FORT GREENE — An overhaul of the neighborhood’s largest park has been pushed back following pressure from locals who say they didn’t have enough time to review the renovation plan.
A final design for the revamp of the Myrtle Avenue side of Fort Greene Park was unveiled to a committee of Brooklyn Community Board 2 last week and went to the board’s executive committee Monday night for final approval.
The $10.5 million project is part of the city’s Parks Without Borders initiative and would rebuild and renovate the green space's north side, adding wheelchair accessibility, fixing uneven sidewalks, redoing the basketball courts and barbeque area, and adding a water feature and more green space to the large promenade leading to the Prison Ship Martyrs’ Monument.
The CB2 executive committee Monday voted to wait to make a decision on the project after three elected officials and a room full of Fort Greene residents asked the group to give the public more time to consider the plan.
“I respectfully request — and I’m representing the community here, as well — that we would like more time… to have an opportunity to weigh in,” state Sen. Velmanette Montgomery said to cheers from attendees holding “Stop The Vote” signs.
Assemblyman Walter Mosley and Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo also spoke on behalf of those residents, asking the board to delay a final decision.
In response, Brooklyn Parks Commissioner Marty Maher urged board members to not delay the project, which he said has been in the works for three years and had several rounds of input already.
“We were very, very transparent, we were very inclusive," he said. "In my 32 years of public service doing this — and I do this for the 877 park sites across the borough — this has been the project that has had the most public input."
Despite Maher's plea, the board voted to table the item until after CB2’s summer break. The earliest the board would take up the issue again is September.
In a statement, Parks Department spokeswoman Maeri Ferguson said the agency has been working with neighbors, Cumbo and the Fort Greene Park Conservancy to "gather ideas for improving access and amenities at this historic space" since the park was nominated by the public to become a Parks Without Borders site.
"We’ll continue this engagement this summer as we talk to our neighbors about the plan for Fort Greene Park," she said.
Before the project can move forward, the Parks Department needs approval from the community board and the Landmarks Preservation Commission.