City Planning Creates Plan Responding to Bushwick’s Rapid Development

NYC Department of City Planning

The plan will address community concerns including affordable housing, open space, transportation safety, and economic development. On April 24, 2019, Department of City Planning Director Marisa Lago released the Bushwick Neighborhood Plan Update. The plan was created in response to the neighborhood’s rapid development, population growth, resident displacement, and lack of affordable housing from an increase in market-rate construction.

In 2014, City Planning was asked to support a community-led planning process to outline stakeholders’ hopes and priorities for the area. Council Member Antonio Reynoso, Council Member Rafael Espinal, and Brooklyn Community Board 4 initiated the planning process. City Planning participated in meetings and worked with the community and elected officials to develop the plan. The agency provided analysis, helped facilitate visioning sessions, and worked with key City agencies to identify additional neighborhood investment opportunities while the community identified the priorities they wanted the plan to address.

The Bushwick Neighborhood Plan Update incorporated the discussions and findings from the meetings and outlined a roadmap to tackle community priorities. The plan has strategies to create and preserve affordable housing and jobs, increase economic opportunity, improve open spaces and streets for pedestrians, and enhance community health. Strategies include plans for affordable family and supportive housing on Broadway and 154 senior apartments at NYCHA’s Bushwick II development, transportation safety improvements along Myrtle Avenue, the installation of new temporary Citi Bike stations to potentially expand the program in Bushwick, and the creation of Beaver Noll Park to create half acre of open space.

Various city agencies also have projects contributing to the Bushwick Neighborhood Plan. The Parks Department will advance $10 million to improve existing recreation area. The Department of Small Business Services’ mobile outreach unit and its Chamber-On-the-Go team will come to the community this spring to connect job seekers and small businesses with needed services. The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will provide technical assistance under the Shop Healthy Program to increase access to fresh, healthy food. There will also be support for local community-based organizations in developing strategies to improve access to arts and culture programming by the Department of Cultural Affairs. Landmarks will develop a plan to evaluate three areas flagged by the community that could lead to historic district designation.

The plan also outlines a land use and zoning framework to create affordable housing and job opportunities on transit corridors while protecting the scale of the neighborhood. Contextual zoning that require limits on building height and buildings to line up with those next to them on the street would be used to preserve the look and feel of the neighborhood. Multi-story developments with ground floor stores and community facilities would be encouraged on transit corridors such as Broadway and Myrtle Avenue to facilitate job creation and promote affordable housing. Mixed income housing and retail would be fostered at medium density along Knickerbocker, Central, and Wilson Avenues. Lower parking requirements, an increase allowable floor area, and height limits would be established in industrial areas to encourage construction of new job-generating industrial, commercial and community facility buildings that respond to surrounding neighborhood character.

The Bushwick Neighborhood Plan covers roughly 300 city blocks generally bordered by Broadway to the south, Cypress Avenue to the north, Flushing Avenue to the west, and Trinity and the Evergreens Cemeteries and Broadway Junction to the east.

A scoping meeting will be scheduled later in the spring to take public comment that will inform the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Bushwick Neighborhood Plan.

“Bushwick residents are justifiably proud of their dynamic community, one that is home to thousands of diverse families. As this transit-rich neighborhood continues to thrive, we are determined to preserve and create affordable housing, protect tenants, help grow more good jobs, improve parks, schools and sidewalks. We look forward to continuing to work with this dedicated, vibrant and strong community,” said City Planning Director Marisa Lago.

“As this city continues to grow, we must ensure that all New Yorkers have the resources they need to call New York City home. Under the Mayor’s Housing New York plan, we’re committed to a community-driven approach to plan for the path ahead, that not only anchors our neighborhoods with affordable housing, but promotes economic prosperity as well,” said Acting Housing and Preservation Department Commissioner Eric Enderlin.


By: May Vutrapongvatana (May is a CityLaw intern, and a New York Law School student, Class of 2019).


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