Petition Opposes Pier 6 Residential Towers in Brooklyn Bridge Park

By Nikhita Venugopal on May 13, 2014 8:49am 

 Pier 6 at Brooklyn Bridge Park has a children's playground, sand volleyball courts and picnic spots.
Pier 6 at Brooklyn Bridge Park has a children's playground, sand volleyball courts and picnic spots.
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Julienne Schaer

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — More than 700 people have signed a new petition that revives a longstanding opposition to residential towers planned for Pier 6 at Brooklyn Bridge Park. 

The petition, launched last week, has garnered support in the decades-old battle among neighborhood groups and locals to prevent residential development.

It had 733 signers as of Monday night and calls upon Mayor Bill de Blasio to stop the development of a 16-story and a 31-story building, which supporters say has “gone awry.”

Lori Schomp, 32, started the petition last week in an effort to revive community activism around the issue, local blogs first reported.

“There’s a lot of people who are going to be impacted,” Schomp told DNAinfo New York.

Earlier this month, park officials told neighborhood groups that one of the planned towers, the 16-story building, may have affordable housing units, the Wall Street Journal reported. 

The newly revised plan rekindled neighborhood activism. While the project for the park was approved almost a decade ago, construction on most buildings remains unfinished.  

“It’s not about wealthy or poor people,” said Judith Francis, president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund, a coalition of neighborhood groups. 

“It’s about housing in the first place.”

Schomp hopes the petition will provide an avenue to save the green space and engage the community and local officials in finding a solution to the issue. She also hopes to limit the height of the buildings - something that local officials and neighborhood groups have long advocated for.

The petition shows a new wave of younger residents opposing any kind of housing in the park, Francis said.

“It’s shocking to me that I have been having this conversation for 25 years,” she said.

“It’s soul-crushing to see this beautiful park be sullied with yet another commercial development.”

The Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation did not respond to request for comment regarding the petition.

But the towers' presence will negatively impact life for people who use the park recreationally, from dog walkers to mothers with young children, Schomp said.

As a runner, the towers would personally affect Schomp’s experience of Brooklyn Bridge Park in Brooklyn Heights, which she moved to a year ago.

“When I come down Atlantic [Avenue], I’m going to be looking at a huge skyscraper instead of looking at the sunset,” she said.

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