The Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group’s Land Use Committee met via Zoom conference on Tuesday, July 7, 2020.
CAG Members present:
Terri Thomson (National Grid)
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) 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:
- How did EPA arrive at an excavation length of 25’, as currently planned?
- 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.
- 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.
- Dave suggested that if and how much testing was done be confirmed prior to redrafting resolution. All agreed.
- Andrea and Brad to follow up with Christos.
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?
Dave will contact Richard Bearak at the Brooklyn Borough President’s office and Mark Shames, LULM co-chair at CB6.
Discussion about Brad’s resolution regarding a) DCP presenting design for head house retention tank facility at Salt Lot to the CAG prior to presenting it to the Public Design Commission and b) disposition of adjacent manufacturing property that may be acquired to construct facility.
After discussion it was agreed that the resolution will not include a reference to the acquisition of manufacturing property (this will be addressed in future meetings). The Public Design commission will be included in the distribution.
Katia raised concerns that Gowanus Canal Conservancy and Gowanus by Design have conflicts of interest with disposition of the site. Andrea voluntarily abstained from voting since GCC currently uses the site for its composting program. Since there is no contract between the city and Gowanus by Design, nor did Gowanus by Design financially benefit from its 2018 Gowanus Salt Lot Public Park proposal, Dave will not abstain from voting. Maryann pointed out that local groups often meet with agency officials with suggestions on how to improve the neighborhood and the idea for creating a Public Park on the Salt Lot is a similar approach.
Resolution was unanimously approved by the committee with one abstention. Brad will make some minor edits and forward to Dave for so he can pass it along to Doug for discussion at the July CAG meeting.
Brad inquired if reduced NYC budget will impact DEP’s headhouse design and construction cost.
Committee will discuss at next CAG meeting.