Rezoning Update

Since the neighborhood that Crow Hill Community Association serves sits in the middle of the area covered by the Department of City Planning’s Crown Height’s West rezoning proposal, the Association chose to take a leadership role in bringing this issue to our community.

On April 16th we devoted our general meeting to two issues that could potential change the face of development in Crow Hill: CHCA’s proposal for Landmark’s designation  and the Crown Heights West rezoning proposal.  We created a poll that was distributed at the meeting and on line.  We had 29 poll responses returned from the meeting and 66 from the on-line version.  The response was basically 75% in favor of rezoning and 80% in favor of landmarking. (View poll results.)

On May 9th CHCA presented at the CB8 meeting held to address the re-zoning and based on community feedback, we gave our support to the plan.  We also felt it was important to speak to the comments and concerns that we heard voiced by the community, below is the full CHCA statement: Continue reading

Portion of Crow Hill Landmarked

We are thrilled to announce that Landmarks Preservation Committee has voted to create the Park Place Historic District.  CHCA began its landmarking effort in 2008 and this is the first portion of our community to gain landmark status as a result,  We continue to work towards landmarking more of the community.  Below is LPC’s description of the district.

Continue reading


Public Safety:
Without being alarmist, we want people to continue to be aware of crime in the community: there was an attempted rape this past month on a Sunday, at 10:30 p.m. at 679 Sterling Place (between Franklin & Bedford Avenue). The victim was unable to give a description of the man because he approached her from behind and she didn’t see his face. Please be alert when you are on the street, especially when you are entering your vestibules.
Burglaries are still up, it is critical that we keep our windows locked, especially those on fire escapes.

Intake Center at the Armory:
A brief update from CBAAR (Coalition for Bedford/Atlantic Armory Reform)
The news regarding the Bedford Atlantic Armory is both good and bad. We have been in contact with the new Commissioner for the Department of Homeless Services: Seth Diamond. In response to our queries he has said that there are no immediate plans to open the intake center for single homeless men at the Bedford Atlantic Armory shelter. However when the intake center at Bellevue closes, the city still intends to open the intake center at the Armory.
We are holding the city off but we must remain vigilant and continue to oppose the intake center. We have requested that DHS keep us informed about the status of the intake center. However there is no guarantee they will do this. Right now and for the foreseeable future, it is imperative that each of us keep an eye on the shelter and report any changes back to us

November Elections
EVERYONE MUST VOTE: This is the most important community effort that you can make in November! It is crucial to the work that the Association undertakes that Crown Heights (and specifically Crow Hill) is seen as a caring and vocal community. The issues that we face are duplicated throughout the City and there are limited resources to deal with them. The communities which get out and vote and make the most noise, are going to be the communities that receive the most attention, it is that simple.
Please be sure to vote on November 2.

Landmarking Crow Hill:
On Tuesday, October 26th the Landmarks Preservation Commission will be holding a meeting at which a group of 13 buildings on Park Place between Franklin & Bedford will be presented for landmarking. Landmark status has already been granted to parts of Prospect Heights and other areas of Crown Heights North, we ask everyone who has an interest in extending this status into Crow Hill to attend this meeting in support.
Again, the meeting is Tuesday, October 26th at 11:35 in the Public Meeting Room of the
Municipal Building: 1 Centre St, 9th floor North in Manhattan.

SOS Peace March:
On Wednesday (tomorrow) there will be a walk sponsored by Save Our Streets beginning at 6 PM at the northwest corner of Utica & Eastern Parkway. We will walk west towards Franklin Avenue ending at Franklin and Eastern Parkway. There we will recognize the lives lost and those affected by gun violence in Crown Heights North. For more information contact Lisa Jones, S.O.S. Program Manager at 718-679-9410.

Garbage The Go Green/Go Clean committee has been working to get a Big Belly Solar powered trash receptacle/compactor for Franklin Avenue. It would be EXTREMELY helpful if whenever you see an overflowing city garbage can any corner of Franklin Ave. if you would call 311 and give its location.


Funding Historic Restorations
Crow Hill has been designated a historic district and therefore property owners wishing to make historic renovations may qualify for the Historic Properties Fund which offers low-interest loans and project management assistance to owners of historic residential, non-profit, religious, and commercial properties throughout the City – mostly in low- to moderate-income communities. Since 1982, the Historic Properties Fund has assisted over 200 buildings. It is one of the largest, private revolving loan funds in the country used exclusively for historic preservation.

visit their website for more information

Landmarking Crow Hill

CHCA is in the process of exploring obtaining Landmark Status for Crow Hill

We would like all residents of Crow Hill to understand what landmark status will mean for them. Please read the minutes from our special August meeting to learn about the landmarking process; We will continue to address this issue at upcoming meetings this fall. Please bring your questions and concerns.

