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Heights Association: Sorry, we didn’t act fast enough to stop view-blocking park building

View askew: The still-rising Pierhouse development, as viewed from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.
Brooklyn Paper
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An influential Brooklyn Heights civic group didn’t come out swinging to stop view-blocking development in Brooklyn Bridge Park, its leader confessed at a town hall meeting about park development on Wednesday night, admitting it should have sued immediately instead of trying to pursue friendly negotiations.

“We were a bit naive and a bit determined to follow the process and that turned out to be a mistake to some extent,” said Brooklyn Heights Association president Patrick Killackey. “We made a tactical error and we apologize for that.”

He said the civic group reached out to the city and developer Toll Brothers in 2014 about the builder’s plans to tack on extra altitude to the 10-story Pierhouse hotel and condo complex, which critics say juts into sacred views of the titular bridge from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, trusting that the parties could come up with a resolution by the book.

But that never happened, and when local activist group Save the View Now did sue, a judge ruled that it hadn’t filed its complaint in time, and gave the developer a green light to build bulkheads on the luxury development.

Killackey said the group is now trying to make amends for its past misjudgment by joining a new suit with Save the View Now alleging that the Pierhouse architect used sketchy measurements to obscure the fact that it is building into the view, which is protected by a 42-year-old city law.

“We’re trying through our tremendous efforts to make up for that now,” he said. “We are really working hard now to do the right thing and we are hopefully a lot less naive moving forward.”

The Brooklyn Heights Association and activists made their case in February and are waiting to hear back from the judge on whether he will move forward with the suit.

If he does, and rules in favor of restoring the view, Toll Brothers would be forced to knock down part of its penthouse to make way for the preserved vista of the Brooklyn Bridge, said Save the View Now president Steve Guterman.

But some residents said they couldn’t wait, and want to take their gripes with the rapidly rising development out of the courtroom and onto the streets, suggesting that locals march outside the building to make their case.

“We can picket it, we can put signs right up there,” said one woman. “Every time I pass by there I want to deface it.”

The rabble rousers said they will keep locals updated on any plans to stage protests, but will likely stick to fighting their battles in front of a judge.

And a local pol supporting the activists said he would also prefer to leave the view’s fate up to the judge.

“I’m hopeful that ultimately the truth will prevail here,” said Councilman Steve Levin (D–Brooklyn Heights). “There’s no way that building ought to encroach on what by city law is a protected view.”

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Andrew Porter from Brooklyn Heights says:
The article does not mention that the meeting, held last night at St. Ann's Church, brought out hundreds of local community members of all ages, concerned about these problems.

I continue to be disappointed by the tone of articles here, full of horrible clichés which I suspect are the fault of the editors. And, no photos from the meeting? Really?
May 5, 2016, 1 pm
William from Cobble Hill says:
In some parts of the world, the upper floors would have been demolished.
May 5, 2016, 1:12 pm
William from Cobble Hill says:
In some parts of the world, the upper floors would have been demolished. It's not too late to resume responsibility.
May 5, 2016, 1:39 pm
Marsha Rimler from Brooklyn Heights says:
The Heights Association is still in favor of the library destruction plan which will reward BPL for years of neglect and allow a favored DeBlasio developer to make at least 700 million. This deal allows St. Ann's to reap a windfall by selling air rights that became valuable with the combining of city lots through ULURP. Goldman Sachs former employer of Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen who is the lead for it will be financing it.
www.lovebrooklynlibrariesinc.org has filed a lawsuit
ON TIME and will win in court,
Visit us on the web .
TheBHA and Councilman Levin who pushed this through for the Mayor should be ashamed of themselves. Libraries are not development sites they belong to the public.
May 5, 2016, 4 pm
marsha rimler from brooklyn heights says:
The BHA was remiss in supporting the library destruction plan. We at www.lovebrooklynlibrariesinc.org have filed an ONTIME lawsuit to stop it.
Why should a favored Deblasio developer make over 700 million dollars and St. Ann's make a windfall when the public looses library space, and is put in the basement. Why should we be deprived of air and light for a 41 story condo.. Why .. because Councilman Levin thinks its a good idea
May 5, 2016, 4:09 pm
Ruth Brown (Brooklyn Paper) says:
Andrew:

We discussed the meeting itself -- and had a photo -- more in the other article we did on it: http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/39/20/dtg-pier6-bridge-park-trojan-horse-2016-05-15-bk.html

