Friday, May 15, 2009

rezoning coming soon to a neighborhood near us

The Land Use Committee of Community Board 6 held a meeting last night to hear a presentation by the Department of City Planning (DCP) on their proposal 'to contextually rezone the residential zoning district which covers the Carroll Gardens and Columbia Street Waterfront neighborhoods'. The study area wraps around the Cobble Hill Historic District to the west, south, and east. This is a very big deal with long-term implications for our part of Brooklyn. Fortunately, the implications are nearly all positive.

Overall, the proposal is a very good piece of work by DCP's Brooklyn office. They deserve credit for listening to the community and producing work that corresponds to what people have asked for. The proposal limits the height of buildings on Columbia Street, down to Hamilton Avenue, and over to Bond Street. We will post a link to the proposal at DCP's website when they make it available online.

I had only two criticisms to make of the plan. One is that Henry and Clinton Streets south of Degraw would be zoned R6A. That zoning permits building heights of 70 feet. Jerry Armer, our zoning guru, raised this point, too. Naturally, we think the zoning should stay lower.

My other criticism is that the new zoning would only run up the east side of Court Street as far north as Warren Street. North of Warren, i.e. directly across the street from the edge of the Cobble Hill Historic District, Court Street would remain unprotected. We will keep trying to get DCP to reconsider these two aspects of their proposal. Other than that, it's a very good plan that will insure that the neighborhoods near us will remain small in scale.

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