Residents in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York think that a huge IKEA furniture store is a bad IDEA. The group issued the following press release to Sprawl-Busters: “Citing the controversy surrounding the proposed Ikea-Red Hook retail project on the Red Hook waterfront as well as citizen demand for a public hearing, the Coalition to Revitalize Our Waterfront Now (CROWN), a community organization in Red Hook, Brooklyn, has asked the New York State
Department of Environmental Conservation to hold a hearing on Ikea’s permit applications arising from proposed site work on the waterfront. Antonia Bryson of the Urban Environmental Law Center, representing CROWN, asserts that public demand meets the requisite standard of “a significant degree of public interest.” Ikea has applied both for a Tidal Wetlands permit and for a Clean Water Act Water Quality Certification. The Department of Environmental Conservation can provide a public hearing on any of a number of points raised by Ikea’s permit applications. Particular controversy relates to Ikea’s proposed filling of the Red Hook graving dock, which the Municipal Art Society (MAS) has opposed, as well as to numerous defects in Ikea’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Filling in the graving dock, making it inoperable, will enable Ikea to use the space for part of its proposed 1400-car parking lot. One of the few working dry docks on the East Coast, the Red Hook graving dock is in active use for ship repair, however, and it is an arguably irreplaceable part of the infrastructure of New York harbor. The Municipal Art Society (MAS) has conducted a study of the Ikea site plan, and it has made two detailed suggestions to Ikea for ways to build its proposed retail project without destroying the graving dock. Ikea has neither acknowledged the MAS’s suggestions nor responded to them. The hearing CROWN requests will allow members of the public to make statements to a DEC administrative law judge, which can then be taken into account in the DEC’s decision on the permit.
For local contacts at CROWN, contact [email protected] For related stories, search Newsflash by “IKEA”.