Watch Online as Experts Debate Bill That Would Allow Residential Buildings of Any Size in Brooklyn

Downtown Brooklyn. Photo by Susan De Vries

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    As Brooklyn struggles with high rents and development, a group of experts will debate a proposal to encourage affordable housing by allowing construction of new buildings of any size in densely populated areas like Downtown Brooklyn.

    The event will air online tonight via Facebook. Audience participation is encouraged, and questions will be relayed to the panel.

    Participants will include experts such as Chairman of the New York City Planning Commission Carl Weisbrod, Municipal Art Society President Gina Pollara and State Senator Liz Kreuger. Hosted by the Municipal Art Society of New York, the event was prompted by the introduction of a pair of bills in the New York State Legislature in May.

    Downtown Brooklyn.  Photo by Evan Daniels.

    Downtown Brooklyn. Photo by Evan Daniels

    The bills — Senate Bill 5469 and Assembly Bill 7807 — propose the elimination of a cap on the residential floor area ratio (FAR), which has been set at 12 since 1961. (FAR is the ratio of total floor area in a building to the size of land it is built on.) The bills, currently in committee, have been tabled for the moment to allow for public debate.

    If the bills pass, it will mean, in effect, an upzoning of areas such as Downtown Brooklyn, according to critics. Proponents say it’s a sensible means to create more housing in areas well-served by transit.

    For more information, see the Municipal Art Society’s Facebook page.

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