AND we have a whole slideshow of photos here (admittedly, they're more of the church):
http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/39/20/dtg-meeting-slideshow-2016-05-13-bk.html
May 5, 2016, 4:47 pm
demolition from 11206 says:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/ecomonster-tamed-environmentalists-celebrate-as-unfinished-hotel-is-demolished-on-sicilian-beach-8656063.html
May 5, 2016, 6:32 pm
Jspech from Bedstuy says:
These liers were in Toll Bros pocket.Don't believe 'em. Remember Bushwich Inlet Park lies
May 5, 2016, 7:18 pm
MPIERCE from brooklyn heights says:
Bravo Lauren Gill for calling out the BHA
May 6, 2016, 10 am
MPIERCE from brooklyn heights says:
Bravo Lauren Gill for calling out the BHA
May 6, 2016, 10:14 am
mpierce from brooklyn heights says:
A fundraiser disguised as a Town Hall meeting?
And, BHA now expects the public to throw good
money after bad? Too little, too late.
Seems our politicians and civic leaders are
either inept or corrupt.

At least one of the local library groups,
lovebrooklynlibrariesinc.org
knows how to file a timely lawsuit. And that,
developers only "respect" the courts.
BHA agreed to the sale of the Brooklyn Heights
Library.
And now, hoisted on their own petard.
May 6, 2016, 11:19 am
JUSTINE SWARTZ from Brooklyn Heights says:
The BHA was in favor of building the Pierhouse Hotel in the park. Now they are upset because they had no power to control the out of control development.
The BHA is in favor of the destruction of the two
story Cadman Plaza library and supports the building the monstrous 36 plus floor condominium on the edge of the landmark territory in Brooklyn Heights.
The BHA, when incorporated, had a mandate not to approve multi-storied gigantic buildings on the perimeter of this landmark district. The BHA did not
approve of the proposed humongous building planned for Pineapple Walk; yet the Brooklyn Heights Association is making another grevious error
in approving the towering ginormous condo that will
stick out like a sore thumb at 1 Clinton Street, only a half blocks' distance from Pineapple Walk.


