Carroll Gardeners Tweak Builder, Hit the Beach

Democracy in action! Though it took place on the cusp of Labor Day weekend, the Public Land Use Meeting held by Community Board 6 in Carroll Gardens drew a nice crowd of citizens.

They heard a developer's plea for a variance that would allow him to build higher than the law allows. Per Gowanus Lounge, Bill Stein, who's putting up a new luxury thing at 360 Smith Street, maintained that enough foundation work had been completed on the building early enough that it was "grandfathered" out of a recent height restriction, and could rise to 70 feet. An inspector said no, and last night the Board's Land Use Committee agreed he should be held to 55 feet.

Pro-Stein comments quickly followed blog reports, arguing that the Board's judgment was toothless. To Brooks of Sheffield's acid coverage at Lost City ("[Stein] was a picture of ingrained smugness"), Anonymous rejoined, "Why does this community seem to think that this man needs to seek their approval?" "Just because it's legal," said Brooks, "doesn't make it right."

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