Two lots win partial upzoning despite opposition

The Council allowed 75-foot rather than 80-foot height. Following a modification proposed by the Planning Commission, the City Council approved a controversial application by 22 Caton Place Corporation to rezone two lots in Brooklyn’s East Windsor Terrace to facilitate a large residential development.

Caton’s original application received strong opposition from local residents, Brooklyn Community Board 7 and Borough President Marty Markowitz, who complained that the proposed 68-unit, 80-foot tall structure was too large for East Windsor Terrace and, further, that the developer provided no guarantee that, once rezoned, it would not construct an even larger development. Many residents complained about the cumulative impact of Caton’s development when combined with several other projects currently under construction and worried about the impact of dense development on the nearby Kensington Stables, which provides horse rides in Prospect Park.

Caton’s original application sought to rezone the lots from R6 to R7A to increase the floor area permitted on the sites and the overall height limit from 55 feet to 80 feet after a 15-foot setback. On the first lot at 22 Caton Place, this would increase the permitted residential floor area from 50,119 to 82,500 sq.ft. and facilitate Caton’s proposed construction of an 80- foot tall, 80,700-square-foot structure to replace the site’s vacant one-story manufacturing building. The second lot at 81 Ocean Parkway contains a six-story, 80-unit residential building that is 12,000 sq.ft. larger than permitted. The rezoning would bring the building into compliance.

Council followed the recommendation of the Planning Commission, approving a rezoning to an R7B district rather than the R7A zoning originally sought by Caton. With the modification, Council Member Bill de Blasio noted that Markowitz and the Community Board supported the proposal. The R7B zoning would allow development with a maximum total height of 75 feet and a maximum FAR of 3.0, allowing for roughly 55 units.

ULURP Process: The Planning Commission, as lead agency, issued a conditional negative declaration. Community Board 7 voted unanimously to disapprove by a vote of 30-0-0. Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz disapproved, with the condition that the zoning designation be changed to R7B. The Planning Commission modified the application, approving an up-zoning to a R7B district.

Council: Caton Place (April 5, 2006); CPC: Caton Place (C 050203 ZMK) (February 22, 2006). CITYADMIN

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