Just as we are in court to fight CB9's illegal resolution letter to DCP, we are also fighting a PLGNA "study" of our area (not theirs!) funded by our elected officials, because any "community-based" study can be characterized by DCP as a request for a re-zoning. We have been successful in holding off DCP for over 2 years, an extraordinary achievement. That is why I am writing to convey my concern about the upcoming Town Hall Meeting and Landmark-Weekend organized by Crown Heights South Association. Landmarking requires studies.
I can't find any information about CHSA's membership. They have an email address and a Facebook page; that is all. This makes me suspicious. The Borough President is 100% eager to deliver Empire into the hands of the developers; CHSA could be a front organization.
I say this with assurance: There will be no landmarking in Crown Heights, just as there will be no downzoning. This is true throughout the city, not just here. In fact, earlier this year the Landmarks Commission DE-calendared 60 buildings that languished for years without being considered. All those de-calendared proposals involved hundreds of hours of research, documentation, analysis and substantial fundraising (I worked to protect a threatened landmark for 15 years; I have had a lot of experience in this area). And all those proposals were back-burnered, especially if in minority neighborhoods.
Through their bought and paid for shills on the City Council, the real estate industry is seeking to impose a time limit for landmark consideration, after which any proposal will be rejected, as opposed to, say, increasing funding to the Landmarks Commission to insure timely consideration.
To suggest, as Crown Heights South Association is doing, that "Automotive Row" (Empire between Flatbush and Rogers) is a viable candidate for landmarking is naive at best. To actually create such a proposal would be a yuuuuuge waste of scarce resources of time, effort and money.
I suggest that it would be more useful for CHSA, whoever they are, to join our ongoing fight to prevent the Dept of City Planning (Plotting) from rezoning Crown Heights, and in particular Empire Boulevard. If DCP succeeds in rezoning Empire from commercial to residential, Black Crown Heights will become Williamsburg. No amount of landmarking will change that.