With its newly appointed members meeting for the first time this year, Community Board 2 voted overwhelmingly Thursday night to remove the last major obstacle to the opening of a new gastropub on Myrtle Avenue.
In a vote of 27 in favor with one abstention and one opposed, CB2 members approved an application for the as-yet-unnamed restaurant-slash-bar in a space formerly occupied by at 419 Myrtle Ave.
The owners aim to open their doors sometime this summer, according to Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership executive director Blaise Backer.
“We’ve always wanted to encourage more sidewalk cafés to open up on the avenue," Backer said of what will be the second outdoor cafe to debut on Myrtle, after Mexican eatery La Stalla. "They add to the street life. We wish we had more of them."
Also on the agenda at Thursday night's meeting in Clinton Hill was a proposal by CB2's Education Committee to extend the exterior "safe zone" surrounding area schools from 1,000 to 2,000 feet, as well as efforts to make sure that jobs at the new Barclays Center basketball arena go to local residents.
In his presentation to the full board, CB2 member Thomas Conoscenti reported on a visit by James Caldwell, president of Brooklyn United for Innovative Local Development (BUILD).
With the help of groups like BUILD, Cognoscenti expressed hope that progress could be made on ensuring that area jobseekers received preference for positions in maintenance, janitorial services and in other operations at the arena.
Despite promises made by developers regarding the economic benefit to neighborhoods adjacent to the Atlantic Yards mega-project, only seven active employees from the area were currently engaged in Barclays Center construction, according to Cognoscenti.
Representatives of local elected officials also spoke at the meeting, including Jim Vogel, spokesman for state Sen. Velmette Montgomery, D-Brooklyn, who updated members on issues such as a possible vote on , as well as continued efforts to extend the ban on the controversial practice of hydrofracking in the city's watershed.
But it was Councilwoman Letitia James, D-Brooklyn, who sounded the most urgent call to action — this time, in regards to anticipated cuts to education, library services and other public programs.
"We are going to have to make tough choices," James said, later adding, "It's unfortunate that the people who caused this recession aren't paying for it."