DUMBO Plan Approved

DUMBO Rezoning, Proposed Zoning used with permission of the New York City Department of City Planning. All rights reserved.

Residential conversion of buildings east of Manhattan Bridge now as-of-right. On July 29, 2009, the City Council rezoned a 12-block area of former manufacturing loft buildings located east of the Manhattan Bridge along Brooklyn’s waterfront in DUMBO. This approval adds to several private- and City-initiated DUMBO rezoning plans, and extends the area allowing as-of-right residential conversions from the blocks between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges to the 12 blocks east of the Manhattan Bridge.

The rezoned area closely corresponds to the DUMBO Historic District and is generally bounded by the Manhattan Bridge to the west, Bridge Street to the east, John Street and the East River to the north, and Front Street to the south.

Planning proposed replacing the area’s M1-2 and M3-1 manufacturing districts with M1-4/R8A and M1-4/R7A contextual zoning districts to promote new mixed-use construction. The new zoning allows as-of-right residential and community facility uses while continuing to permit light manufacturing uses. The plan applies the M1-4/R8A district, allowing greater density and asof- right floor area, to the blocks closest to the Manhattan Bridge. It applies the lower-density M1-4/R7A district 150 feet east of Jay Street to the blocks closest to the low-density residential area of Vinegar Hill.

The City’s Inclusionary Housing program will now also apply to the rezoned area. Under the affordable housing provisions, the permitted floor area could be increased from 5.4 to 7.2 FAR on the blocks closest to the Manhattan Bridge, and in the area closest to Vinegar Hill, permitted floor area could increase from 3.45 to 4.6 FAR.

When the plan reached the Council’s Zoning & Franchises Subcommittee, representatives from the DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance opposed it on several grounds, including the City Planning Commission’s failure to make the modifications requested by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. Among the modifications, Markowitz requested that portions of Jay and Water Streets be rezoned M1-4, in lieu of M1-4/R8A, to prevent the elimination of jobs due to residential conversions.

When it returned for a vote on July 28, 2009, the Subcommittee approved the plan, with only Chair Tony Avella voting no. Avella said he opposed the plan because the DUMBO community, which had requested the rezoning, did not believe the plan went far enough to protect the neighborhood. The Land Use Committee then approved without modifications or additional no-votes. The full Council voted 46-1-4 to approve the plan.

Review Process
Lead Agency: CPC,Neg.Dec.
Comm.Bd.: BK 2,Den’d, 13-10-1
Boro.Pres.: App’d
CPC: App’d, 11-0-0
Council: App’d, 46-1-4

Council: DUMBO Rezoning (C 090310 ZMK – rezoning); (C 090309 ZRK – text amend.) July 29, 2009.


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