Community Board 2 greenlights Boerum Hill rezoning

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All aboard the Boerum Hill rezoning!

Community Board 2 this week unanimously supported the Boerum Hill Association (BHA) request to contextually rezone a 19-block swath of the neighborhood.

With the support, CB 2 will now send a letter to Department of City Planning (DCP) Director Amanda Burden to see if the department will take on the rezoning, which will officially start the rezoning process.

“Rezoning issues usually comes from the community to us and if we believe the request has merit we make our own request to the Department of City Planning,” said CB 2 District Manager Robert Perris, adding the request letter will be sent out shortly.

Perris said Burden will review the request and make the determination on whether the DCP have the staff resources or inclination to rezone the neighborhood.

“There is always the possibility they may respond that a rezoning there is not necessary, but as the BHA has pointed out, most similar neighborhoods all around them have been rezoned. They’re sort of the last piece of the puzzle,” he said.

Boerum Hill stretches roughly from Court Street on the west and Fourth Avenue on the east to Schermerhorn Street on the north and Warren Street on the south.

The BHA plan is to rezone the 19 blocks in the area, excluding the commercial Atlantic Avenue corridor, from R6 to R6B in order to preserve and enforce contextual development throughout the neighborhood.

BHA Vice President Dwight Smith explained that current R6 zoning allows developers to purchase air rights with few height restrictions, while property owners can build nearly to the edge of their land.

R6B zoning is a contextual zoning overlay that you can build only within the context and character of the neighborhood regardless of air rights, said Smith.

Additionally, under R6B zoning, property owners can build out on only about 60 percent of their property, he said.

“In Boerum Hill, it’s basically three- and four-story heights with some five-story apartment buildings, so 55 feet would be the maximum height,” Smith said of the proposal.

The rezoning proposal comes as all the surrounding Downtown Brooklyn brownstone neighborhoods are already zoned R6B from DUMBO to Brooklyn Heights, Carroll Gardens Cobble Hill, Fort Green, Clinton Hill and South Park Slope.

“Our housing stock is also similar intact brownstone rows,” said Smith.

I want to thank the board for strongly supporting the BHA proposal and I hope the Department of City Planning will act on the board’s recommendation and approve the rezoning,” he added.

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