The Clarett Group, developer of the 340 Court Street site had promise to keep the neighborhood informed! There was going to be a direct line of communication between developer and elected officials. But somehow, that line was never established or broke down early on, which left Carroll Gardens residents stuck in the middle, without information.
This was not the way it was supposed to be. On Wednesday, when fencing went up on the sidewalk, parking meters and parking spots were eliminated, all without prior notice, residents were angry.
Finally, yesterday morning, representatives of both the Clarett Group and of their construction company, Monadnock met with members of the Union-Sackett Group and representatives of our elected officials.
Assurances were given that things would improve in the future. The community can only hope.
Below are the minutes taken by a Union-Sackett Block Association member:
The Meeting, on 19 June, took place in front of “The Collection at Court”, The Clarett Group project at 340 Court St., Brooklyn. The meeting was called to discuss neighborhood alarm at the recent changes at the site, fencing of sidewalks, eliminating parking meters, etc., and the lack of responsiveness of various individuals and agencies, in addition to the empty assurances from Clarett of transparency.
The meeting began with the identification of several representatives from Monadnock , Greg Bauso, acting as spokespersons for the work on the site. They were joined by a Clarett representative.
There were expressions of dismay over the lack of notification to the community about the recent changes, and the project details as a whole, and those were countered by the assertion that the building process must be allowed to continue, and that compromises had been made that were in consideration of the community. The immediate issue of truck and pedestrian traffic around the site was discussed, and assurances were given by Monadnock that only a “limited number” of trucks would be brought to Court St., and that they would make every effort to avoid congestion in the area, or trucks simply waiting on the local approaches to the site.The Clarett representative was asked about the appearance of the project, regarding finishes, colors, and materials, and he responded by saying that “they were still having trouble” in sourcing or identifying the exact materials to be used (a small variation on what we were told in the last public meeting with Clarett, quite some time ago). No substantive, additional details were given and no promise of availability of those details was made.
The Monadnock representatives were asked about the fill at the site (the issue being the possibility of asbestos or lead being in the “old fill” that was used when the ILA was built). They said that they would use “all available care” when removing or disturbing that fill. They were also asked about the excavation that was “inadvertently” made on the un-owned property at 288 Sackett (the 16 foot empty lot adjacent to 286 Sackett), and they said that they would “look into restoring the site.”By the middle of next week, some significant shoring-up of the sidewalk all around the site will begin just inside the new fence. The contractor will put wooden piles in by various methods, drilling ,vibration, pounding to reinforce the road and sidewalk so they can do their new foundation. This will be more than 35 feet deep. By the middle of next week, Monadnock expects about 20 to 30 trucks per day to haul dirt off the site as they dig.
A repeat of the previous request for a “point person” at Clarett was made, and considerable discussion ensued regarding the issue of a lack of organization in communications. Among the political representatives, Deanna Bitetti , from Congresswoman Yvette Clarke’s office, volunteered to act a liaison for the various offices. It was not clear that Clarett would provide such a contact point.
Some mention was made in the difficulty that we’ve experienced in getting the various agencies; DOT; Buildings Dep’t, etc., to respond to requests for information and guidance, and it was suggested, by Deanna and others that we route our questions and concerns through their offices, always. Our concern, clearly expressed, was that some of these agencies seem unwilling or unable to respond, irrespective of the source of the questions.
Clarett was asked if they were still planning on having a loading dock on Sackett St., and they again stated that it was a requirement of the Buildings Dep’t. They were asked if they would support being given a variance for such a “loading dock”, the intent of the variance to minimize truck traffic on Sackett, and Clarett said that they would support such a variance. Several of those I attendance said they would ask DOB.
Carroll Gardens Not Exactly Loving Clarett's 340 Court Street Design
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