Judge enjoins Brooklyn’s Broadway Triangle plan

State court judge granted a preliminary injunction blocking the plan the day after full Council approval. On December 21, 2009, the City Council approved the Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s rezoning plan for the Broadway Triangle Urban Renewal Area in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The plan includes rezoning nine blocks, primarily zoned for manufacturing, to R6A and R7A districts in order to facilitate the development of 1,851 residential units, 844 of which will be marketed as affordable. Of those, 488 affordable units will be developed on 35 properties that will be disposed of by the City to private developers. Prior to the plan’s approval, HPD issued site authorization letters to the United Jewish Organizations (UJO) and the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council (RBSCC) to develop 181 affordable units on three assemblages of lots in the urban renewal area.

Opponents of the proposal expressed concern about HPD’s planning process and argued that the proposal would not provide enough affordable housing. The Broadway Triangle Community Coalition, a group representing more than 40 community-based organizations, said the planning process lacked transparency, noting that HPD did not use a competitive bid process when it granted site control to the UJO and RBSCC. On September 9, 2009, before the City Planning Commission approved the plan, the Coalition filed a lawsuit challenging the proposal. The Coalition claimed the proposal violated federal law because of its racially and religiously discriminatory impacts and accused the City of excluding several community groups from participating in the proposal’s planning.

At the Council’s Planning, Disposition & Concessions Subcommittee hearing, Council Member Diana Reyna, whose district borders the rezoning area, argued against the proposal. Reyna claimed the rezoning, which is within Brooklyn Community District 1, would also affect CD3. She argued that HPD should have also consulted with Community Board 3 during the review process. The Subcommittee approved the plan after modifying it to include preferences for open space on three of the City-owned lots. The Land Use Committee then approved the plan by a 12-6-1 vote. 6 CityLand170 (Dec. 2009). On December 21, after the City Planning Commission determined that the modifications did not require further environmental review, the full Council approved the plan by a 36-10-6 vote.

The following day, Justice Emily J. Goodman granted the Coalition’s request for a preliminary injunction preventing the City from taking any steps to implement the rezoning plan and any associated transfers of City-owned land until the court could rule on the Coalition’s lawsuit.

Council: Broadway Triangle Rezoning (Dec. 21, 2010).

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