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.

Monday, May 23, 2016

More Creative Use Of Out-of-Date Zoning

828 New York Avenue
Just outside our district is this creative use of R7-1 zoning on New York Avenue near SUNY Downstate. By purchasing this two-family, they get to build up 7 stories.

The 23 story buildings on Flatbush and Nostrand and Linden are all a result of lame zoning that pretty ignores the current size of adjoining buildings. You can see more on the City's zoning map of the area: Zoning Map . Change the 17b to 16d in the URL and you can see the rest of our neighborhood's zoning designations. The Q continues to argue that these designations, dating to 1961, are woefully inadequate towards the planning of the neighborhood, We're missing opportunities for downzoning and affordable housing at a depressing clip. Thx to one very vocal neighbor, in particular.

Notice for the above came from NYYIMBY.


MikeF said...

How are they being creative? They are simply doing what the rules allow.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Would you prefer I said "creative use of the Zoning Map?" My point is that they're using the absurd zoning of this block as R7-1 to maximize their profits.

Believe me I don't think these guys are Mondrians. Actually, the Zoning Map might make a nice Mondrian, if you color coded it.

Jacob said...

These particular houses are across the street from the hospital, which has buildings much taller than 70 feet. The main Kings County buildings are from the 1930s and are 10-11 stories, but with very high floor heights for the base floors. You could probably build a 15 story building next to it and it would match the height of the hospital building.

MikeF said...

Change is less hard for them.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Jacob: In dense NYC, "across the street" is a pretty huge difference. "Across the Street" from many rows of houses in NYC you will find everything from parks to stores to skyscrapers. For me, contextual is very much about what is next to you, or part of a contiguous row. In this case, I most definitely see a 7-story building being out of character, just as I see the teardown on my block (19 Clarkson) in a row of townhouses as an affront to the streetscape, not just as a ridiculous moneygrab. Dude could easily pocket a half a million bucks without lifting a finger. I'm half hoping the economy collapses and house prices fall.

A new zoning paradigm should view hospitals and rows of houses as very different indeed, regardless of their proximity to one another.

MikeF said...

The great thing about rights is that everyone likes using their own rights, but no one likes it when others do so.

roxv said...

to me the truly sad part about this isn't the height; it's just what's sad about whenever a house for people becomes a big rental property: less housing stock available for non-ultra-rich new yorkers who want to buy and get themselves out of the rental rut they're in. the higher prices go in this neighborhood as sellers market lots for development instead of end users, the more the american dream of owning one's own home goes away, little by little. and by extension, the dream of people who wish to live in houses and be landlords to another unit themselves as supplementary income (which in my opinion is a tried and true way of climbing out of financial instability). eventually, a home owner that doesn't make a gigantic salary won't exist anymore.

Jacob said...

19 Clarkson is an abomination, but the rest of Clarkson between Flatbush and Bedford has been a variety of heights for 100 years. 2 story houses on up to 6 story apartment buildings. That's what our neighborhood is like.
But yes, we need more affordable units!

Clarkson FlatBed said...

I have no problem with the big six story buildings. Even new ones are fine as long as they have set-asides for affordable. I have a problem with tearing down single houses and putting six, seven story skinny buildings in their place. It looks crappy all over Brooklyn when it happens. Unless, of course, the building itself is super bizarre or creative. Which actually happens somewhat often in Delirious Williamsburg, where anything goes. Reminds me of cities south of the USA, where zoning is non-existent. It can actually lead to interesting streetscapes.

Jacob said...

This one is gonna be 47 feet wide. It's actually 2 buildings that are coming down.
But yeah, the skinny ones are weird-looking. The skinny ones only start to seem normal when they are surrounded by other skinny ones, like Soho.