May 6, 2016, 5 pm
marilyn berkon from brooklyn heights says:
Yes, we have a monster at Pier 1. And unless we prevent it, there will be another on the library site. Greed is behind both. The BHA has refused to support the many thousands of people who want to save the Brooklyn Heights Library. Why? Greed! Can't the BHA see that every hateful thing operating behind the Pier 1 monster is there in force to rip down our excellent library and erect a 36-story luxury condo that no one wants? Of course they see it, but greed has destroyed the best in them. Shame is all that remains. But surely their shame will teach them to do the right thing. Perhaps, then, they will turn around and do whatever they must to save our library.
May 7, 2016, 12:26 am
marilyn berkon from brooklyn heights says:
Yes, we have a monster at Pier 1. And unless we prevent it, there will be another on the library site. Greed is behind both. The BHA has refused to support the many thousands of people who want to save the Brooklyn Heights Library. Why? Greed! Can't the BHA see that every hateful thing operating behind the Pier 1 monster is there in force to rip down our excellent library and erect a 36-story luxury condo that no one wants? Of course they see it, but greed has destroyed the best in them. Shame is all that remains. But surely their shame will teach them to do the right thing. Perhaps, then, they will turn around and do whatever they must to save our library.
May 7, 2016, 12:26 am
marilyn berkon from brooklyn heights says:
Yes, we have a monster at Pier 1. And unless we prevent it, there will be another on the library site. Greed is behind both. The BHA has refused to support the many thousands of people who want to save the Brooklyn Heights Library. Why? Greed! Can't the BHA see that every hateful thing operating behind the Pier 1 monster is there in force to rip down our excellent library and erect a 36-story luxury condo that no one wants? Of course they see it, but greed has destroyed the best in them. Shame is all that remains. But surely their shame will teach them to do the right thing. Perhaps, then, they will turn around and do whatever they must to save our library.
May 7, 2016, 12:26 am
marilyn berkon from brooklyn heights says:
Yes, we have a monster at Pier 1. And unless we prevent it, there will be another on the library site. Greed is behind both. The BHA has refused to support the many thousands of people who want to save the Brooklyn Heights Library. Why? Greed! Can't the BHA see that every hateful thing operating behind the Pier 1 monster is there in force to rip down our excellent library and erect a 36-story luxury condo that no one wants? Of course they see it, but greed has destroyed the best in them. Shame is all that remains. But surely their shame will teach them to do the right thing. Perhaps, then, they will turn around and do whatever they must to save our library.
May 7, 2016, 12:27 am
marilyn berkon from brooklyn heights says:
Yes, we have a monster at Pier 1. And unless we prevent it, there will be another on the library site. Greed is behind both. The BHA has refused to support the many thousands of people who want to save the Brooklyn Heights Library. Why? Greed! Can't the BHA see that every hateful thing operating behind the Pier 1 monster is there in force to rip down our excellent library and erect a 36-story luxury condo that no one wants? Of course they see it, but greed has destroyed the best in them. Shame is all that remains. But surely their shame will teach them to do the right thing. Perhaps, then, they will turn around and do whatever they must to save our library.
May 7, 2016, 12:27 am
marilyn berkon from brooklyn heights says:
Yes, we have a monster at Pier 1. And unless we prevent it, there will be another on the library site. Greed is behind both. The BHA has refused to support the many thousands of people who want to save the Brooklyn Heights Library. Why? Greed! Can't the BHA see that every hateful thing operating behind the Pier 1 monster is there in force to rip down our excellent library and erect a 36-story luxury condo that no one wants? Of course they see it, but greed has destroyed the best in them. Shame is all that remains. But surely their shame will teach them to do the right thing. Perhaps, then, they will turn around and do whatever they must to save our library.
May 7, 2016, 12:28 am
marilyn berkon from brooklyn heights says:
Yes, we have a monster at Pier 1. And unless we prevent it, there will be another on the library site. Greed is behind both. The BHA has refused to support the many thousands of people who want to save the Brooklyn Heights Library. Why? Greed! Can't the BHA see that every hateful thing operating behind the Pier 1 monster is there in force to rip down our excellent library and erect a 36-story luxury condo that no one wants? Of course they see it, but greed has destroyed the best in them. Shame is all that remains. But surely their shame will teach them to do the right thing. Perhaps, then, they will turn around and do whatever they must to save our library.
May 7, 2016, 12:28 am
Jay from slope says:
It's not too late. Demolish the top floors.
May 7, 2016, 12:31 am
Jay from slope says:
It's not too late. Demolish the top floors.
May 7, 2016, 12:31 am
Jay from slope says:
It's not too late. Demolish the top floors.
May 7, 2016, 12:31 am
Jay from slope says:
It's not too late. Demolish the top floors.
May 7, 2016, 12:31 am
Jay from slope says:
It's not too late. Demolish the top floors.
May 7, 2016, 12:31 am
Jay from slope says:
It's not too late. Demolish the top floors.
May 7, 2016, 12:31 am
Michael D. D. White from Brooklyn Heights says:
In terms of the Brooklyn Heights Association being "naive" and ineffective, this was the second of two events where Steve Guterman was a featured speaker and community groups gathers together to decry the "pay to play" playground of developer handhouts under the de Blasio administration. Citizens Defending Libraries was one of the sponsors of the earlier City Hall press conference.

It needs to be realized that this is all connected (striking similarities of board composition between the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation Board unaccountably selling off parkland and the Brooklyn Public Library board unaccountably selling off libraries, same architect doing questionable things on both Pierhouse and the proposed 400 ft condo tower to replace the library, same "pay to play" payments, same investigators being asked to investigate.)

That said, the BHA sorely hamstrings itself supporting the back room library sell off and shrinkage bid-rigging when it is supposedly doing its best to help the community in these other ways.

Here is the flyer with more about that which Citizens Defending Libraries handed out to pretty much all of the 200 attendees Wednesday night. You can find the ext and more about the evening at this link:

It's All Connected! Community Meeting In Brooklyn Heights to Inveigh Against Over-development and Trickery By Brooklyn Bridge Park Board, Marvel Architects. Connect The Dots To Libraries, Wednesday, May 4, 2016

http://citizensdefendinglibraries.blogspot.com/2016/05/its-all-connected-community-meeting-in.html
May 7, 2016, 9:01 am
Michael D. D. White from Brooklyn Heights says:
Again, in terms of being "naive". .

This was the second of two events where Steve Guterman was a featured speaker and community groups gathers together to decry the "pay to play" playground of developer handhouts under the de Blasio administration. Citizens Defending Libraries was one of the sponsors of the earlier City
Hall press conference.

