Preservationists meet with backlash from Carroll Gardens’ longtime residents

December 09, 2009 08:52AM

In Carroll Gardens, preservationists seeking landmark status for a greater portion of the neighborhood are being met with opposition from residents and merchants who want to retain the right to determine their properties’ appearances. Guidelines stipulated by the neighborhood’s current two-block historic district are also expensive, they say. The Landmarks Preservation Commission requires that designs of windows, staircases and front gates in the historic district evoke a late 19th century feel, and opponents say some property owners — especially the area’s elderly Italian immigrant population — won’t be able to front the cost of replacements if the district is expanded. Still, those who are in favor of landmarking say it is a necessary step for Carroll Gardens, which is already mired in a battle about overdevelopment. The city changed its zoning rules in October to limit the size of new buildings to five stories in most of the neighborhood, and preservationists say those changes alone won’t be enough to protect the character of a district that originally became popular for its brownstones. [NYDN]

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