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Eleven local residents showed up last week to the Department of City Planning’s (DCP) public hearing on the proposed rezoning of Carroll Gardens to voice approval, but with some caveats.
The proposal — spawned by local outrage during the last building boom, and led by DCP — 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.
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.
The initiative will map contextual zoning designations, with height limits of 60 or 80 feet, along mixed-used corridors of Court and Columbia Streets, as well as other densely built blocks, according to City Planning. The plan also seeks to reduce the depths of commercial districts to reflect existing development patterns and “preclude commercial intrusions into residential side streets.”
At the hearing, Rita Miller of the organization Carroll Gardens Coalition for Respectful Development (CORD) said that while she liked many parts of the rezoning plan, she believed it could use a little modification.
Specifically, Miller said that along Henry and Clinton Streets she would like to see the zoning remain with a maximum height of 50 feet.
Glenn Kelly of the Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association said the goal of the rezoning was to try to preserve the existing character of the low-rise houses.
“I’m concerned while most of the City Planning proposal does that, there are several streets actually going to be upzoned, which has no height limit and allows for a developer to assemble a larger lot,” he said.
As part of the rezoning process, the DCP has until mid-October to make a recommendation before the plan moves before the City Council for a final approval.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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