Here is information about the first of them.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016
PHOTO GALLERY & VIDEO LINKS: May 4, City Hall Press Community Groups Conference- Call to End de Blasio's "Pay To Play" Developer Deals- Bharara Please Investigate

http://citizensdefendinglibraries.blogspot.com/2016/05/photo-gallery-video-links-may-4-city.html
May 7, 2016, 9:03 am
Michael D. D. White from Brooklyn Heights says:
Here is something cute-

We hope everyone is catching up with what is gong on with Marvel Architects (amusing if it weren't so tragic) whom Steve Guterman savaged Wednesday with his rendition of facts very inconvenient to that firm's keeping their reputation intact. Marvel is the architect for both Pierhouse in Brooklyn Bridge Park and the 400 ft luxury condominium tower proposed to replace the Brooklyn Heights Library.

Marvel is now busily (jn the last two weeks or so) trying to expunge evidence from the internet (and NOT succeeding) about the fundraising they did with David Karmer, the "pay to play" developer somehow being given the library at a minuscule fraction of its value even though this Kramer team had an inferior bid $6 million below the highest bid.

More, including what Marvel is trying to delete from the internet here:

Monday, May 2, 2016, As Feeding Frenzy Elevates NY1 Covers DeBlasio "Pay To Play" Violation: Taking Campaign Contributions From Kramer's Hudson Companies While Handing Out Brooklyn Heights Library Deal- Marvel Architects Runs But Can't Hide

http://citizensdefendinglibraries.blogspot.com/2016/05/as-feeding-frenzy-elevates-ny1-covers.html
May 7, 2016, 9:04 am
Michael D. D. White from Brooklyn Heights says:
Here is one thing we pointed out in our Citizens Defending Libraries handout:

"The BHA, acting like an unpredictable wildcard, undermines our efforts
to keep our elected officials accountable and honest with people at the
office of Councilman Steve Levin, who betrayed the community on the
library sale, sometimes fielding phone calls saying things like: `Yes, 95% of the community is opposed to the library sale, but the BHA favors it and they are very powerful.'"

Steve Levin was again saying the right things on Wednesday night, but how to you prevent another betrayal like Levin's on the library unless you are soundly rooted on principle?

SEE: It's All Connected! Community Meeting In Brooklyn Heights to Inveigh Against Over-development and Trickery By Brooklyn Bridge Park Board, Marvel Architects. Connect The Dots To Libraries, Wednesday, May 4, 2016

http://citizensdefendinglibraries.blogspot.com/2016/05/its-all-connected-community-meeting-in.html
May 7, 2016, 3:52 pm
Michael D. D. White from Brooklyn Heights says:
Here is one thing we pointed out in our Citizens Defending Libraries handout:

"The BHA, acting like an unpredictable wildcard, undermines our efforts
to keep our elected officials accountable and honest with people at the
office of Councilman Steve Levin, who betrayed the community on the
library sale, sometimes fielding phone calls saying things like: `Yes, 95% of the community is opposed to the library sale, but the BHA favors it and they are very powerful.'"

Steve Levin was again saying the right things on Wednesday night, but how to you prevent another betrayal like Levin's on the library unless you are soundly rooted on principle?

SEE: It's All Connected! Community Meeting In Brooklyn Heights to Inveigh Against Over-development and Trickery By Brooklyn Bridge Park Board, Marvel Architects. Connect The Dots To Libraries, Wednesday, May 4, 2016

http://citizensdefendinglibraries.blogspot.com/2016/05/its-all-connected-community-meeting-in.html
May 7, 2016, 3:52 pm
Michael D. D. White from Brooklyn Heights says:
Here is one thing we pointed out in our Citizens Defending Libraries handout:

"The BHA, acting like an unpredictable wildcard, undermines our efforts to keep our elected officials accountable and honest with people at the office of Councilman Steve Levin, who betrayed the community on the library sale, sometimes fielding phone calls saying things like: `Yes, 95% of the community is opposed to the library sale, but the BHA favors it and they are very powerful.'"

Steve Levin was again saying the right things on Wednesday night, but how to you prevent another betrayal like Levin's on the library unless you are soundly rooted on principle?

SEE: It's All Connected! Community Meeting In Brooklyn Heights to Inveigh Against Over-development and Trickery By Brooklyn Bridge Park Board, Marvel Architects. Connect The Dots To Libraries, Wednesday, May 4, 2016

http://citizensdefendinglibraries.blogspot.com/2016/05/its-all-connected-community-meeting-in.html
May 7, 2016, 3:59 pm
Michael D. D. White from Brooklyn Heights says:
Here is one thing we pointed out in our Citizens Defending Libraries handout:

"The BHA, acting like an unpredictable wildcard, undermines our efforts to keep our elected officials accountable and honest with people at the office of Councilman Steve Levin, who betrayed the community on the library sale, sometimes fielding phone calls saying things like: `Yes, 95% of the community is opposed to the library sale, but the BHA favors it and they are very powerful.'"

