Thursday, January 10, 2008

Grand Street Rezoning on the Fast Track

Supporters of the Grand Street downzoning, which turns out to include most off the members of Community Board 1, did some fast work to vote in favor of the proposal. Activists says that fast action is critical because a race is underway between developers that want to put up buildings as tall as 14-stories before a five-story height limit takes effect along Grand Street. Action was almost delayed because the Board's Land Use Committee hadn't voted on the proposal, which could have delayed action until next month. "Even a month delay could make a difference," said Williamsburg's Phillip Depaolo. The Land Use Committee ended up meeting in a corner of the room and voting 9-2 in favor of the downzone. The full board approved the proposals by a vote of 23-2 with one abstention. Supporters are now pushing to have a hearing at the Borough level scheduled quickly, but are concerned that the City Planning Department will follow a slower schedule. "Every day that we wait gives these guys time," Mr. Depaolo said of what will likely be a full-speed effort to try to make enough progress on the tall buildings to get them "vested" under the old zoning. "We're going to push as hard as we can," he said.

Buildings where a 14-story Karl Fischer structure could rise are being demolished. An empty lot across the street where there could be a new 10-story building has been cleaned in the last two weeks.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on people, why do idots have to be so resistant to change. It is a fact that as NYC is spilling over the immediate surrounding areas such as Williamsburg have to grow. Look at Jersey City's transformaton. What was once a dump is now a bustling gentrified neighborhood where GenXr's are enjoying avery good quality of life and are able to enjoy it's waterfront promenades with moms and their babies in strollers can walk around in a basically crime free neighborhood.

12:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate Karl Fischer!! The worst architect in North America. (How is it possible that he is responsible for nearly every single new construction in Williamsburg??) I am a designer and also a Williamsburg resident, and like many of my neighbors, I have grown to accept the fact that things are changing around here, and realize that development can bring some good things, too....but, seriously, if the buildings that were going up at least had some character and were well-designed, instead of the mediocre, bland, ugly constructions going up, I think a lot more people would support the changes in our neighborhood.
I wish that Fischer would go back to Canada.

9:31 AM  

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