Rezoning encourages medium- and low-rise development

Midwood Rezoning: Proposed Rezoning Map. Used with permission of the New York City Department of City Planning. All rights reserved.

Midwood rezoned to encourage appropriate higher density development. On February 22, 2006, the Planning Commission unanimously approved a rezoning impacting 80 predominantly residential blocks of Midwood, Brooklyn. The rezoning was proposed in response to out-of-scale development permitted by the R6 district’s community facility bonuses that increased FAR from 2.43 to 4.8. Designed to preserve the character of both low-density small homes and high-density apartment buildings, the proposal down-zones portions of 56 blocks into several lower-density districts (R2, R4-1, R5, and R5B), and up-zones portions of 55 blocks into R7A districts. The down-zoned areas will curb over-development by allowing fewer community facility bonuses and by requiring street wall height limits, side yards, and off-street parking. The up-zoning, predominantly along Avenue M, Ocean Avenue, and Kings Highway, will allow medium-density contextual residential development with an FAR of 4.0 and a 60-foot street wall height. The R7A district will also require that developers provide parking for half of the units available as well as a quality housing program. Additionally, a C2-3 commercial overlay will be reduced along Avenue M, 10 blocks along Avenue J will be rezoned C4-4A, and new C2-3 commercial overlays will be created along Coney Island Avenue.

At the Commission’s January 11, 2006 public hearing, speakers included representatives of Council Member Michael C. Nelson, Community Board 14, and the Council of Jewish Organizations of Flatbush, along with residents; all of whom testified in favor of the proposal, saying that it was effective in both preserving character and allowing new development. Speakers in opposition included developers, property owners, and residents who argued that the neighborhood had a greater need for new housing than was permitted in the rezoning and that the changes would impede their ability to redevelop their properties.

The Commission unanimously approved both applications on February 22, 2006, finding that the rezoning will preserve the area’s predominantly low-rise blocks and provide opportunity for apartment house development.

ULURP Process: The Planning Commission, as lead agency, issued a negative declaration. Community Board 14 and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz approved. The Planning Department modified its proposal in response to Borough President Markowitz’s conditions by up-zoning several areas from the original proposal. City Council review is pending.

CPC: Midwood Rezoning (C 060130 ZMQ) (February 22, 2006). CITYADMIN

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