Steve Levin was again saying the right things on Wednesday night, but how to you prevent another betrayal like Levin's on the library unless you are soundly rooted on principle?

SEE: It's All Connected! Community Meeting In Brooklyn Heights to Inveigh Against Over-development and Trickery By Brooklyn Bridge Park Board, Marvel Architects. Connect The Dots To Libraries, Wednesday, May 4, 2016

http://citizensdefendinglibraries.blogspot.com/2016/05/its-all-connected-community-meeting-in.html
May 7, 2016, 3:59 pm
Michael D. D. White from Brooklyn Heights says:
Here is one thing we pointed out in our Citizens Defending Libraries handout:

"The BHA, acting like an unpredictable wildcard, undermines our efforts to keep our elected officials accountable and honest with people at the office of Councilman Steve Levin, who betrayed the community on the library sale, sometimes fielding phone calls saying things like: `Yes, 95% of the community is opposed to the library sale, but the BHA favors it and they are very powerful.'"

Steve Levin was again saying the right things on Wednesday night, but how to you prevent another betrayal like Levin's on the library unless you are soundly rooted on principle?

SEE: It's All Connected! Community Meeting In Brooklyn Heights to Inveigh Against Over-development and Trickery By Brooklyn Bridge Park Board, Marvel Architects. Connect The Dots To Libraries, Wednesday, May 4, 2016

http://citizensdefendinglibraries.blogspot.com/2016/05/its-all-connected-community-meeting-in.html
May 7, 2016, 3:59 pm
Michael D. D. White from Brooklyn JHeights says:
Here is one thing we pointed out in our Citizens Defending Libraries handout:

"The BHA, acting like an unpredictable wildcard, undermines our efforts to keep our elected officials accountable and honest with people at the office of Councilman Steve Levin, who betrayed the community on the library sale, sometimes fielding phone calls saying things like: `Yes, 95% of the community is opposed to the library sale, but the BHA favors it and they are very powerful.'"

Steve Levin was again saying the right things on Wednesday night, but how to you prevent another betrayal like Levin's on the library unless you are soundly rooted on principle?

SEE: It's All Connected! Community Meeting In Brooklyn Heights to Inveigh Against Over-development and Trickery By Brooklyn Bridge Park Board, Marvel Architects. Connect The Dots To Libraries, Wednesday, May 4, 2016

http://citizensdefendinglibraries.blogspot.com/2016/05/its-all-connected-community-meeting-in.html

MICHAEL D. D. WHITE
May 7, 2016, 4:04 pm
Michael D. D. White from Brooklyn JHeights says:
Here is one thing we pointed out in our Citizens Defending Libraries handout:

"The BHA, acting like an unpredictable wildcard, undermines our efforts to keep our elected officials accountable and honest with people at the office of Councilman Steve Levin, who betrayed the community on the library sale, sometimes fielding phone calls saying things like: `Yes, 95% of the community is opposed to the library sale, but the BHA favors it and they are very powerful.'"

Steve Levin was again saying the right things on Wednesday night, but how to you prevent another betrayal like Levin's on the library unless you are soundly rooted on principle?

SEE: It's All Connected! Community Meeting In Brooklyn Heights to Inveigh Against Over-development and Trickery By Brooklyn Bridge Park Board, Marvel Architects. Connect The Dots To Libraries, Wednesday, May 4, 2016
May 7, 2016, 4:04 pm
Michael D. D. White from Brooklyn Heights says:
Here is one thing we pointed out in our Citizens Defending Libraries handout:

"The BHA, acting like an unpredictable wildcard, undermines our efforts to keep our elected officials accountable and honest with people at the office of Councilman Steve Levin, who betrayed the community on the library sale, sometimes fielding phone calls saying things like: `Yes, 95% of the community is opposed to the library sale, but the BHA favors it and they are very powerful.'"

Steve Levin was again saying the right things on Wednesday night, but how to you prevent another betrayal like Levin's on the library unless you are soundly rooted on principle?

SEE: It's All Connected! Community Meeting In Brooklyn Heights to Inveigh Against Over-development and Trickery By Brooklyn Bridge Park Board, Marvel Architects. Connect The Dots To Libraries, Wednesday, May 4, 2016
May 7, 2016, 4:05 pm

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