City Council eyes new zoning rules to combat Downtown Brooklyn parking glut

November 26, 2012 11:30AM

It’s the kind of problem New Yorkers long to have: too much parking. But in Downtown Brooklyn, garages on prime lots remain half empty — and the city is preparing to do something about it, the New York Times reported. The City Council Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises is scheduled to meet today regarding zoning changes that would reduce the number of parking spaces required as part of new residential developments in Downtown Brooklyn.

Currently, developers of new Downtown Brooklyn residential projects must include parking spaces for at least 40 percent of households. For example, the 600-unit Avalan Fort Greene On Gold Street has 250 parking spaces, one-third of which are being used.

The new minimum requirement, which the City Planning Commission approved last month, would drop that figure to 20 percent. In addition, new regulations would let developers that have extra parking spaces on their hands use the space for other purposes.

U.S. Census numbers show that 22 percent of households in the neighborhood own cars, and most residents choose to travel by public transit.

Still, Councilmember Letitia James told the Times that new regulations could make parking difficult to find, mainly because of the nearby Barclays Center. “They would turn it into more luxury housing,” she told the Times of developers’ repurposing of the underused parking spaces. [NYT] — Zachary Kussin