The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Why It Matters

Mike over at Brooklynian sent me the following advert, showing how you can buy up two modest houses and turn them into a slender Rapunzel building. And it's why we need to move quickly to help stem the madness. It might already be too late to change R7-1 areas in time, but hey, you gotta try, right?


Alex said...

Well, Tim - at least this won't ruin the two remaining pristine, residential-free blocks of Empire Blvd.

Bob Marvin said...

OTOH A.B.'s block, Sterling I, isn't landmarked (just Sterling II & III are in the Historic District). There's little protection for that beautiful block. (And, even though karma is bitch, and all that, I'd REALLY hate to see some finger building go up there, which would be awful–no irony intended). If Ms. Boyd and her neighbors really want to protect their houses they would be well advised to work on extending the PLG Historic District, which, I think, would be a positive example of NIMBYism.

MikeF said...

The two lots have a BSF of around 16,800.

So, this could be the area's first real finger building.

Andrew Case said...

Looking at the zoning map, Sterling Street and Lefferts Ave and the north side of Lincoln are R5 (except for R7 right on the corner of Flatbush) all the way to Rogers. R5 is a max height of 40', and is typically connected row houses (like on Sterling) or semi-detatched (like on the north side of Lefferts). So what's up with the block of twelve-story apartments on the south side of lefferts, north side of Lincoln? Maybe a post on why the zoning map doesn't reflect reality?

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Andrew: If you read the resolution, part of it is to get zoning to match reality. The zoning maps from the '50s were not very rigorous, and that's part of the reason they've been updated all over the City. Except Lefferts.

That's not to say that we will upzone everywhere that has tall buildings. Just because 626 Flatbush exists doesn't mean we can't downzone.

MikeF said...

You might be able to get height limits in exchange for increasing FAR. However, you are not going to be able to just reduce the value of an owner's property through zoning.

We don't live in a democracy to that degree.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

No City Planner worth a hoot is going to unlock LESS potential housing. Nor should we support it. The only legal way to protect character is through landmarking.

If the BP is as serious as he sounds about protecting height, he can make that happen. That's why we have to work WITH him.

Alex said...

The buildings on Lincoln and the south side of Lefferts are 6 stories, not 12.

Anonymous said...

No City Planner worth a hoot is going to unlock LESS potential housing. Nor should we support it. The only legal way to protect character is through landmarking.

You're kidding, right?
City Planning did a lot of downzoning during the Bloomberg years, as well as upzoning. I think it's fair to say that they probably wouldn't support a rezoning that led to an overall decrease of the amount of housing that could be built in Crown Heights/Lefferts but they very well might support a plan that downzoned blocks like Sullivan while providing for more residential along the avenues and on Empire.

Landmarking is a terrible way to control development. Sure, it makes new construction very difficult, but it also makes it impossible for low income homeowners to do any kind of maintenance or improvements to the outside of their homes. There are a lot of homeowners in the neighborhood that have violations for things like replacing windows, installing satellite dishes, fences, mailboxes etc. without landmarks approval.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

No, I'm not kidding Ektorp. Take a step back. Sure they'll downzone certain spots, but then upzone or change to residential others, all within a single study.

Perhaps you've missed that the whole point here was to downzone Flatbush/Ocean.

Overall though, what's the use to a City short on housing to downzone overall? We're talking about a whole Community District here.

It's called "planning." Not suicide.

babs said...

There are low-interest loans and grants (income-based) available for people to do work on their landmarked homes. In my experience most of the violations were done by people who either didn't know their homes were landmarked (I had a neighbor whose mother purchased his home in 1976, before it was landmarked - he'd grown up there and took it over when she retired down South, and he had no idea it was landmarked and had never even heard of the concept, so he didn't understand why he just couldn't replace his door with some Home Depot special) or don't care - and, unfortunately, it seems like there's a lot of that.