Information and answers to frequently asked questions are also available on the Landmarks Preservation Commission website

We want to know how you feel about landmarking Crow Hill:
Take the CHCA landmarks survey

Homeowners, Renters & Merchants

If you support landmarking in Crow Hill, it is crucial that you fill out a “Request for Evaluation” form. You may do this for the building that you live/work in AND for any building in Crow Hill that you love and would want to be included.
Please download, complete and return this form to us.

Forms can be dropped off at:
HAD Associates, 737 Franklin Avenue, between Sterling & Park Place
or mailed to us at:
Crow Hill Community Association/714 Washington Ave, Ste#89/Brooklyn, NY 11238 

Did you see Channel 12’s piece on CHCA’s landmarking effort
featuring our very own Stacey Sheffey?  
view on their website now

Map of proposed district

CHCA Meeting Minutes: August 2008

Special August Meeting to Discuss Landmarking

Guest Presenters:

Historic District Council: Frampton Tolbert & Lauren Belfer
Council Member Letitia James and aide Alfred Chiodo
CHNA: Ethel E. Tyus & Deborah L. Young
PHNDC: Roz Parr

Meeting was called to order at 7:20 by Nina Meledandri & Stacey Sheffey

Frampton Tolbert introduced various aspects of the landmarking:

Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) looks for areas with buildings of historical, cultural or architectural significance

LPC requires that there be strong community support for obtaining landmark status

All exterior aspects of buildings in a landmarked district are grandfathered at the point in time when landmark status is granted. Any subsequent changes to the exterior of buildings requires landmarks approval

LPC does not control use of buildings in the district.

LPC looks for continuity between blocks to create a district.

The property values of buildings in a landmarked district increase at a higher rate than those not in the district

When a building owner wishes to make a change to a building in a landmarked district they will apply for one of 3 permits:

  1. certificate of no effect: the change does not effect the outside appearance of the building
  2. minor change permit: for small alterations
  3. certificate of appropriateness: for changes to the nature of the building (ie: removing a stoop) these sort of changes need to be presented to the community/elected officials for their opinion

The Landmarking Process:

Community submits requests for evaluation (from individual property owners), along with photos, a map and boundaries of the proposed district.

If the neighborhood is considered worthy it gets calendared for a public hearing where the pros & cons are discussed, the outcome of that hearing determines the status

CHNA’s experience with the landmarking process:

Landmarking requires strong community and elected official support

It is necessary to focus on making sure the community understands the benefits

We will want to ask for a larger area than what we want, LPC usually cuts back the boundaries.

Our zoning is currently R-6 so it is as of right to build 8 stories. LPC will help protect against overcrowding and inappropriate development. If a new building is proposed for the area, the community gets a voice in saying whether or not the design is appropriate.

LPC needs to know the neighborhood will champion landmark status, they are a small overworked agency and they will only grant landmark status to neighborhoods that will want to police themselves with respect to upholding the regulations.

Sidebar: At the very least we need also work with Community Board 8 to reduce our zoning to protect us from overdevelopment.

We will need to photograph the proposed areas, block by block, to show the housing stock.

CHNA raised interest through mailings and holding meetings every other month to provide information to the community

Crow Hill has been presented fora possibile inclusion in subsequent phases of the Crown Heights landmarking

CHNA put together a book with a survey of the area, key photographs, 200 requests for evaluation from homeowners, letters from every elected official serving their area. In addition a letter/postcard/email campaign was directed at LPC

Brooklyn Historical Society is a good resource for researching what the neighborhood was like years ago, can provide tax photos from the 30’s.

Without the protection of Landmark status, we could become a prime target for development if we are the only area unprotected between Crown Heights North & Prospect Heights

Council Member Letitia James voiced her support and reiterated that LPC wants to feel real community support, they are not interested in coming into a hostile community. She emphasized the importance of closing the gap between PH & CHN.


Landmarking and Our Community

An opportunity to learn more about what landmark status could mean for you and for Crow Hill.

Join us as we explorewhat landmarking entails

  • how it can benefit a community
  • why neighboring communities have chosen to obtain landmark status
  • the answers to our questions

Our distinguished panel will include:

  • Frampton Tolbert – Historic Districts Council
  • Landmarks Preservation Commission
  • Council Member Letitia James and aide Alfred Chiodo
  • Ethel E. Tyus, Esq. – Crown Heights North Association
  • Gib Veconi – Prospect Heights

This is an important meeting that will effect the growth of Crow Hill and Crown Heights as a whole. Please bring your questions, concerns and your neighbors.

Tuesday August 19, 7:00 – 9 PM
Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation
727 Classon Avenue (between Park & Prospect)

Download our flier