Comment on New York City plans for Federal CDBG Sandy recovery funds

Just in from our friends at the Brooklyn Recovery Fund of the Brooklyn Community Foundation

The following is copied from an email from the BRF of the BCF. Note the January 25, 2014 deadline!

"You may or may not know, but the City has made changes to the CDBG plan for recovery funds. If you participated in previous CDBG plan hearings or read previous drafts, you need to know that this change being proposed reallocates money and significantly changes program eligibility requirements across a number of previously planned programs. All of the changes in this amendment are substantial. Changes in financial allocations impact programs and funding for:

·         Housing

·         Business

·         City Administration

·         Infrastructure

·         Resilience Programs

Attached is a short 5 page guide to help those of us who are not familiar with the City’s planning and comment process locate the guide (both online and in hard copy), understand how to read the guide, and includes all the info you need to give comments on the guide. We have also included a section by section overview.

The City is only taking comments until January 25, so please take a moment either on your own or with your organization and provide comments about these considerable changes to disaster relief funding.

If you have any questions or need further guidance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Noël Kepler or Gillian Kaye at development@emmp-emergency.com."

 

NYC's webpage for the plan and amendments

 

 

Waterfront Assets info for NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program (CRP) Red Hook Committee

Our Director Carolina Salguero is on the Red Hook committee of the NYS resiliency planning process "CRP."  That process has stressed that the planning exercise is about more than recovery, or flood prevention and mitigation.  It is supposed to take a long and broad view which includes economic resiliency years into the future.

This emphasis prompted Carolina Salguero to make some suggestions regarding Red Hook's waterfront assets, both their potential and the impediments to reaching their potential. She wrote a document to cover what was not being said in the CRP discussion that seemed essential to get into "Needs and Opportunities" document that was due on 10/28, a document that was first described as "a conceptual plan for Red Hook" and then later as a guide for issues to be discussed.  PortSide shares that document below.

Many of the themes about policy, permits and pier design reflect citywide issues, so this blogpost has relevance beyond Red Hook and beyond Sandy issues.

The document is marked DRAFT as it was done in a rush due to a NYS deadline of 10/28 for that  "Needs and Opportunities" document,. DRAFT signifying that it will be updated. After discussion at PortSide, we decided it was important to get this information out and shared without further delay given the pace of the CRP process -- also given the pace of the Bill de Blasio transition team. 

PortSide, along with many other waterfront operators and advocates hopes that the impediments described will be lifted. NYC created a great road map for activating the waterfront, and the water part of the waterfront, in its new comprehensive waterfront plan "Vision 2020."  Many of the changes proposed here would move the city towards fulfilling the great promise of that plan.

Download document Carolina Salguero waterfront suggestions for Red Hook CRP Committee 10/23/13

Some excerpts

“Understanding Red Hook waterfront options means understanding a lot of arcane regulation and policy, so I have written up the following observations and suggestions to help Red Hook committee members of the CRP who are not waterfront people. “

“Red Hook is a peninsula. Water is therefore our greatest resiliency challenge due to the risk of floods, but water is also the defining feature of this place and our greatest economic asset.”

“If nothing else, consider the clout: the largest land owner in Red Hook looks to be the Port Authority, and Red Hook’s relationship with the Port could be grown and improved. The Committee should be sitting down with the major property owners.”

“Understanding and capturing the potential of Red Hook’s waterfront involves understanding and engaging a constituency that is not usually at the table in Red Hook planning discussions, the maritime community.”

Action Items

Use CRP to improve NYS & NYC policy regarding pier design & use:

1.    Change State Dept of Environmental Conservation (DEC) policy regarding permits to install or repair a pier
2.    Change NYC policy, to go beyond just “access to the waterfront” to promote use of the water itself.
3.    Change NYC policy regarding pier design & management

Longer Term Improvement Opportunities

o    PANYNJ
o    Brooklyn Cruise Terminal Shed
o    Brooklyn Cruise Terminal Parking Lot
o    Atlantic Basin
            Reality Check: limitations on Atlantic Basin waterspace use
o    Valentino Park
o    A Home for PortSide NewYork

Appendices

A.    A Home for PortSide NewYork
B.    DEC Impediments to pier repair and construction

Testimony to New York City Council
Committee on Waterfronts
Re: 6/15/05 Regulatory Obstacles to Waterfront Development

C.    Frequent impediments to boat use of piers in NYC