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, August 4, 2020.

CAG Members present:

Nathan Elbogen
Katia Kelly
Louis Kleinman
Hildegaard Link
Steve Marcus
Rita Miller
Amy Motzny
Andrea Parker
Peter Reich
Brad Vogel
Sue Wolfe
Maryann Young


Jack Riccobono
Mac Thayer
Terri Thomson (National Grid)

Item 1

Mac Thayer gives a presentation on Gowanuslands.

  • Gowanuslands founded in May 2020 
  • Goal is to provide access to open space in Gowanus 
  • 700 people have signed a petition to support a park on the Citizens MGP site 
  • Renderings show open park space and simple esplanade without railings 
  • Gowanuslands said that they’ve thought about flooding but presentation did not elaborate on specifics 
  • Gowanuslands next steps:
    • Begin engagement with elected officials
    • Request DCAS provide agency jurisdiction assignment letter to NYC Parks 
    • Engage w/ NYC Parks on design and timeline 
    • ID funding for private site purchase from Nat. Grid


  • It was recommended that Gowanuslands begin conversations with Parks Department and Parks/Open Space groups (MAS, NY4P, etc.) and elected officials as soon as possible 
  • Most committee members were in agreement that the site should provide as much parkland as possible 
  • Some disagreement among committee members over funding feasibility/strategy 
    • NYC Budget and Parks Department budget, specifically after COVID cuts, would not support taking on an additional park, and would not likely support maintenance needs 
  • Committee member suggestion for Gowanuslands to present their proposal to the full CAG 
    • Discussion around whether or not the future of the Public Place site is Superfund related and whether EPA-facilitated meeting should focus on this proposal
      • The point was raised that the three sites mentioned in the EPA ROD were the MGP sites undergoing remediation, including Thomas Greene Park, which has been discussed extensively at CAG meetings 
      • The point was raised that if Gowanuslands is able to present their vision for the site, other parties with plans for the site, including the Gowanus Green development team and Gowanus Canal Conservancy, should have an opportunity to present visions for the site as well
      • Motion was made for Gowanuslands to present at an upcoming CAG meeting 
      • Second motion made for Gowanuslands and other visionaries for the Public Place site, including Gowanus Canal Conservancy and the Gowanus Green development team, have an opportunity to present at an upcoming full CAG meeting
        • Motion further elaborated upon in discussion to limit each presentation 
        • Presentations do not necessarily have to happen in one CAG meeting, though that would be the ideal situation 

Second motion with elaboration regarding presentation time (10 minute maximum) passed by the committee.

Item 2

5th Street Turning Basin


  • Resolution drafted by Brad Vogel with edits from Andrea Parker was discussed by the committee 
  • General agreement among committee members that the CAG should advocate and request from the PRP groups that there be full restoration of the turning basin as part of the Superfund clean-up and related activities, including potentially through the Natural Resource Damages Assessment
  • Supplemental information regarding existing conditions and history of TB5 by Nathan Elbogen (XO Projects, Can Factory) and Amy Motzny (GCC) 
    • Storm sewer in TB5 presents a challenge and opportunity contributing to northward gradient of hydraulic flow 
      • Could be used to treat sources of PAHs observed in 2016 Geosyntec report 
      • Must be surveyed pre-construction to ensure any construction activity does not further impact flooding of adjacent sites 
    • Monitoring results from 2016 report are not comprehensive; Terri or Christos will share the more comprehensive 2017 report with CAG members for further investigation 
  • Some discussion about tabling the resolution until further information is received 
  • Committee resolved to present resolution to full CAG at September general meeting with a few changes proposed by Nathan: 
    • Ensuring that adjacent landowners do not have to take on responsibility for bulkhead construction/restoration 
    • Expanding list of recipients to include DEP 

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