Posted by & filed under Committee Meetings, Frontpage, Land Use.

The Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group’s Land Use Committee met via Zoom conference on Tuesday, May 5, 2020.

CAG Members present:

David Briggs
Katia Kelly
Louis Kleinman
Hildegaard Link
Steve Marcus
Andrea Parker
Peter Reich
Brad Vogel
Sue Wolfe
Maryann Young


Terri Thomson (National Grid)
Taeka Haraguchi (NYC Comptroller’s Office)

Item 1

5th Street turning basin (carried over from February meeting).
Brad drafted a resolution for the CAG to request the entirety of the former 5th Street turning basin (located at the east side of the Third Avenue bridge) to be excavated during the course of the Superfund cleanup. The turning basin aligns with the 4th Street turning basin directly south of Whole Foods on the west side of the bridge.


Dave suggested adding a map and clarification on the turning basin’s location to the resolution. It was decided that Brad, Andrea, and Mike of Riverkeeper will contact Christos Tsiamis of the EPA about the following:

  1. How did EPA arrive at an excavation length of 25’, as currently planned?
  2. How many borings were done and where? What were the results?

All agreed that since there is an ecological benefit for restoring the full length of the original turning basin, a strong case could be made to excavate it under NRDA requirements.


  1. According to Department of Finance records available online, turning basin east of Third Avenue is property owned by U-Haul. Some committee members suggested that there are records indicating it is public land.
  2. Dave suggested that if and how much testing was done be confirmed prior to redrafting resolution. All agreed.
  3. Andrea and Brad to follow up with Christos.

Item 2

Peter asked a question regarding land ownership at the waterfront where the canal will be narrowed to accommodate new bulkhead installation. Who will own the area between the old bulkhead and the new bulkhead? How will this additional area be factored into open space requirements for future zoning and development?


Committee to further discuss at next meeting. 

Item 3

Peter mentioned bulkhead work at Pig Beach south of Union Street bridge. Concerns were raised if work will align with future adjacent development and if it meets the requirements of a new esplanade.


Peter will forward photos of construction. All agreed that it should be confirmed if EPA is monitoring work. GCC has been in contact with owners and will report back once photos are reviewed.

Item 4

Possible damage to remedy caused by development. Extensive discussion on how remedy will be monitored during development and how it will be determined who is responsible for any damage to remedy.


Dave will email Christos and Brian and inquire on the community’s recourse if such damage does occur.

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