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FG-CH downzone movin’ on up

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The city is only one step away from making it more difficult to build towering, out-of-scale buildings in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, like the 18-story building threatening to rise on a residential block of Washington Avenue.

On July 11, the City Planning Commission unanimously OK’d the rezoning of 99 blocks in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, tightening the height restrictions on residential blocks, and allowing for more growth on commercial Fulton Street and Myrtle Avenue.

The City Council will hold a hearing on the plan on Monday and vote on it on Wednesday. If approved as expected, the plan will become law on July 26.

The issue gained greater attention thanks to the controversial tower planned for 163 Washington Ave., between Myrtle and Park avenues, but has been on the Brooklyn radar screen for some time now. Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and parts of Park Slope have all been downzoned recently, and residents of Carroll Gardens are pushing for a similar measure.

If the developers of the building get their foundation in the ground by the final vote, the Buildings Department will mostly likely “grandfather” the project in and allow it to rise.

“It will be down to the wire,” said Jane Zusi, a Clinton Hill neighbor who has been fighting the developers.

Some builders complain that downzoning leads to less construction of much-needed housing.

Updated 4:30 pm, July 9, 2018
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