SIGN PETITION NOW
In the past few weeks and months the forces of hate and ignorance have gained strength to conspire against a sane, methodical and collaborative reexamination of our neighborhood's zoning and plans for future development. While other neighborhoods like Crown Heights West have unanimously supported efforts to rezone and rethink, we've become mired in misinformation and a spiteful campaign to paint a Planning Study as not in our best interests.
I've gone to lengths to describe that these attacks are the misguided efforts of a few - people whose biggest agenda is to keep Empire Boulevard from being developed for residential. We have learned from the City that is possible to rezone Empire Boulevard from C8-2 to mixed use residential and to put caps on height. We've also learned that the City would like to force any such development to create an inviting streetscape with ground floor commercial. Imagine, instead of fast food and storage facilities, shopping, affordable housing, a grand boulevard? It's in the cards, if we play those cards right.
CB9 is completely at a loss as how to contain MTOPP and its campaign of fear and intimidation. It was suggested that a petition might give City Planning the much needed counterbalance, and so here I am, asking that you sign on to the following. I hope you will! And remember, this is the beginning of a process. Your voice will be instrumental throughout to ensure everyone's viewpoint, and the considerations of your particular part of the neighborhood, are heard.
This is what it says:
The current zoning map of the area, created in 1961, is below.We, the undersigned, implore Community Board 9 and the NYC Department of City Planning to immediately begin a Planning Study of Community District 9, specifically the western portion of CB9's boundaries. The current zoning map dates to 1961. While other parts of NYC have been contextually zoned and updated to reflect a modern reality, we continue to live with decisions that were made for our neighborhood more than 50 years ago.
During the course of discussions between community and City, we have certain expectations and requests:
A) That all efforts be made to maximize the requirements of developers to build permanent affordable housing
B) That all efforts are made to keep new buildings within specific height limits and ensure contextual and aesthetically pleasing blocks
C) That plans be made to make best use of commercial corridors like Nostrand Avenue, Rogers Avenue, Bedford Avenue and Flatbush Avenue, and to consider the effects of allowing mixed-use construction on underutilized corridors like Empire Boulevard. Any changes, however, must conform to points A) and B) above, and reflect the needs of diverse community.
We recognize that the City has placed ambitious goals to address the affordable housing crisis. We share the goal of creating housing for a wide range of incomes. But we ask that our current high density be considered, and that growth be modest and fair. We are an extraordinarily diverse community that wishes to remain that way. As the City grows, we expect we will grow too. But we believe such growth should be smart, contextual, and take into account needs for schools, public transportation, roads, parking and other infrastructure.
We would prefer to undergo this process collaboratively, rather than have outside forces develop our neighborhood FOR us. We've seen the future - in certain buildings, like 626 Flatbush and another 23-story tower on Nostrand to our south, plus dozens of new "as of right" projects throughout Central Brooklyn. We'd like to temper the urge of developers to build without an understanding of the consequences to our historic and tight-knit community.
We look forward to working with you.