Today’s news:

One step closer to a ‘lower’ nabe

A Community Board 6 committee last week approved a rezoning plan for Carroll Gardens, a measure intended to preserve the neighborhood’s particular low−rise aesthetic.

The proposal — spawned by local outrage during the last building boom, and led by the Department of City Planning — seeks to protect the row–house character by introducing a contextual zoning district with height limits of 50 feet. The agency hopes to protect over 80 percent of the study area, which also includes the Columbia Street Waterfront District.

Longtime Carroll Gardens activist Salvatore “Buddy” Scotto welcomed the initiative, saying any measure of control over developers who would change the character of the neighborhood is a positive step. Scotto, who has long promoted development along the Gowanus Canal, said the rezoning would be “somewhat” restrictive. “But we don’t want excessive growth in Carroll Gardens,” he said.

His hope is to one day convince the city to make the neighborhood a historic district, joining areas like nearby Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill. “These neighborhoods should be one continuous landmark,” he said.

While the rezoning proposal has generally been greeted warmly, the committee targeted a portion of Clinton Street from Degraw Street south to First Place and east to Court Street as an area in need of tweaking. Here, buildings as tall as seven stories would be permitted to rise, but the committee approved an amendment calling for the city to change that part of the plan and cut the allowed height.

The Land Use Committee’s June 25 vote was simply advisory, as will be the full board’s opinion. As part of the public review called the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, the matter will also be reviewed by the borough president, the City Planning Commission and the City Council.

The Carroll Gardens portion of the rezoning area is generally bounded by Degraw Street, Warren Street and Douglass Street to the north; Hoyt Street, Bond Street and Smith Street to the east; 3rd Street, 4th Street, 5th Street, Centre Street and Hamilton Avenue to the south; and Hicks Street to the west.

The Columbia Street portion of the rezoning area consists of approximately 14 blocks bounded by Warren Street to the north, a line between Columbia Street and Van Brunt Street to the west, Hicks Street to the east and Woodhull Street to the south.

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