CHCA Meeting Minutes: October 2008

The meeting of the Crow Hill Community Association, Inc. was held on October 21, 2008 at The Gospel Tabernacle Church, 725 Franklin Avenue, Brooklyn, New York.

PRESIDENT’S OPENING:

The meeting was called to order with a prayer at 7:35 p.m. by Eve Porter.
Ms. Porter asked everyone to read the Agenda which starts with “What is Crow Hill”. Ms. Porter said that Crow Hill is a 5013c community organization and it is part of Crown Heights. The boundaries are from Eastern Parkway to Atlantic Avenue on Franklin Avenue, Eastern Parkway to St. Marks Avenue on Bedford Avenue and the streets in between.
Ms. Porter also said that we have lost 17 of our core members and we are thankful for those who are here now picking up the pieces.
Dues are $5.00 per household and $125 per year for merchants.

MINUTES:

The minutes of the September 16, 2008 meeting were not available.

COMMUNITY LANDMARK:

Ms. Porter introduced the Landmark and Historic District Group. Ms. Diane Jackier, Director of External Affairs and Mr. Frampton Tolbert.
Landmark Preservations is a New York City agency responsible for identifying and designating the city’s landmarks. Established in 1965, there are about 65 staff members. Mr. Robert Tierney is the Chairman.
Events like the demolition of the original Penn Station in 1963 increased awareness of the need to protect the city’s historical buildings.
There are four types of land marking; they are individual landmarks, interior landmarks, accessible and scenic landmarks. They may also designate areas as historic districts.
The agency relies on people who live in these areas to tell them about new potential districts. Request for Evaluation forms, together with pictures and a map are sent. They look at and determine if there is something they are interested in. After the owner outreach, they calendar the district for public hearing. Public hearings are held in the Municipal Building, 1 Center Street, New York City.
If there is opposition, the Commission will consider if that is something they wish to do. After designation, the Commission will bring it back for a vote. If approved, the area will be designated.
They work with neighborhood groups. If you want them to consider your request you have to keep up the pressure. The Elected Officials together with the Community Board would put pressure on Landmark Commission.
Landmark Commission will grant a permit for changes to the exterior of the building only; no permit is needed for the interior of the building.
Homeowners with limited means can borrow money with low interest rates from the Landmark Commission. There are also grant programs available.
Crown Heights North Historic District was designated in April 2007. It was suggested that Crow Hill could partner with Crown Heights North.

Question and Answer Session:

Q: How much time does it take?
A: It varies; it depends on how persistent the area is and the timely manner in which documents are submitted.
Q: Would there be an increase in taxes because of landmark designation?
A: There will be no increase in taxes because of land marking. Property value will go up in time if the area is enhanced.
Q: Could tenants of a building be involved?
A: Tenants of a building could be involved, but homeowners are the direct contact to the Commission.
Before leaving, Ms. Jackier gave her phone number, (212) 669-7923 and her e-mail address, www.nyc.gov/landmarks.

CHCA OTHER BUSINESS:

Ms. Porter described the work that was done on Franklin Avenue and the surrounding areas.
Franklin Avenue has really come up. With the help of Roger Green and Marty Markowitz, tree guards were paid for and installed on Franklin Avenue. Signs were made. Alternate parking was changed from 8-10 am to 9:30-11 am to benefit the residents of the area. Traffic on Lincoln Place was also changed to the opposite direction to benefit the residents of St. Francis and St. Charles Place. It took 9 ½ years. It turned out to be a very good change.
A resident on St. Johns Place complained about the curbing of dogs. Ms. Porter read a letter written and sent to the authorities by Ms. Sarah Taylor regarding the curbing of dogs.
Ms. Porter stated that Ms. Taylor has been instrumental in getting whatever was needed in the area. She would keep writing the letters until the problem was solved.
Ms. Porter was asked about reducing alternate side parking. She advised the residents to petition the Transportation Board. If enough people will petition, it can be done. It was done in Park Slope.

FINANCIAL REPORT: .

Dues were collected.

ADJOURNMENT/PRAYER:

There being no further business to discuss, Ms. Porter thanked everyone for coming and the meeting was adjourned at 9:00 p.m.

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