A Kensington resident asked KARMA to publish this letter to our community. We posted it today
"For several years, a group of neighbors has been trying to get various people in city government to pay attention to our neighborhood's need for green space and a community center. Unfortunately, we still have nothing. On the other hand, the city is in the final stages of giving a two-block-long piece of unused city-owned property--just one block west of the Kensington border--to a developer, Southern Brooklyn Community Organization. The city could have easily used this land for both green space and a community center.
The developer is going to build sixty-eight condominium apartments, some with four bedrooms and some with five, as affordable housing for large families. Those apartments will house hundreds of children. No plans were included for green space for those children, other than small front yards and smaller side yards. No recognition was given that our overcrowded neighborhood schools already have more students than seating.
In addition to the rezoning of those two blocks, major rezoning changes will be made in a nine-block area between 36th and 39th streets and 12th and 14th avenues to accommodate new apartment complexes. This could bring thousands of more children into our neighborhood schools, which are currently filled to capacity.
Green space is essential for the health and well-being of the children in our neighborhood. Instead, they are playing in the street.
City government has not carefully planned for this major increase in the population of our neighborhood. It is important that this area be developed, but it is even more important for it to be planned thoughtfully, with the future of our neighborhood in mind. We do not want our area to be an overcrowded, tenement-like neighborhood.
Please encourage our elected officials to plan more thoughtfully. While it may be too late to change politicians' minds about the Culver El project, it is not too late to let city officials know that we are disappointed that West Kensington has once again been ignored.
I hope that you will be able to attend the City Planning Commission's public hearing on the Culver El proposal this Wednesday, July 28th, at 10:00 a.m., in Spector Hall in the lobby of 22 Reade Street (near the corner of Broadway) in Manhattan.
If you cannot attend, please take a moment to voice your thoughts to Borough President Marty Markowitz, who will be holding a closed door meeting this Monday afternoon. Call him at (718) 802-3700 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let him that you support a community center and green space in the Dahill section of Kensington for the health and well-being of our neighborhood's children."
Dear Brooklynians, please write to us at email@example.com to let us know if you can attend Wednesday's public hearing and if you can send an e-mail to Mr. Markowitz. Thank you.
Member, Resident Advisory Board
Kensington Area Resident/Merchant Alliance (KARMABrooklyn)