Brooklyn Planning Director Explains Dumbo Rezoning
What will the proposed zoning change in Dumbo do? GL spoke with Brooklyn City Planning Office Director Purnima Kapur yesterday who laid out the changes and the rational behind them. (She also spoke separately with our friends at Brownstoner, indicating the Department is pushing to explain its proposal.) She describe the changes as being with the context of Dumbo in terms of building size, but as a "complete change" in terms of allowing residential and commercial development on the block involved. The changes would convert 12 blocks between the Manhattan Bridge, Front Street, John Street and Bridge Street, from being zoned for manufacturing uses to a mixed use district that would include residential buildings up to 12 stories tall.
The project has been in the works for two year, Ms. Kapur explained. She said that the department had only seen a competing proposal put together by the Dumbo Neighborhood Association "on the blogs," but characterized the two plans as appearing to be fairly simi last week, but characterized the two plans as seeming "to be along similar lines." Buildings up to 12 stories tall would allowed along Jay Street, with street level fronts rising to 6-8 stories. Buildings along Bridge Street could rise to 8 stories, with 4-6 stories at street level.
"This is the beginning of the process," Ms. Kapur said, saying that the hope is to begin the land use review process in the fall and to have a plan ready for approval by Spring or Summer of 2009. She said that the Department was open to tweaking the proposal based on community feedback. "We're open to listening to what the community's concerns are and to what hasn’t been addressed."
Given the recent landmarking of Dumbo, any new developments would have to be approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, adding an additional level of approval.