Gowanus Draft Rezoning Proposal Likely To Be Released In Early 2019

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GOWANUS – Gowanus residents who were expecting to see NYC Department of City Planning‘s (DCP) Draft Neighborhood Plan by the end of this year will have to wait a little longer. The agency’s target date for releasing the draft rezoning proposal is now sometime this winter, so it will likely come out in early 2019.

The draft Neighborhood Plan will include “future land uses, densities and heights, potential public investments based on identified needs and the opportunities or constraints on particular geographies like canal blocks,” said DCP Project Manager Jonathan Keller during a presentation of the Gowanus Framework to Brooklyn Community Board 6 in June.

DCP released the Gowanus Framework in June, following more than 100 hours of workshops and working group meetings with the community and other stakeholders. The document outlines goals and strategies that DCP devised, based on these meetings, to make Gowanus a thriving, resilient, and inclusive place to live and work.

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“The framework is really a roadmap for that Neighborhood Plan,” explained Keller at the CB6 meeting. “Before getting into a Neighborhood Plan or a rezoning proposal, which are very technical and time-consuming documents to create, a framework allows us an intermediary step to share [with]…the community and other agencies the full magnitude of what change means in a neighborhood.”

The framework focuses on community priorities which are divided into seven chapters: Sustainability and ResiliencyEnvironmental RemediationCommunity and Cultural Resources (open space, schools, arts and culture, historic preservation); Housing (affordability and tenant protection, NYCHA, MIH or Mandatory Inclusionary Housing); Economic and Job Development (focusing on the Industrial Business Zone, or IBZ); TransportationLand-Use and Urban Form (excluding the IBZ).

The IBZ was not included in the Land Use & Urban Form section of the framework because rezoning for residential versus industrial/commercial areas is very different and rezoning  the IBZ will require a “full, in-depth study,” Keller told Bklyner during a framework open house held at the end of June. The agency has been engaging with IBZ business owners and stakeholders since fall to discuss their land use concerns while working on the draft Neighborhood Plan.

The Neighborhood Plan or draft rezoning proposal—initially promised by the end of the year—incorporates community feedback based on the framework. The agency encourages the community to submit their comments and ideas via email at gowanus@planning.nyc.gov or at PlanGowanus.com. DCP will continue to engage and work  with the community on the rezoning in the new year.

Click here to see the full “Gowanus: A Framework for a Sustainable, Inclusive, Mixed-Use Neighborhood.”

While waiting for the release of the Neighborhood Plan, check out the recently released Gowanus Atlas.

“As the canal gets cleaned up and development occurs, our goal is that the Gowanus Atlas becomes a resource for conveying the rich character of our community and influencing planning decisions,” according to Gowanus By Design, the organization that created the Atlas.

The online resource shares stories from various locals and provides data “about the area’s rapidly changing conditions, its challenges, and the community’s future.” Visit gowanusbydesign.org/interactive.

[UPDATED: Wednesday, January 2, 2019, 11:45am] In response to “Gowanus: A Framework for a Sustainable, Inclusive, Mixed-Use Neighborhood,” Brooklyn Community Board 6 wrote a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio and Department of City Planning Chair Marisa Lago, dated October 24, 2018. The letter “sets forth the ideas” CB6 would like “to see remain in the proposal as well as others that should be reconsidered.” Click here to see a PDF of the letter. 

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