Rezoning for Carroll Gardens?
Rezoning advocates home in on high density problem
By Joe Maniscalco
Efforts to rezone Carroll Gardens against the rise of more out-of-scale development are progressing this week as the Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association presented a comprehensive overview of neighborhood density on Monday night.
John Hatheway, architect and member of the group’s zoning committee, gave fellow CGNA members their first look at a detailed, color-coded map at Scotto’s Funeral Home on First Place, which the group hopes to use to try and convince the City Planning Commission that Carroll Gardens needs new zoning.
“We’re trying to preserve a lower-scale district,” Hatheway explained. “We want to suggest to the City ways we can preserve the integrity of our neighborhood.”
Carroll Gardens is now zoned R6 which falls on the higher end of the density scale and allows for towering new structures like those found between Hoyt and Bond and Carroll and President streets to be built.
The neighborhood’s most unique feature – front yard gardens – offer “down-zoning” present advocates with particular challenges. The quirky nature of the gardens make it possible for potential new developers to construct new buildings with greater floor area ratios than normally allowed – in some cases bumping it up for 2.2 to 3.0. That’s because the gardens are actually considered public property and part of the street under archaic New York City codes that go back to the 19th century.
Some believe the situation could be settled by granting Carroll Gardens signature feature landmark status.
Hatheway cautioned residents that appeals to “down-zone” sections of Carroll Gardens might have to be accompanied with suggestions about where “up-zoning” might occur.