The Department of City Planning finally released its proposal for rezoning Gowanus last night at a community board meeting and, as expected, the plan will affect about 25 blocks in the neighborhood, changing those blocks’ designation from manufacturing to mixed-use. Gowanus Lounge was on the scene and reports the following:
-The rezone will run between Fourth Avenue and Bond Streets, bounded on the south by Third Street and on the north by Butler Street.
-In the area’s “waterfront district,” between the canal, Bond Street and Third Avenue, buildings will be able to reach a maximum height of 12 stories, with density bonuses for including an affordable component. In most of the rest of the rezoned area, buildings will be able to rise between 5 and 8 stories.
-The tallest buildings would go up in the “waterfront south” area shown above. According to a Planning rep, “the plan will ‘create a sense of openness around the Canal that doesn’t exist’ because it’ll require a public esplanade and setbacks. Many residents last night said that the level of density being proposed in this section would lead to out-of-scale structures, with permanent shadows in some sections of the canal.
-Community members also voiced concerns about environmental issues, saying the rezone will allow for residential construction on areas that haven’t been properly cleaned up. A member of the Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus group said that the plan involved a little bit of deception and that a lot doesn’t incorporate what the community wants.