Sanitation lease limited to 2 years

Controversial garage given short-term lease by Commission frustrated with garage’s continued problems. The Department of Sanitation sought approval for the continued operation of its Brooklyn District 3 Garage at 306 Rutledge Street in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. Sanitation has operated this garage under a long-term lease with the private owner since 1945. Even though it is located in Brooklyn’s Community District 1, the garage primarily serves adjacent District 3. With its last lease, granted in 1998, the City Council limited approval to seven years and required bi-annual status reports on the potential relocation of the garage as a consequence of residents’ persistent complaints of trucks parked on neighborhood sidewalks and within on-street parking, and of noise, odor and rodents.

In 2001, Sanitation received City approval for a garage on Nostrand Avenue to replace the Rutledge Street facility, but litigation stalled its construction. When constructed, the new garage would be located in and serve Brooklyn’s Community District 3.

At the June 22, 2005 public hearing before the Commission, Sanitation admitted that the Rutledge Street garage was over capacity and explained that measures had been taken to reduce congestion and parking problems at the site. Ten trucks had been relocated to the Community District 1 garage at 535 Johnson Avenue and seven mechanical brooms used by the garage would be cleaned at a different facility. Sanitation explained that the City’s title had vested in the Nostrand Avenue site and estimated construction to begin in 2006.

Community Board 1, nonetheless, demanded that the garage be closed permanently due to the continued parking problems, odor, noise and the significant aggravation to the surrounding residents.

The Commission expressed concern over the garage’s deficient size, its failure to primarily serve Williamsburg, the continued residential disruption and its poor location adjacent to an established residentially- zoned neighborhood. The Commission, however, recognized that the City’s need for the facility remained and approved a short, two-year lease on August 8, 2005.

ULURP Process: Sanitation, as lead agency, determined that the garage’s continued use required no further environmental review.

At Community Board 1’s public hearing, residents criticized Sanitation for blocking fire hydrants, parking and washing trucks on sidewalks, obstructing school buses and occupying needed on-street parking. Other complaints included truck noise, ineffective rodent control and offensive odors. The Board voted to disapprove by 36 to 0, stressing that the Rutledge Street garage does not serve Community Board 1 and the residential street was greatly disturbed by its continued use.

Borough President Marty Markowitz approved, requesting that Sanitation more closely monitor the site and work with DOT to obtain dedicated truck parking.

On August 17, 2005, the full City Council voted to review Sanitation’s application; its review was not otherwise mandatory.

CPC: Brooklyn North District 3 Sanitation (C 050027 PQK – acquisition of property) (August 8, 2005). CITYADMIN


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