Today’s news:

C’Gardens gets up for the downzone

The Brooklyn Paper

The city backed neighborhood preservationists in Carroll Gardens and dodged a showdown with the local councilman by announcing on Monday night a fast-track plan to limit new building heights in the residential community.

Department of City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden made the unexpected announcement in PS 32 on Hoyt Street at a public briefing on a rezoning that would transform parts of the nearby industrial Gowanus area into a new bustling residential neighborhood.

Burden said her agency would shuffle its priorities to downzone Carroll Gardens in response to repeated calls from Councilman Bill DeBlasio (D–Park Slope), who was spurred by neighborhood activists to force the city to restrict new construction on the historic brownstone blocks as it deals with a rezoning of the Canal area.

“Due to the persistent and persuasive lobbying of Councilmember DeBlasio … we will have a downzoning proposal of Carroll Gardens by June,” Burden said. The crowd of 150 people in the auditorium erupted with applause.

“It’s so important to you,” she added.

The decision to curb building heights in Carroll Gardens, known for its Italianate architecture and distinctive front yards, relieved friction between DeBlasio and the Bloomberg Administration, more recently exascerbated by the mayor’s ultimately successful quest to extend term limits.

But DeBlasio, who bucked the mayor on his bid for a third term, was pleased with Bloomberg this time, calling the fast-track downzoning process a “profound moment of progress” for Carroll Gardens.

Neighbors have charged in recent years that new buildings, such as a planned seven-story building at the corner of Smith Street and Second Place, and another at Court and Union streets, threaten the local character.

The first measure of relief from so-called overdevelopment in Carroll Gardens came when City Planning changed a loophole that allowed taller buildings because on blocks that were registered as “wide” rather than “narrow” streets.

Residents thanked Burden for finally heeding their call for a comprehensive rezoning.

“We welcome your surprise announcement,” said Rita Miller, a member of the Carroll Gardens Coalition to Respectfully Develop.

The boundaries of the proposed downzoning were not immediately available.

Pin It
Print this story Permalink

Reader Feedback

Larry from earth says:
12 stories down in the smelly water
but
short 4 story buildings up at the top of the hill where people want to live.............

what a master-mind of city planning is at work here!
Nov. 29, 2008, 10:05 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Links