Gowanus Lounge: Serving Brooklyn

Carroll Gardeners Pushing for 8-Story Height Limit on Gowanus

November 19th, 2008 · 2 Comments

Carroll Gardens residents have started a letter writing campaign to Borough President Marty Markowitz asking him to support an eight-story height limit for building along the entire length of the Gowanus Canal rather than the 12 stories in the “MX Waterfront South” District (above) that the current city plan is calling for. Here is the letter:

Dear Friends and Neighbors, Many of us in the neighborhood have been working to establish appropriately scaled development on the Gowanus Canal. This rare channel of water in our urban fabric, gradually being cleaned up, has incredible potential for a publicly-accessible urban respite park (last month I met a fisherman who regularly catches striped bass form Carroll bridge!)

City Planning proposes 12 story residential development along the canal south of Carroll Street bridge. Though this re- zoning is not approved, Toll Brothers is moving ahead with plans to build a large development on the canal between 2nd and Carroll Streets at the 12 story height.

While many of us support re-zoning to allow residential development along the canal, most of us in the neighborhood believe the development should be limited in height so that:

– It has less impact on the adjacent historic 2-4 story brownstone fabric of Carroll Gardens

– It provides necessary sunlight and open sky required for the relatively narrow publicly accessible canal-front park.

To build their project, Toll Bros needs special approval through ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Process), which includes approval by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. Last week, John Hatheway (architect, member of the Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association and advocate for responsible development for those who don’t know him) and I gave the attached presentation to Marty, advocating an 8 story height limit, which allows the same built area and affordable housing as Toll Bros. but at an appropriate height for Carroll gardens and the Gowanus park.

He and his staff were receptive. But for Marty to advocate for our proposal, he needs to know that we have support of many in Brooklyn.

If you agree with us PLEASE SEND MARTY AN EMAIL at the below address saying you are “a resident of Carroll Gardens and support John Hatheway and Chris McVoy’s proposal for limiting development on the Gowanus to 8 stories” for reasons above and any others you wish to mention.


This is likely our last chance to scale back the development! – and Marty actually reads his emails!

So, will it be eight or twelve? Stay tuned.

Tags: Carroll Gardens · Gowanus · Rezoning · Uncategorized

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 jc // Nov 19, 2008 at 9:59 am

    Great post. I’m a homeowner on 3rd and 9th but my wife, son and I now live in Cobble Hill. Ten years in Brooklyn bouncing between neighborhoods on either side of the Gowanus, then we landed in it. Love it, would hate to see it turn into a tasteless “wall” of buildings as opposed to a “bridge” between the communities on either side of it.

  • 2 s // Nov 19, 2008 at 11:14 am

    The will build .
    Let’s try to keep it in scale.
    8 not 12