to characterize the neighborhood; and that such was not incompatible with the creation of a “green” mixed commercial industrial zone around the canal. 8. Re: transportation – how much is transported on the canal and how does that affect truck traffic? 9. I thought the presentations (excluding the previous meeting summary) were great. I really enjoyed seeing the work you’ve done and I appreciate the conclusions the design group seems to be coming to. I very much look forward to seeing the draft plan in the next meeting and possibly be a part of some of the small group sessions/interviews that were mentioned in the last meeting. – Ben Bennet 718-403-9711 10. More control of meetings is needed: a PA system, speakers “recognized”, better acoustics. Meeting seemed topheavy with commercial/industrial reps. If you, the planning team, reduce your function to mediating community difference, i.e. finding the balance point of vectors, then the plan that results will be toothless and bland. How about you guys applying some professionals’ “vision”? 11. I was at Table 1. I suggest that individual maps may have worked more effectively. We could have marked the maps up on our own and grouped to get the ideas on a table map. 12. As a participant of Table 1, Industrial uses group. Our group was not productive in coming to any conclusion or planning, as the tools for us to decide which areas should be preserved industrial versus changed were not provided. Asking a random group of residents, politicians, planners, businesses, etc…to conclude on an issue was not possible. 13. I think the canal should be used. 14. Re: transportation and access – The Gowanus area is calm (traffic-wise)…and in that sense, is pedestrian, bikerfriendly. Let’s keep it that way and find some ways to enhance that! 15. Please call or send written notice. Suggested that we post notice in the local church bulletins. Does not have email. Lorraine Muczyr, 479 - 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11215, 718/768-1359. 16. Please call or send written notice. Peggy Burke, 156 - 11th Street, Brooklyn, New York 11215, 718/768-1727.


APPENDIX D


APPENDIX E


Appendix C 96

FAX TO (718) 965-4906 Company: Contact Name (and Position): Address: Phone: Fax: Website:

Zip: E-mail:

1.

Type of business?

2.

Geographic area served? (Where are most of your customers located? local, regional, state, national or international?)

3.

What is your primary product/service?

4.

Years in business?

5.

Main reason for choosing current location?

6.

Do you lease or own building?

7.

Do you have expansion plans? Expected time frame?

8.

Hours of operation? (Please include days of the week)

9.

Number of full-time employees?

At current location?

Square footage?

Part-time?

Anticipated total number of employees in 6-12 months? 11. Approximately what percent (%) of your employees are residents of the neighborhood? (i.e. 11231, 11215 & 11217)


10. Approximately what percent (%) of your employees are residents of the neighborhood? (i.e. 11231, 11215 & 11217) Brooklyn? NYC? Other? 11. How do employees get to work? Please indicate approximately what percent use a Car? Bus? Bicycle? Walk? Other? 12. How do customers get to this business? Please indicate approximately what percent use a Car? Bus? Bicycle? Walk? Other? 13. Number of on-site parking spaces allowed exclusively for employees and customers? 14. Are you a certified NYS Empire Zone company? 15. What is the impact on or use of the Gowanus Canal in operating your business?

16. Factors that affect, positively or negatively, your business development? What are your biggest challenges in doing business?

17. On a scale of 1-10, how do you rate the area for your business? 18. Any other comments or related key issues you wish to add?


APPENDIX F


Year 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886

Block 406 406 412 412 412 412 419 426 411 411 418 418 425 432 432 417 417 424 424 431 461 457 465 464 471 468 1007 1007 1007 66 66 66 66 66 66 66 66 66 972 972 972 972

