Don't Let El Sol Brillante Jr. Community garden be killed.
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We are writing to seek your help appealing to DOB to adjust a requirement that will mean the difference between our community garden’s survival and the death of all its plants.
We are writing from El Sol Brillante Jr Garden, a GreenThumb garden under Parks Dept. auspices located at 537 E. 12th St for almost 40 years. Our garden is part of a green corridor created by the block’s residents which makes our neighborhood a special & charming place. Some of you familiar with CB3 may know our garden!
A long awaited moderate-income housing project is scheduled to start December 10th 2019, adjacent to our garden. We had a site visit on Oct. 28 with the developer, contractor, Parks Dept and GreenThumb. We were told that although Parks and the developer requested a zero to 10’ encroachment into the garden in the form of an overhead protection aka “shed”, the Dept of Buildings refused them. DOB is demanding a 25’ wide shed, which basically covers the entire width of the garden. That means all the plants underneath would surely die since they won’t get sun or rain for a projected 6-month period of demolition time starting in December 2019. We propose a compromise of a 10’ wide shed into the garden, which covers only half of its width. We believe this should be possible because the shed in front of the building, i.e. over the sidewalk, will be only 10’ wide. If that is considered safe for the many more pedestrians using the sidewalk, that should be safe for the garden, in which public access will be limited during the demolition period. Dept of Buildings states the 25’ width is required for safety, but the application of their standards is not consistent.
We ask that you support our request to Dept. of Buildings to grant approval for a 10’ wide overhead protection in lieu of a 25’ wide one.
The Parks Dept and the developer, SMJ Developers, would be in agreement with this change. Our intention is not to prevent the development from going forward. Our intention is to protect our garden from certain destruction due to lack of sensitivity to the requirements of plant life.
We have spent the last 30 + years nurturing and growing plants and vegetables that add to the ambience of the neighborhood. It would be a sin to see our garden destroyed from lack of water and sunlight, even though the first part of the demolition is in the dormant winter. Plants need sunlight and water to thrive even in their dormant states.
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