New Bed-Stuy Zoning Proposal Preserves Neighborhood's Brownstone Character
A proposed zoning plan will make sure that new development in Bedford-Stuyvesant will not change the brownstone nature of the Brooklyn neighborhood. NY1's Real Estate reporter Jill Urban filed the following report.
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Known for its tree-lined streets filled with charming brownstones, row houses and neighborhood institutions, Bedford Stuyvesant has seen an increase in development over the last few years. But not all of it fits with the character of the Brooklyn neighborhood, so a new zoning proposal is on the table to help preserve this area’s identity.
"We recently rezoned the southern half to preserve the scale and style of the neighborhood. This rezoning continues that effort to the north. The idea is to do a rezoning that allows for growth where it is appropriate while keeping the scale of the brownstones intact," says Purnima Kapur of the Department of City Planning.
The proposal includes about 140 blocks within Bed-Stuy North. The plan is generally bounded by Lafayette Avenue and Quincy Street to the south, Classon and Franklin Avenues to the west, Broadway to the east and Flushing Avenue to the north.
"The new zoning will create height limits so that new development is more in context with the existing buildings," says Kapur. "It also requires buildings to be street-lined buildings, which means it must meet the adjacent building at its street line and not set back in the suburban way that some of the development can occur here."
In addition, the rezoning will also encourage new development with ground-floor retail on the larger avenues and commercial streets. The plan also offers incentives to developers who build buildings that include affordable housing units.
Chairman Henry Butler of Community Board 3 says this is just what the neighborhood needs.
"It’s important because we want to maintain the character of Bedford-Stuyvesant, but at the same time we do want to increase economic development because of the employment levels within our community," says Butler. "We’ll have economic development on our commercial strips but we still will maintain our brownstone blocks of Bedford-Stuyvesant."
Now the plan just entered into the public review phase, which could take up to seven months. It first needs approval by the community board, then the borough president’s office, and then it goes back to the Planning Commission before it is ultimately voted on by the City Council.