Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Is 12 Stories Too Tall for Fourth Avenue?

With the building boom along Fourth Avenue well underway, a new local group is saying that it's time to rethink the rezoning that allowed buildings up to 12 stories tall along the avenue. The group is called Fourth Avenue Neighborhood Preservation and it's holding it's first meeting today (11/14) at 7:30. The meeting will take place at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, which is located at 9th Street and 4th Avenue.

Two luxury high rise condo buildings belonging to Leviev Boymelgreen are already moving toward completion on Fourth Avenue. More than a half-dozen others are in the works, with construction alrady underway on several major new buildings.

Residents told the Park Slope Courier they'd like to find a way to "reexamine" the zoning laws and to scale them back. Nearly all of Fourth Avenue north of 15th Street was rezoned to R-8A, allowing construction of up to twelve stories.

One member of the new group told the weekly paper residents were somehow blindsided by the zoning change: "When the law was changed, many of us didn’t realize what this meant. But now that we realize it, we know that buildings of that size are inappropriate and out of context in our neighborhood."

Continuing with the copy and paste:
John Gordon, another member of Fourth Avenue Neighborhood Preservation, said that the city went along with the zoning changes under the misapprehension that all of 4th Avenue contained "numerous under-built and underutilized former warehouse sites," according to a report he found.

"This may be true of 4th Avenue north of 6th Street. It is simply not true of 4th Avenue south of 6th Street," Gordon said. "Fourth Avenue in our community, from 6th Street to 15th Street, is comprised mostly of three- to four-story residential buildings, many of which have stores on the ground floor, and includes two churches and a public school."
That such a major rezoning with such deep implications came to be is a telling story. We have said it before and it bears repeating: Ultimately, Brooklyn's neighborhood battles are won or lost with rezoning. What happens afterward is just the application of the icing to the cake.

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