Historical Gowanus Industry Location Database Code Industry Name 2 Lumber Sheppard's Marble Works 2 Stone Bradely and Son Stone Works 2 Stone Walsh's Stone Yard 1 MGP Fulton Municipal Gas Co 2 Stone Burns & Johnson Blue Stone Yd 1 Coal C.D. Willets & Son Coal Yd 1 MGP Fulton Municipal Gas Co 2 Lumber Kenyon & Newton Timber Yd 2 Lumber 1 Coal D. Hirsch Coal Yd 1 Coal Kelsey & Loughlin Coal Yd 1 Coal Story's Coal Yd 1 MGP Fulton Municipal Gas Co 1 Coal Wood's Coal Yd 2 Stone Adam's Lime, Brick & Lath Yd 1 Coal W.H. Murtha & Son Coal & Wood Yd 2 Lumber W.H. Murtha & Son Coal & Wood Yd 1 Coal Vanderbilt's Coal Yd 1 Coal Z.O. Nelson & Son Coal Yd 1 Coal Schmadeke Coal Yd 2 Food Honey & Maple Syrup Fac 1 Industrial Products Manhattan Silver Plate Co 1 Bldg Materials International Tile Co 2 Housing 1 MGP Citizens Gas Works 1 Housing 2 Stone 1 Paper Galindo's Show Card Factory 1 Bldg Materials A.H Smith MFg Carpet Lining 1 Oil The Davis Oil Co's Lard & Tallow Works 1 Coal Weber Quinn 2 Food New York Tartar Company 1 Sulfur N.T. Corys Atlantic Sulfur Works 1 Industrial Products Arnois & Lecour Chemical Works 1 Industrial Products J.W. Masury & Sons Dry Color Works 1 Coal J.Povey 1 Bldg Materials Atlantic Starch Co 1 Coal The Eppinger & Russell Creosoting Works 1 Coal Berg & Oakley's Coal Shed 1 Coal D.W. Wilkes Coal Yd 1 Sulfur Nassau Sulfur Works 1 Coal R.P. Wenberg's Coal Yd


1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886 1886

972 972 972 458 458 462 462 466 466 466 979 979 979 979 979 991 991 471 471 471 471 433 440 447 453 453 453 432 439 439 431 431 438 445 445 452 452 452 480 480 483 483 478 479 482

2 2 1 1 1 2 2 1 2 1 1 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 1 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 1

Lumber Stone Paper Oil Bldg Materials Food Stone Coal Lumber Coal Coal Food Lumber Bldg Materials Industrial Products Industrial Products Industrial Services Industrial Products Sulfur Food Industrial Products Lumber Bldg Materials Housing Industrial Products Paper Lumber Stone Lumber Lumber Coal Industrial Products Coal Lumber Stone Lumber Stone Oil Coal Industrial Products Coal Oil Housing Housing Bldg Materials

F.J. Fellows Planing Mill Curran & Cooper's Stone Yd H.H. Phelp's Paper Vesta Oil Christian Bldg Materials Shaw & Truesdell Grain Elevator C.R. Francis Coal Yd A Lippet's Planing P.T. Sharpe's Coal & Wood Shed Hopkins & Ennis Coal Yd A Polehmis & Son Long Island Ice J.E. Litchfield & Co's Lumber Yard Warren Jones & Gratz Bagging Mill Mosiac Tile Co's Allen Son's Rope Fac H.J. Baker & Bro Chemical Fertilizers Brewer's Supplies Boiler Cleaning Compounds Fac Kenyon & Newton Timber Yd Kenyon & Newton Sash & Door Fac Percussion Cap Fac H.R. Philp & Co Paper Mill Watson & Pittinger Lumber Yd Adam's Lime, Brick & Lath Yd Kenyon & Newton Timber Yd Loomis' Lumber Yd H. Madeke Coal Yd Dykeman's Box Fac Lidford's Coal & Wood Loomis' Lumber Yd John Morton & Sons Lime & Brick Watson & Pittinger Lumber Yd Rankin & Ross' Stone Yd Asphalt & Cement Thomson & Co Coal Yd Hagerty's Glass Works American Oil Cos

Hamilton Pottery


1886 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915

482 466 466 466 462 462 462 979 979 979 978 978 978 978 972 990 990 990 990 990 990 990 458 458 452 452 445 967 453 453 453 446 447 447 438 431 424 432 425 426 440 433 417 417 417

1 2 1 1 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 2 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 2 2

Industrial Products Food Oil Coal Food Food Lumber Industrial Products Industrial Products Industrial Products Coal Coal Coal Bldg Materials Coal Disposal Oil Disposal Bldg Materials Sulfur Bldg Materials Disposal Oil Bldg Materials Stone Bldg Materials Bldg Materials Coal Lumber Stone Housing Lumber Industrial Products Housing Coal Coal Coal Industrial Products MGP MGP Bldg Materials Lumber Coal Food Stone

