City Council Approves Crown Heights Rezoning

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The City Council yesterday approved the Crown Heights rezoning, which had been requested and recommended by the community board there. The rezoning aims to preserve the existing character of 55 blocks of the neighborhood in an area known as Crown Heights West. At the last minute, the Crown Heights Assembly, an Occupy group that works on housing issues, asked that the rezoning include mandatory affordable housing and a “no harassment zone” (increased penalties for landlords who harass tenants inside the rezoning area), but the rezoning passed without those two measures.

Under the rezoning, new developments will be allowed on Bedford and Franklin avenues, but their height will be limited. Developers will receive incentives for voluntarily including affordable units. The area is bounded by Atlantic, Pacific, Dean and Bergen to the north; Nostrand to the east; Eastern Parkway on the south; and to the west, by Washington and Grand avenues. In a prepared statement, Council Member Al Vann praised the rezoning while acknowledging that more could be done to make housing “truly affordable to individuals at the median income level” in the area, which he represents. “I fully support Community Board 8 and the Crown Heights Assembly’s demands for these policy improvements,” he said.

Occupy Challenges Crown Heights Rezoning [Brownstoner]

2 Comment

  • Down-zoning is great for preserving the character of the neighborhood but does nothing to make housing affordable. On the contrary this type of rezoning drives gentrification and limits the potential for new construction. If people want affordable housing, some areas will need to be upzoned to provide for higher density where developers can put up larger buildings that have enough apartments to support a certain number of affordable units.