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Reports: City Planning Commission Approves Gowanus Housing Development

The heavily polluted Gowanus Canal on March 2, 2010 in Brooklyn. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The heavily polluted Gowanus Canal on March 2, 2010 in Brooklyn. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The City Planning Commission has given the go-ahead to a plan to build a rental development on the shores of the highly polluted Gowanus Canal, according to published reports.

The plan was approved with the stipulation that the developer must design the 700-unit project with protections in place for flooding from future Superstorm Sandy-like events, according to a New York Post report.

The Manhattan-based Lightstone Group will break ground later this year on the development along Bond, Carroll and Second streets, and the developers are pushing the housing back to separate the closest planned building from the canal, the newspaper reported.

The decision came despite earlier objections from the city councilman for the area. Councilman Brad Lander (D-39th) wrote on his website in November that he asked the Lightstone Group to withdraw the development proposal until a “forward-looking planning process” can take place.

He noted that during Sandy, the waters of the polluted Gowanus Canal rose up over its banks and flooded city streets – coming close to homes and businesses.

In 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency called the canal “one of the most contaminated water bodies in the nation.”

Because of years of sewer outflows and industrial pollutants, the Gowanus Canal has been labeled a Superfund site by the EPA, CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey reported.

Do you think it’s a good idea to build a development on the Gowanus Canal? Leave your comments below…