By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A passionate crowd filled the seats and spilled out into the hallway outside Dibner Auditorium at NYU-Poly in Downtown Brooklyn Wednesday night for the first public hearing regarding the controversial sale and development of the Brooklyn Heights Library branch, required under the city’s ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure) process.
The four-and-a-half hour hearing ended in a stalemate, as Community Board 2’s Land Use Committee failed to reach an affirmative vote. The next step has not yet been decided, but it is not likely another hearing will take place, said Robert Perris, CB2 District Manager.
“We may hold another committee meeting but the hearing is complete,” he told the Brooklyn Eagle.
The outcome followed hours of presentations and heated testimony, both for and against the proposed 36-story tower on Cadman Plaza West and Clinton Street.
At times, emotions spilled over. A yelling match broke out over the hearing process itself, as some audience members objected to the fact that questions were limited to committee members. Robert Perris, CB2 District Manager, had to raise his voice over the hubbub to explain that the purpose of the hearing was to help the people charged with making a recommendation come to a decision.
“It’s not a public conversation, it’s a process,” he said.
One attendee yelled out, “It’s stacked!” Michael D. D. White, co-founder of the advocacy group Citizens Defending Libraries, told the group’s supporters, “Let’s try and work with the process.”
Committee members did read questions slipped to them by attendees, and after the official discussion the audience was allowed to present testimony in two-minute segments.
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