Gowanus Residents Organize Meeting To Voice Concern About Lightstone Development

illustrations courtesy of Lightstone
Gowanus residents, together with civic groups Friends of Bond (FOB) and Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus (FROGG), have organized a meeting regarding the 12-story, 700-unit Lightstone Group project that is moving forward at 363-365 Bond Street, between Carroll Street and 2nd Street.
In 2009, the development site, adjacent to the polluted Gowanus Canal,  was spot-rezoned from manufacturing to residential.  In March 2013NYC's Department of City Planning (DCP) approved the plans and drawings for Lightstone's as-of right project.
The purpose of the meeting is to discuss "concerns as to how this development could adversely affect" the neighborhood.  One of these concerns relates to the fact that the site sits in a FEMA Flood Zone A and was severely flooded during Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 as well as during Hurricane Irene the previous year. To address FEMA's recently released post-Sandy Advisory Base Flood Elevations and changes to the Building Code, Lightstone plans to raise the site of the development by two feet at First Street.
How the change in grade will affect surrounding buildings has not yet been fully explained to local residents of this flood-prone area.
Many area residents have asked for further studies of the area and upgrades to infrastructure before any development along the Canal is allowed to move forward.  Councilman Brad Lander, whose district includes most of Gowanus, seems to agree. “In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, I continue to believe it is a mistake to move forward with dense, high-rise, residential development without a comprehensive plan for infrastructure and land use regulations that Gowanus needs," Lander stated.

The community meeting has been scheduled for:
Wednesday, May 1
6:45 pm
Mary Star of the Sea, 
41, 1st Street (between Bond and Hoyt Streets)

And just as an aside: Does anyone know what these un-marked barrels,  which appeared on the Lightstone development site at 2nd Street recently, contain?  The fence around the property was destroyed during Hurricane Sandy, so it is entirely unprotected.  Perhaps someone dumped them there?
It is my understanding that Lightstone Group has not yet purchased the land, so they may not yet have control over it.
It would be interesting to find out who is responsible for keeping the site safe.