Public Review of Mayor’s Zoning for Affordable Housing Plan Starts September 21

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Last year, Mayor de Blasio spoke in general terms of plans to change zoning rules to create more affordable housing in Brooklyn and beyond. Monday, the exact wording of these three proposals will be revealed, and Brooklynites will have the chance to comment on them.

At issue is the character of Brooklyn’s neighborhoods and the future of East New York — and, of course, the building of more affordable housing by private developers.

On Monday, City Planning will “certify” the proposals, which are complex and have many parts, kicking off the official and formal public review process known as ULURP, or Uniform Land Use Review Procedure.

The mayor is asking for three zoning-related changes:

*Mandatory inclusionary zoning for entire areas and spot rezonings
*A zoning text amendment that will alter height restrictions and setbacks
*A rezoning of East New York

The exact wording of the proposed zoning text changes was released August 24. It is not light reading.

Opponents argue it will result in out-of-context additions and teardowns in historic residential areas zoned R6B, such as Park Slope and Bed Stuy. Champions say it will allow building of affordable housing for seniors.

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City Planning’s vision for East New York’s future

New rules for private spot rezonings and city-led rezonings of whole areas, such as East New York, Williamsburg, etc., will have new rules known as mandatory inclusionary zoning. Developers will be required to set aside 25 percent of a project for affordable housing earning 60 percent of the Area Median Income or 30 percent at 80 percent — and the mix will be determined by the city, not the developer.

As for the proposed rezoning of East New York, it has been criticized both on the grounds that it will do nothing to bring gentrification to the area and that it will. Area residents involved in the community board and neighborhood associations have said they would welcome city investment in infrastructure and housing aimed at a balanced mix of income groups. They do not want longtime area businesses or residents forced out by rising rents.

The formal land use review process normally takes a year. This may also but, as YIMBY pointed out in a post Monday, it’s an unusually complex situation: The three proposals are city-wide, so each needs approval from “all 59 community boards, five borough presidents, the City Planning Commission and the City Council,” as YIMBY put it.

YIMBY also noted City is planning to tighten rules so developers can’t skirt parking requirements by building many smaller buildings instead of one big one.

De Blasio Zoning Plan Will Bring Mucho Affordable Housing to Brooklyn Mega Projects [Brownstoner]
Mayor Alters Zoning Plan, But Critics Say Row House Areas Still Vulnerable [Brownstoner]
East New York Community Board Moves to Slow Mayor’s Rezoning Plan [Brownstoner]
Zoning Coverage [Brownstoner]
Zoning for Quality and Affordability [City Planning]
Proposed Zoning Text Amendment [City Planning]
Image by City Planning

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