Gowanus Rezoning Clears New York's City Planning Commission

A controversial rezoning plan is moving toward the finish line in Brooklyn.

1 minute read

September 23, 2021, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Brooklyn, New York City

Full Prime Raw / Shutterstock

The New York City Planning Commission approved the Gowanus Neighborhood Planning Study, sending the controversial rezoning plan on to the City Council for final approval.

"The 82-block rezoning would pave the way for a little more than 8,500 new apartments, 3,000 of which would be set aside for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers," explains Kathryn Brenzel in an article reporting the Planning Commission's approval.

Brenzel notes that the plan faces at least one political obstacle on its way to final approval. "Support from Council members Brad Lander and Steve Levin hinges on the commitment of at least $132 million for Gowanus Houses and Wyckoff Gardens. So far, City Hall has pitched only a fraction of that sum to cover the cost of certain repairs."

The Gowanus Neighborhood Planning Study has moved forward in fits and starts—delayed by the pandemic and subject to constant controversy. In January, a lawsuit that targeted the plan for its socially distanced public review further delayed the process. According to Brenzel, opponents argue that the rezoning "will lead to an influx of new luxury towers. Infrastructure is also cited as a cause for concern: opponents believe "the neighborhood’s sewer system cannot handle the volume of new residents" allowed by the rezoning.

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