Rezoning for Flood Areas Open for Public Review

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    More zoning changes are in store for flood-prone areas of the City such as Red Hook and Dumbo. The City wants to change building rules to conform to the latest federal standards for flood resistant construction, and the public review process started Monday, City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden said. New rules would affect building heights, the location of mechanicals and off-street parking, the placement of stairs and ramps, activities on ground level, and the quality of the streetscape. But raising the ground floor above the flood line can make for some really ugly buildings, so the rules would allow gradual grading, stair turns, porches and plantings to “prevent unnecessarily stark landscapes with blank walls, and promote ‘eyes on the street’ to foster street-level vitality,” as a City press release put it. Burden, a Bloomberg appointee, has already rezoned a staggering 36 percent of the City, including “transforming the Brooklyn waterfront from its industrial past to its green park and glass tower present,” according to Crain’s. To comment on this story, head over to Brownstoner Queens.
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