City officials turned aside two parts of a Carroll Gardens Councilman’s three-pronged assault on supposed over-development this week — including the lawmaker’s bid for an immediate moratorium on new construction over 50 feet tall and a call to speed up a proposed downzoning.
But Councilman Bill DeBlasio (D–Carroll Gardens) brought home some good news when he learned the Department of City Planning would hold hearings next month to reduce new building heights and densities on several blocks.
“Large-scale new construction poses a threat to the fabric of this historical Brooklyn neighborhood,” DeBlasio said on the steps of Borough Hall on Tuesday that included Assemblywoman Joan Millman (D–Cobble Hill), state Sen. Marty Connor (D–Cobble Hill) and neighborhood groups.
The most concrete sign of progress for this coalition was the announcement from City Planning that First through Fourth places, and a part of Second Street, might be reclassified as “narrow” streets, which would impose size restrictions on new buildings.
But the city rebuffed DeBlasio’s other plans to immediately curtail development in Carroll Gardens on the grounds that such a moratorium would require a lengthy environmental review.
Also, the councilman had asked the city to speed up a study of whether to downzone Carroll Gardens, which would regulate the aesthetics and impose height limits — probably of 50 feet — on buildings.
That could happen, but the city says Carroll Gardens will have to wait it out like all other neighborhoods seeking rezoning.
“We are committed to pursuing it, but … we are unable to commit to a precise timeframe,” City Planning said in a written statement.
Even though all the proposals didn’t move forward, DeBlasio, who’s running for Borough President, burnished his image in Carroll Gardens.
He had drawn flak from residents impatient with his pace on neighborhood development, but this time, they cheered his effort.
“The resolutions are a great first step and I’m hopeful that some actual changes can happen,” said Triada Samaras, a member of the Coalition to Respectfully Develop, a neighborhood group.