Sarah Gray 0

Deny HPD Application to build 6 story "Supportive Housing" building

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We, the community of people living in Prospect Lefferts Gardens and its surrounding areas, are dissatisfied with the city's decision to change the use of the currently vacated building at 329 Lincoln Rd. We request that the proposal to approve an exemption to the existing zoning (FAR approx. 2.34) to allow construction of a building of up to 4.8 FAR - more than double the size of the existing structure - be denied by Community Board 9. Such a building would be out of scale on this block and its size would cause it to loom over the surrounding 3 and 4 story buildings on the street as well as the backyards of the homes on Lefferts Ave. We understand that the building to be constructed is classed as a "community facility," to be administered by Providence House, an organization operated by the sisters of the Congregation of Saint Joseph. Providence House provides short and longer-term housing for women who are recently released from prison (either having completed their sentence or on parole) and their children. The existing building has a valid Certificate of Occupancy for 16 families. The current plan is to house 26 families in this building. We see no reason that the existing structure could not be rehabilitated to use for the stated purpose, albeit on a smaller, more neighborhood-appropriate, size. If the building is found to be unsuitable for some reason, we would suggest that it be replaced with a similar-sized building. There are MANY unfinished and/or vacant buildings of much larger size that would be much better-suited to a facility of this nature and would cost less for the city to rehabilitate and use, as well as many vacant lots with existing appropriate zoning already in place. We feel that this proposal is being swept by the community without the people who will be affected by it having been given access to any of the facts surrounding it, and we urge Community Board 9 to deny this application.


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