Help Us Protect Our Green Spaces

Our most recent court date was on September 24th and it was a virtual hearing on the merits.  We are now awaiting the judge's decision on the case.   There are three pending motions that need to be addressed and we await the outcome of those decisions.
Boyd vs. Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo Case #1518/19




Thank you for all of your donations thus far!!

Please don't stop donating, we need to be prepared to appeal.   All of our outreach and education to the community costs money, filing lawsuits costs money, please help in whatever way you can.

We also need to get ready for a possible lawsuit against Continuum.

Our Consulting Lawyer
Her name is Maureen Koetz and she is helping us with our lawsuit against Cornell Realty and helping with the Environmental Review for the latest Continuum Proposal, which kicked off back in February 2018.  Her contributions have already proven to be very helpful, we have been able to add more pertinent information to our Cornell lawsuit and we will be well on our way if we need to file suit against Continuum.   She has done work with the Two Bridges community surrounding the proposed Two Bridges Development.  Below you will find the link to her website and a link to an interview that aired on WBAI's Morning Show with Maureen Koetz and David Tieu of Lower East Side Organized Neighbors.

Movement to Protect the People (MTOPP) and Flower Lovers Against Corruption/Advocating for Communities (FLAC) are prepared and filed an Article 78 lawsuit against Laurie Cumbo, District 35 City Council Representative & Majority Leader, New York City's Department of City Planning and Cornell Realty Management, LLC.  This developer has falsified important information on their rezoning application, putting our neighborhood and Brooklyn Botanic Garden at risk.


We have been fighting to save Brooklyn Botanic Garden since 2017.

We have done everything to stop this development; shadow studies, town hall meetings, letters from elected officials demanding an Environmental Impact Statement, demonstrations, petition drive (we got over 7,000 signatures), presentations at each hearing of the Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP),  and complaints filed at the State and City environmental protection agencies.

Developers are supposed to do an environmental analysis to ensure that a project won't harm the environment.  In the case of Cornell Realty, their shadow study was done incorrectly and now they are claiming that the project won't have any negative environmental effects.

We had two teams of shadow experts analyze Cornell Realty's Study, Pratt University School of Architecture and City College School of Architecture, both stated that the Cornell Realty development will cause negative impacts on Brooklyn Botanic Garden.


In 1991 The Department of City Planning (DCP) placed height limits of 60/70 ft (6/7 stories) along the perimeter of Brooklyn Botanic Garden on Franklin Ave.

In 2018 Cornell Realty's application was certified by the City to build up to 223ft in this 60/70ft height limited zone.

Cornell did an Environmental Assessment Statement (EAS) which included a Shadow Study, showing no adverse environmental effects will occur.

However, they did the Shadow Study incorrectly because they did not include the 40ft Bulkhead and the FRESH program that allows 15 more feet.

With these additional heights there would be an adverse effect and thus they would be forced to address this issue and make changes to their plans.

The City Environmental Quality Review Manual (CEQR) is the official tool used by the City of New York which describes how an EAS should be performed.  It states that a developer must look at the worst case scenario in their EAS to determine if their project will have any negative effects on the environment.

In the CEQR manual, section 314.2. It defines the worst case scenario as.....

Of all "possible configurations…if the proposed projects includes special permits….the worst case scenario should include such allowances…..must include the maximum allowed floor area, all rooftop mechanical equipment.."

Please note in *CEQR diagram, they use the 40ft Bulkhead because this development is over 120 Ft.

The Bulkheads and FRESH Program (Special Permit)

In the NYC Zoning Text section 24-51. It defines the Bulkheads and their height allowances.

Permitted Obstructions (f) Elevator and stair bulkheads..(3) (ii)…Where the maximum permitted height of a #building# is 120 feet or greater, such obstruction are limited a maximum height of 40 ft."

In Zoning Text section Chapter 3 Fresh Program states in section 63-02 that Community Board 9 in Brooklyn has the FRESH Program

Section 63-22 Authorization to Modify Maximum Building Height "authorizes modifications…to allow the applicable maximum building height to be increased by 15 ft."

Additionally the application may be applied for after a Building Permit has been issued and must accompany a "signed lease from the prospective of the operator of the #FRESH food store#"

In Cornell Realty's application they state their intention to apply for the Fresh Program, which is a special permit, but they admit that they did not use it in their shadow study.
In this video we are talking about the Continuum Realty project, which is starting to go through the approval process now.   Shortly after our resistance to the Continuum pre-application, they withdrew their application, but they are back because the City and Cornell Realty set a precedent.


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LaShaun Ellis 
Brooklyn, NY
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