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Burden Visits Gowanus, Promises Carroll Gardens Downzoning Proposal by June

November 18th, 2008 · No Comments

Planning Commission Chair Amanda Burden visited Gowanus last night to talk about the status of the city’s plans to upzone 25 blocks of Gowanus to allow buildings up to 12 stories tall, but she surprised everyone by announcing that a Carroll Gardens downzoning proposals would be ready by June, 2009. Ms. Burden claimed to want consensus from the community about the controversial rezoning, asking at one point, “Is this what you as a community want?” (In addition to some resounding “no’s” among some attendees, there is some sentiment that building height along the canal be restricted to eight stories rather than the 12 that would be allowed in the “Waterfront South” District.) For details about the proposal click here. In any case, the real headline is what Ms. Burden had to say about the Carroll Gardens downzoning. Neighborhood activists have been pushing hard for a downzone and City Council Member Bill de Blasio has said he would not support a Gowanus upzone without a Carroll Gardens downzone. Here is Ms. Burden’s statement:

Carroll Gardens is a unique, historic neighborhood that typifies brownstone Brooklyn. In recent years, the neighborhood character has been threatened by new buildings and enlargements that are out-of-scale with the surrounding low-rise context. In response, the Department crafted a solution for the so-called ‘wide streets’ which were particularly vulnerable to out-of-scale development. The text amendment applied new definitions to these streets, providing height and bulk regulations that are more appropriate to the character of the buildings on these and surrounding neighborhood streets.

Now, it is time for a comprehensive approach to frame future development in Carroll Gardens to ensure greater predictability to protect its scale and character. Tonight, I am delighted to be here at Community Board 6 to announce that the Department will begin a rezoning study for Carroll Gardens with the aim of producing a draft rezoning proposal for this neighborhood and beginning public review by June of 2009.

The downzoning and upzoning would be on similar timetables, according to a spokesperson for the City Planning Department. More about the meeting over at PMFA.

Tags: Carroll Gardens · Gowanus · Gowanus Canal · Rezoning