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Hearing Scheduled for Two Controversial Brooklyn Projects Next Week

 Renderings for the Rock and Roll Playhouse, a proposed bar and music venue at 280 Bond St., in Gowanus and for Basis Indepdent Brooklyn, a proposed private school at 556 Columbia St., in Red Hook. Both projects will be decided at the Board of Standards and Appeals hearing March 25.
Basis Independent Brooklyn and Rock and Roll Playhouse
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BROOKLYN — Two controversial Brooklyn developments — Basis Independent Brooklyn and Rock and Roll Playhouse — that have split residents in Red Hook and Gowanus will face their second public hearings with the city next week.

The Board of Standards and Appeals is scheduled to review projects again on March 25 at 22 Reade St. in Manhattan, where city officials might rule on whether the proposals can go forward. 

Both proposals were reviewed early this year and developers were asked to submit additional evidence to support their cases.

Basis Independent Brooklyn, a proposed 1,000-seat private school in Red Hook, seeks to build an 89,556-square-foot building in a vacant lot that’s currently zoned for industrial use.

Last month, the BSA discussed Basis’s application for a special permit so the school can be built and operated at 556 Columbia St. It scheduled to review the issue after more information on bus parking and pedestrian safety was provided.

The private school has provoked both anger and support from the Red Hook community. As of Wednesday, a petition against the school had garnered 133 signatures while one that supported Basis had 254.

On Tuesday, the city will also review another project in Gowanus that’s caused consternation among community members.

Organizers say the Rock and Roll Playhouse is a proposed children’s music center that will host jazz and theatrical performances for adults in the evenings, but residents claim that it’s a 21-and-over “nightclub” with a late-night bar.

Last August, the Department of Buildings issued a permit to allow a theater, eating and drinking establishment and a non-commercial art gallery at the Gowanus site because of its “non-conforming use” zoning status.

The status makes the property a legal exception to the current residential district that surrounds it and would allow the Playhouse business to be operated there.

But according to residents, who have formed a group called “We Are Gowanus,” minimal business activity has been conducted at the site for years — a fact that should force the DOB to revoke the non-conforming status.

At a BSA hearing in January, a representative from the DOB agreed that the zoning status would be reviewed. 

The two cases will be reviewed on March 25 at 10 a.m. at 22 Reade St. in Manhattan at Spector Hall.