Update: New Survey Finds Pierhouse Breached Scenic View Plane

Pierhouse Breaches into the Scenic View Plane Despite Assurance of Compliance by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation

 BBPC and Mayor de Blasio have failed yet again to monitor the construction by Toll Brothers

SaveTheViewNow commissioned a recently-completed survey of the building on Parcel B in the Pierhouse development which concluded that the penthouse apartment encroaches almost 20 feet inside the protected Scenic View Plane District. The breach of the Scenic View Plane is the latest example of how the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp (BBPC), a not-for-profit outside of normal New York City government and controlled by the Mayor, has failed to provide any meaningful oversight to the construction by Toll Brothers and Starwood on Pier 1.  In addition, Brooklyn Bridge Park has a unique legal and ownership structure which limits the DOB’s ability to monitor the construction.

The survey of the building on Parcel B in the Pier house development concluded that the penthouse apartment encroaches almost 20 feet inside the protected Scenic View Plane District. This significant intrusion into the SV-1 protected area is the latest egregious violation by Toll Brothers and the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp. STVN and the Brooklyn Heights Association requested the help of Senator Squadron and Councilman Levin to deliver this disturbing information to the Commissioner of the Department Of Buildings (DOB) and to request that the DOB take immediate action.

The breach of the Scenic View Plane is yet another example of how the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp (BBPC), a not-for-profit outside of normal New York City government and controlled by the Mayor (the Mayor is the only designated “Member,” of the BBPC, as defined in the BBPC bylaws), has failed to provide any meaningful oversight to the construction by Toll Brothers and Starwood on Pier 1.  The BBPC previously allowed the obliteration of the Brooklyn Bridge views from the Promenade despite assurances made to the public in 2005 to protect these iconic views1.

You can read more about this violation here: http://www.brooklyneagle.com/articles/2015/10/19/advocacy-group-says-survey-shows-pierhouse-project-juts-protected-view-plane

Brooklyn Bridge Park has a unique legal and ownership structure which limits the DOB’s ability to take action. The Empire State Development Corp (ESDC) is the owner of the Brooklyn Bridge Park land which is being leased to Toll Brothers, through the BBPC. The ESDC has exercised its power to override all New York City Zoning regulations, which results in the DOB having very limited jurisdiction.  The DOB monitors this project only for building codes related to health and safety, not with regards to zoning issues. Day-to-day management of this building project is in the hands of the BBPC, which is controlled by the Mayor.  This arrangement has been financially very beneficial to Toll Brothers and Starwood (who are estimated to be making over $100M of excess revenue due to the oversizing of the Pierhouse). At every turn, the BBPC and the Mayor’s office have helped the developers maximize profits at the cost of depriving all future generations of Brooklynites, New Yorkers and the multitude of tourists from around the world, the iconic views of the Brooklyn Bridge from the Promenade and surrounding areas.

We greatly appreciate all who have already contributed to the legal fund, enabling us to, “fight the good fight.”  We are asking  for your help, again, as we move forward with the Appeals process on our request for a Preliminary Injunction regarding the excess height on the buildings located outside the SV1 area.  As of now, we do not know if we will need to go to court regarding compliance of the penthouse apartment with the SV1 regulation.

We greatly appreciate any help that you can give.  If you would like to contribute, please click here to donate: http://savetheviewnow.org/donate/

20 Community Organizations. 1 Letter to Mayor De Blasio.

Oct 7, 2015 — 

Dear Mayor Bill de Blasio;

Whereas, Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation made an agreement, and commitment, to the public to limit the height of the Pierhouse to ensure that the famous views from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade are protected;

Whereas, such commitment has been broken, as confirmed by former NY City Parks Commis-sioner Adrian Benepe;

Whereas, the Park Corporation has failed to take action to rectify its breach;

Whereas, the Park Corporation has failed to work with the community to reach a resolution;

Whereas, the Park Corporation continues to rely on a legal technicality that the public did not catch their violation and bring a lawsuit in time;

Whereas, Toll Brothers and Starwood are estimated to make over $100 million in windfall profits resulting from this breach;

Whereas, the public trust that existed to create Brooklyn Bridge Park has now been compro-mised;

Whereas, the cherished views from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade will forever be scarred;

Whereas, the public is unwilling to accept this travesty as a permanent part of the 65 year history of the majestic Brooklyn Heights Promenade;

As the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation is a Not-For-Profit Controlled by the Office of the Mayor, we ask that you do everything in your power to make things right and uphold Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation’s commitment to limit the height and size of Pierhouse.

Sincerely,

Save the View Now

#SaveNYC

Atlantic Avenue Betterment Association

Brooklyn Bridge Park Community Advisory Council

Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund

Brooklyn Heights Association

Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association

Citizens Defending Libraries

Cobble Hill Association

Friends and Residents of the Greater Gowanus

Fulton Ferry Landing Association

Gowanus Preservation Society

Historic Districts Council

NYC Park Advocates

Park Slope Neighbors

People for Green Space

Project for Public Spaces

Sierra Club

Tribeca Trust

Vinegar Hill Neighborhood Association

West End Preservation Society

Willowtown Association