The Real Deal New York

Another controversial wall: Mayor, City Council clash over barrier between Greenpoint park and mixed-use project

Episode between City Planning and administration is the latest point of tension over land-use issues
June 27, 2017 09:45AM

Marisa Lago and a rendering of 3-15 Greenpoint (Credit: Kutnicki Bernstein Architects)

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration and the City Council are locking horns again, this time over a controversial wall proposed as a barrier between a small park and a mixed-use project in Greenpoint.

City Planning chair Marisa Lago wrote a letter rebuking the City Council for demanding that a six-to-10-foot high concrete wall be built as a buffer between a 77-unit project developed by BNS Real Estate at 3-15 Greenpoint Avenue and Transmitter Park. In her letter, Lago said the wall would “detract from the openness and safety of the park,” Politico reported. She noted, however, that the wall does abide by land use rules and wouldn’t require further public review.

Council members countered, however, that the wall was necessary to placate some residents who already feel like the 2005 rezoning of the area triggered too much development.

“We’re going to have to agree to disagree with City Planning,” said Land Use committee chair David Greenfield. “It is well within the prerogative of the Council to make these kinds of changes; it is something that is necessary in order to get many parties that have interest in these projects to agreement and if the City Planning Commission is so interested in the outcome of these applications, we would welcome them to testify at our committee hearings.”

The letter was an odd step for City Planning, which usually only gets involved in City Council matters when it requires additional public review.

Due to opposition from Council members, de Blasio’s administration has had a difficult time succeeding with his signature Mandatory Inclusionary Housing policy. At least four residential projects that would have built a mix of market-rate and affordable housing have been iced following opposition from local Council officials, who often side with local activists in opposing the construction of market-rate housing in their districts. [Politico] — Kathryn Brenzel