13 Mar

FROGG Responds to the Delay in Gowanus Historic District Designation

The NYS Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) meeting scheduled for this week has been miss-characterized in this posting.

The State was not going to "take a look at FROGG's Application", the State has been reviewing and even expanding the district boarders for the proposed Gowanus Historic Listing for a number of years now. And nothing, NOTHING, in this listing has any baring in the any river walk (though everyone should know that Gowanus is not a river and never has been). The odd thing is that NYC has also received materials to review the historic listing over the years. NYC has been fully aware of which properties NYC are within the district, for quite some time now. Yet they now ask for 60 more days after years of review?

The scheduled state meeting was the final step for affirming the designation. That process also included the February meeting for all property owners in the district. All who didn't understand the nature of this VOLUNTEER REDEVELOPMENT TAX-INCENTIVE PROGRAM--that brings a minimum of 40% tax credits to those who choose to participate--were able to get answers directly form the state agency at that meeting.

It was explained at the meeting that owners who objected to the designation (and wanted to deny their neighbors access to the volunteer redevelopment tax- credits) could prevent the historic listing provided more than 200 of property owners also object. The delay requested this week by the City can be seen as a result of a small group of objectors, with influence at the city, having fallen short in collecting the necessary objection letters. Those running the miss-information-campaign based on a confused statement letter by a Lightstone agent, and directed by Bill Appel and the Gowanus Alliance, WERE NOT ABLE TO GATHER THE NECESSARY NUMBER OF OBJECTION LETTERS. The city's request this week, for more time to look into their properties, can be seen as the means of granting additional time to Mr' Appel's group to drum up more letters of objection.

What the delay also does is give those who were asked to sign those form-style letters of objection, time to actually look at the merits of this redevelopment incentive program and submit a new letter to the State SHPO office retracting their original objection.

A letter of support (and one retracting a previous letter) can be sent to:

Ruth L. Pierpont
Division for Historic Preservation
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
P.O. Box 189
Waterford, New York 12188-0189

or

Daniel McEneny
New York State Historic Preservation Office
One Delaware Avenue, North
Cohoes, NY 12047
(518) 237-8643 x. 3257

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