CHCA Meeting Minutes: November 2008

The meeting of the Crow Hill Community Association, Inc. was held on November 18, 2008 at the Haitian/American Daycare, Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, New York.

The Following Items Were Discussed:

  1. We will have the Election of Officers at our December meeting
  2. Summary of the Landmarks meeting was given, 2 main benefits of landmarking
    1. improvement of our area
    2. protection against unwanted development
  3. Request For Evaluation materials were distributed
  4. For additional protection against development we need to work on a zoning downgrade from our current R-6 status
  5. Introduced Buy Brooklyn campaign
  6. Ms. Taylor has written a letter to sanitation about the dog poo on our streets and getting signage & fine changes
  7. Concern over street drug sales, we could have NYPD come to future meeting to answer questions.

Q&A from First Timers: what brought you to this CHCA meeting?:

  1. Does the Association help fight against dead beat landlords?
    We haven’t had that request before but we are available to assist in finding what course of action to take
  2. Interest in preserving the small town character of the neighborhood
  3. Inspired by Obama’s words & election to get involved with the community


Minutes of the October 21, 2008 meeting were read and accepted.


Dues were collected.


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

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: September 2008

The meeting of the Crow Hill Community Association, Inc. was held on September 16, 2008 at the Haitian/American Daycare, Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, New York.


The meeting was called to order at 7:45 p.m. by Stacey Sheffey and Nina Meledandri.

Stacey began by welcoming everyone back from the summer vacation. She briefed everyone on Crow Hill. She mentioned that dues are $5.00 per household, which is used for miscellaneous purposes.

She also mentioned that support is needed to distribute flyers for the meetings.


Minutes of the June 17, 2008 meeting were read and accepted.


Nina gave the names of the different Committees of Crow Hill. They are:

Bylaws, Community Outreach, Economical Development, Fund Raising, Good and Welfare, Merchant Outreach, Public Safety, Landmark, Go Green/Go Clean and Youth Committee.

Nina said that some of the committees need help.


Stacey mentioned that Crow Hill was approached by Community Board 8 to see if there was an interest in landmarking.

A meeting was held on August 19, 2008 to discuss landmarking for Crow Hill. Letitia James attended and voiced her support.

Landmark buildings are grandfathered and any changes will need the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s approval. Landmarking helps to protect against inappropriate developments. The community has a say in any new developments. Property values are increased.

Strong community support is necessary in order to obtain landmark status.

Evaluation requests together with photos and a map are submitted by property owners.

Stacey and Nina answered questions regarding landmarking and what happens if the community is not involved.

Questions were asked as to whether home owners in landmark districts need to get permission to make changes to their buildings.

Nina said that there are pros and cons of landmarking.

The percentage of home owners needed to vote could be less than 100%.

It was suggested that we invite someone who lives in a land marked area to come and talk to us at our next meeting.


Hakeem Jefferies attended the meeting and spoke about the economic times we are in. They are lobbying as hard as they can and it is best that we work together.

Regarding the loan from Dormitory Authority, he said that some of the money was drawn and he is trying to work with Dormitory Authority to reinstate the loan. Crow Hill is high on the list.


Nina explained that 450 letters were sent to the Mayor and there are about 1,800 more to be sent regarding the City’s plan to move single homeless men from New York City’s only intake center to the Bedford-Atlantic Armory in Crown Heights.

The meeting scheduled for Wednesday, September 17th at City Hall has been postponed to September 23rd at 10:00 a.m.

Karim Camara has scheduled a Press Conference for Thursday, September 18th at 12:30 p.m. in front of St. Gregory’s Church, 991 St. Johns Place. The Mayor is invited.

The State Assembly meeting on this matter is scheduled for Friday, September 19th at 10:00 a.m. at 250 Broadway, New York City.

All elected officials are behind this.


It was suggested that cameras at street corners can deter the drug dealers.

In order to install cameras, the landlords’ permission is needed to get the boxes in their basements.

Nina said that we were part of the Impact Zone for the first part of the year. The tower that was located at Franklin Avenue and St. Johns Place was removed.

Nina also advised everyone to attend the 77th Precinct Council meetings on the second Monday of each month and voice their concerns.


Dues were collected.


There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 9:00 p.m.

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