Foes of unchecked development in Carroll Gardens claimed a partial victory last week, as the city agreed to consider restricting construction on several blocks in the heart of the neighborhood and reiterated its support for a study that could lead to a rezoning of the entire area.
The coalition led by Councilman Bill DeBlasio (D–Carroll Gardens) might have nibbled on a taste of success, but they didn’t exactly bring the city to its knees.
The Department of City Planning reaffirmed it would evaluate zoning Carroll Gardens to prevent “out-of-scale” construction, a commitment it made to Borough President Markowitz in November, but said it would not immediately launch that process, contrary to a request by DeBlasio.
“We are committed to pursuing it, but … we are unable to commit to a precise timeframe,” City Planning said in a statement.
On another front, the Department of Buildings batted away the lawmaker’s bid for an immediate moratorium on new construction over 50 feet tall, because, under state law, declaring a moratorium requires a lengthy environmental review and an amendment to the zoning code.
But the tangible, bright spot for DeBlasio was City Planning’s announcement from that First through Fourth places — blocks where the houses are set far back from the street, creating large lots that theoretically could be developed with taller buildings — could soon be rezoned as “narrow” streets, which would reduce new building heights and densities on those blocks.
That change from the current “wide street” standard, would trim about about two floors off the height allowed.