Copper Leonard Michel Brewing Pure Oil Co Greason Son & Dalzell Coal Leonard Michel Brewing Shaw & Truesdell Grain Elevator Gowanus Kindling Wood Marvin Briggs Machine Shop The Cupples Coordage Co Commercial Garrage & Machine Co Powell & Titus Coal Yd Schroeder & Hortsmann Coal Yd John Morton & Sons Builder's Materials Brooklyn Rapid Transit Power Station The Braken McRiveney Co Stables Highway Dept Municipal Asphalt Plant City Dump & Disposal Plant Brooklyn Builders Supply Cos E.J. Beggs & Co Sulfur Works Cement PE & WA Kane Manure Dump Standard Oil Co Frank D Creamer & Co Building Materials Rankin & Ross' Stone Yd Reliant Paint Mfg John Morton & Sons Builder's Materials Brooklyn Rapid Transit Power Station John S Loomis & Co Lumber Yd Gold & Taylor Cutstone Co Albro J Newton Co Machine Shop T.H. Lidford Coal & Wood Co J.F. Schmadeke Coal Yd Z.O. Nelson & Son Coal Yd Jas H. Dykeman Packing Cases BUG: Fulton Municipal Branch BUG: Fulton Municipal Branch Albro J Newton Co Trim & Planing Albro J Newton Co Timber yd John E Learney Coal Yd Excelsor Hygenic Ice Co Castle Bros


1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915

411 411 418 419 419 419 419 412 412 412 412 412 412 412 406 406 406 405 405 405 405 483 483 483 482 1007 1025 1031 1031 1031 1038 1038 1038 1044 471 468 469 465 465 465 465 464 480 480 477

1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 2 1 1 1 2 2 2 1 2 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 2 2 1 2 1 2 2 1 1 1

Industrial Services Industrial Services Coal MGP Stone Coal Industrial Products Coal Industrial Services Industrial Products Lumber Industrial Products Stone Industrial Products Bldg Materials Bldg Materials Housing Housing Industrial Services Paper Lumber Industrial Products Food Bldg Materials Bldg Materials MGP MGP Bldg Materials Industrial Products Disposal Lumber Disposal Disposal Disposal MGP Housing Housing Bldg Materials Food Industrial Services Housing Housing Bldg Materials Coal Coal

DCW Brooklyn (Pump House) DCW Brooklyn Storage Yd (Pump House) Scranton & Lehigh Coal Co BUG: Fulton Municipal Branch WS Ross Stone Yd Scranton & Lehigh Coal Co JK Brown Co Riggers , Ladders, & Poles Scranton & Lehigh Coal Co Thomas Harringtons's Sons Co Contractors John S Loomis & Co Painting & Glazing John S Loomis & Co Lumber Yd Button Fac Brooklyn Stern Marble Manifold Supplies Co John S Loomis & Co Planing CG Duffy Cabinet Makers

American Society for the PETA R.G. Dunn & Co Publishing Co John S Loomis & Co Lumber Yd FW Sevoe & CT Reynolds Paint Works Independent Salt Works LL Wright Roofing FW Sevoe & CT Reynolds Paint Works BUG: Metropolitan Works Branch BUG: Metropolitan Works Branch Terminal Ornamental Iron Works Inc Cooperage Hudson Wrecking & Lumber Brooklyn Lumber Yd J Kellor Scrap Iron Hudson Wrecking & Lumber Gowanus Wrecking Yd & Lumber BUG: Citizen Works

The Brooklyn Vitrified Tile Works Milk Depot BT Reilly Trucking

Audley Clarke Co Masons Materials Brooklyn Rapid Transit Sub Station Thomson & Co Coal Yd


1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915 1915

477 1007 1007 1007 1007 990 990 990 990 990 990 990

1 1 1 2 2 2 1 2 1 1 1 1

Industrial Services Oil Bldg Materials Food Food Food Coal Stone Bldg Materials Oil Coal Industrial Products

N Ryan Contractors Cranford Co Asphalt Mfrs David Kramer Cabinet Works This Holdston Wholesale Grocers Brewer's Supplies Tartar Chemical Weber & Quinn Coal Yd MF Hickey Co Sand & Gravel Baillie & Johnson Inc Sewer Pipes Davis Oil Co L Conzen & Son Coal Yd American MFG CO Jute & Coordage


Potential Brownfield Parcels

Source: Tax Parcel Base Map was obtained from the New York Department of City Planning â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bytes of the Big Apple.â&#x20AC;? Brownfield database created from 1888 and 1915 Sanborn maps.


APPENDIX G


Gowanus Comprehensive Community Plan  

The Gowanus Canal Community Development Corporation (GCCDC) was instrumental in developing a major Comprehensive Community Plan for the Gowa...

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