The Real Deal New York

Locals are already pushing back on the Gowanus rezoning plan

Some are calling for more investment in affordable housing
February 11, 2019 11:30AM

A wideshot of Gowanus, Brooklyn (Credit: Getty Images)

The Gowanus rezoning plan is already attracting heaps of criticism from residents.

Many are demanding that the city put more investment into public housing before they complete the plan, and others are pushing back against allowing for more 20- and 30-story buildings in the neighborhood, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Officials at the Department of City Planning said the plan would lead to thousands of new affordable housing units in Gowanus and provide developers with incentives to include manufacturing and arts spaces in their projects.

The rezoning plan covers 80 blocks by the Gowanus Canal and would allow new mixed-use developments to go up along the water. Some buildings would be able to stand up to 22 stories tall. And on two parcels, they could stand 30 stories tall.

Developers would need to raise the shoreline by the canal and build flood-proof buildings, and they would be responsible for remediating the land they build on as well. The rezoning also permits the construction of new green spaces and an esplanade.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2016 in late 2017 started to clean up the canal Superfund Site, which is expected to be completed by 2022.

Katia Kelly, who has lived close to the canal for 32 years, told the Journal that the city should not encourage developers to build high-density apartments close to the canal.

“We’ve all seen what this area looks like when it is flooded on a regular basis,” she said. “It’s so shortsighted to be building affordable housing in a flood zone.” [WSJ] – Eddie Small