Artistic Rendering of Pier 3. Image Credit: Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.
City enters final stretch for the completion of the Brooklyn Bridge Park. On October 19, 2016, the conversion of Pier 3 in Brooklyn Bridge Park began. Currently ninety percent of the park, which opened in 2010, is either under construction or completed. When opened, Pier 3 will offer a central lawn, a recreation and programming area, and a play “labyrinth” which will highlight historic elements salvaged from the reconstruction—namely salvaged rail ties and bollards.
Mayor Bill de Blasio called the park the “front lawn of Brooklyn,” adding that Pier 3 would “add more space for kids to play and for families to enjoy this incredible place.” The City has slated $26 million in capital funding in the Mayor’s FY17 budget for the project. (read more…)
Proposed Development for 141 Willoughby. Image Credit: Savanna
Subcommittee raised concerns about the aggregate effect the mass development of Downtown Brooklyn will have on school resources. On October 5, 2016, the City Council’s Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises heard testimony on an application to construct a new 49-story mixed-use building at 141 Willoughby Street in Downtown Brooklyn. The site is a triangular-shaped zoning lot bounded by Flatbush Avenue Extension, Willoughby Street and Gold Street. Currently the space is occupied by a three-story private school, the Institute of Design and Construction, an accessory surface parking lot for 16 vehicles, and a public open space with planting and seating areas. (read more…)
An example of a residence enlarged pursuant to a BSA-approved application in Brooklyn Community District 10 (original residence shown on the left). Image credit: Brooklyn Community Board 10
The proposed amendment would remove Brooklyn Community District 10 from applicability under Section 73-622, which the community board argues has not been used in line with its intended purpose. On August 24, 2016, the City Planning Commission held a public hearing on an application to amend the New York City zoning text relating to special permits issued by the Board of Standards and Appeals. These special permits allow property owners in R2 zoning districts to enlarge family residences beyond what is otherwise prohibited by the Zoning Resolution. Currently, Section 73-622 only applies to four of the fifty-nine Community Districts in New York City. (read more…)
Example of an enlargement pursuant to a BSA-approved special permit in Brooklyn Community District 10 (original residence shown on the left). Click Photo to enlarge. Image credit: Brooklyn Community Board 10
Special Permit was meant to allow growing families to expand their familial residences, but Brooklyn Community Board 10 argues that its usage has been abused. On June 20, 2016, a proposal was presented to the City Planning Commission to amend the New York City zoning text relating to the Board of Standards and Appeals Special Permit provisions under Section 73-622, which provides for the enlargement of one- and two-family detached and semi-detached residences. Currently, Section 73-622 only applies to four Community Districts, and it permits additions to the perimeter wall height, and extensions into the requisite rear yards and side yards of the residences located within those Community Districts.
Boulevard Houses in East NY, Brooklyn. Image Credit: NYCHA
Installation of safety lighting part of citywide plan to reduce violence at targeted NYCHA developments. On July 13, 2016, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Housing Authority announced the completed installation of 504 new lights to improve public safety at Boulevard Houses in East New York Brooklyn. The installation is part of the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety (MAP) which was initiated in 2014. (read more…)
Council Member Gentile holds rally on new illegal conversation bill. Image Credit: Council Member Gentile’s Office.
Proposal imposes steep fines on bad actors, and helps Buildings inspectors gain premises access. On June 21, 2016, New York City Council Members Vincent J. Gentile, Jumaane D. Williams, and Barry S. Grodenchik introduced legislation that would impose high penalties on bad actor landlords and equip the Department of Buildings with means to gain entry into suspected illegal conversion sites. This bill was developed with the support of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, after a November 2014 fire in an illegal unit above a Flatbush church killed an individual and injured 16 others, destroying the building. (read more…)