Boerum Hill rezoning OK’d

Rezoning of 31-block area established height limits to curb out-of scale development. On September 21, 2011 the City Council approved the Department of City Planning’s contextual rezoning plan for Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. The plan impacted approximately 31 blocks generally bounded by Atlantic Avenue to the north, Warren and Wyckoff Streets to the south, 4th Avenue to the east, and Court Street to the west. Boerum Hill is situated south of downtown Brooklyn between Carroll Gardens and Park Slope. The residential neighborhood is primarily characterized by three- and four-story rowhouses, many of which were built in the late 1860s and early 1870s.

The area was zoned R6, except for portions of five blocks between 3rd and 4th Avenues, which were zoned R7B. Planning proposed the rezoning to prevent the erosion of the neighborhood’s predominately low-rise residential character and support the commercial character of its mixed-use corridors. 

The plan applied R6B districts to 26 blocks, establishing a 50-foot building height to match the existing buildings. Sixteen blocks along the retail corridors of Smith and Court Streets and portions of higher-density residential streets, such as Pacific and Dean Streets, were rezoned to R6A. The plan also applied an R7A district with a C2-4 commercial overlay onto sections of 3rd Avenue and refined the commercial overlays along the existing retail corridors.

There was no opposition to the rezoning plan at the City Planning Commission’s public hearing in July 2011. Property owner Frank De- Falco, however, expressed concerns about how the rezoning would affect his plans to add a story to his building at 47-51 Bergen Street. 8 CityLand 105 (Aug. 15, 2011).

The Commission approved the rezoning. The Commission acknowledged DeFalco’s concern, but found that the R6A district’s height and bulk restrictions proposed for his block appropriately reinforced the area’s existing scale.

At the Council’s Zoning & Franchises Subcommittee hearing, local Council Member Stephen Levin expressed his support for the rezoning and thanked Planning for collaborating so effectively with the Boerum Hill community. The hearing was closed without a vote. The Subcommittee unanimously approved the rezoning when it reconvened the following week.

ULURP Process

Lead Agency: CPC, Neg. Dec.

Comm. Bd.: BK 2, App’d, 31-0-0

Boro. Pres.: App’d

CPC: App’d, 9-0-0

Council: App’d, 50-0-0

Council: Boerum Hill Rezoning (Sept. 21, 2011).

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