Limited rezonings along Carroll Street approved

Courtesy The Center for Negative Thinking LLC

Separate public and private proposals impacted eight lots left out of the Carroll Gardens/Columbia Street rezoning. On April 28, 2011, the City Council approved independent proposals by the Department of City Planning and a private developer, Marshall Sohne, to rezone portions of Carroll Street between Columbia and Van Brunt Streets in Brooklyn’s Columbia Street Waterfront District. The two proposals impacted portions of the north and south side of Carroll Street that were not included in the Carroll Gardens/Columbia Street Rezoning plan approved by the City in 2009. 6 CityLand 153 (Nov. 15, 2009).

Planning’s proposal covered six lots on the south side of Carroll Street. Five of the lots are developed with late nineteenth century rowhouses, while the sixth lot was once occupied by a similar residential building. The five rowhouses were the subject of a broader 2007 private rezoning that would have replaced the M1-1 zoning with an R6 district. Due to a technical omission, however, Planning requested that the City Council remove the lots from the plan. The current rezoning extended an adjacent R6B district to the six lots to reflect the neighborhood’s residential character.

Sohne’s proposal covered two lots on the north side of Carroll Street, including a partially vacant warehouse at 33 Carroll Street and an adjacent five-story building at 25 Carroll Street. The rezoning replaced both lots’ M1-1 zoning with an R6B district. Sohne intends to replace the warehouse with an eight-unit residential building designed to environmentally-sensitive “passive house” standards. The building at 25 Carroll Street was once occupied by manufacturing uses, but the owner in 2007 received a variance from BSA to convert the top four floors to residences. The rezoning will permit the owner to convert the ground- floor space to residential use.

Brooklyn Community Board 6 and Borough President Marty Markowitz supported both rezonings. No one opposed either proposal at the City Planning Commission’s hearing, and the Commission unanimously approved the plans.

The Council’s Zoning & Franchises Subcommittee held hearings on both rezonings on April 4, 2011. Local Council Member Brad Lander supported Planning’s application and agreed that it was appropriate to bring the residential rowhouses into compliance with the zoning resolution. No one testified in opposition.

At the Subcommittee’s hearing on Sohne’s rezoning, Lander expressed regret about the decline of manufacturing uses in the neighborhood, but  supported the “thoughtful” application. Lander acknowledged that Sohne had agreed to increase the affordability component in a nearby residential project being developed under the Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s New Foundations Program. The owner of 25 Carroll Street also agreed to donate $20,000 to the nearby Urban Meadow community garden for landscaping and other improvements.

The Subcommittee, Land Use Committee, and full Council unanimously approved both proposals.

Council: 20/30 Carroll Street Rezoning (C 110118  ZMK–rezoning); Carroll Street Rezoning (C 090225  ZMK-rezoning) (April 28, 2011).

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