Residents argued that proposed bank would be out of character with residential block. On May 25, 2010, the City Council denied Jom Tob Gluck’s proposal to rezone a portion of 18th Avenue between 48th and 49th Streets in Brooklyn’s Borough Park. Gluck proposed applying a C1-3 commercial overlay to a 20,000 sq.ft area currently zoned R5. The rezoning would have facilitated the development of a one-story bank building on a 3,615 sq.ft. lot currently occupied by a residential building.
The 18th Avenue corridor is an active neighborhood commercial thoroughfare that connects Brooklyn’s Midwood and Bensonhurt neighborhoods. Portions of the avenue surrounding Gluck’s site are currently zoned with C1-3 overlays. As-of-right commercial uses are found on most blocks along 18th Avenue between McDonald Avenue and 55th Street, but the rezoning area only contains detached multifamily homes and a synagogue.
Brooklyn Community Board 12 unanimously opposed the proposal. Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz recommended approval of the plan under the conditions that Gluck provide on-site parking with an entrance and exit on 18th Avenue, and that any ATM would face 18th Avenue or the parking lot.
At the City Planning Commission’s March 10 hearing, local residents spoke in opposition. They were concerned that a bank would increase traffic congestion, negatively impact the block’s residential character, and further reduce the amount of parking in the area.
The Commission approved the project, noting that the proposed building would be consistent with 18th Avenue’s predominant land uses and development patterns.
At the Council’s Zoning & Franchises Subcommittee hearing, Moshe Friedman, representing Gluck, claimed the proposal would essentially “fill in a hole” in the commercial overlays that already exist on 18th Avenue. Friedman stated that anyone who believed 18th Avenue was a residential district “has to have their head examined.” Council Member David Greenfield, whose district includes Borough Park, said his office had received dozens of phone calls from residents in opposition to the project. Greenfield said that the project would diminish the quality of life for nearby residents and accused Gluck of misrepresenting the residential character of the rezoning area. The hearing was closed without a vote.
When the Subcommittee reconvened, Chair Mark Weprin recommended a motion to disapprove the project, and the Subcommittee unanimously rejected the proposal. The Land Use Committee and full Council followed suit.
Lead Agency: CPC,Neg.Dec.
Comm.Bd.: BK 12,Den’d
CPC: App’d, 12-0-0
Council: 18th Avenue Rezoning (C 070520 ZMK – rezoning) (May 25, 2010).