Intense lobbying from residents of the Columbia Street Waterfront District prompted the city to include their sliver of a neighborhood in a broader initiative to restrict new building heights in Carroll Gardens.
The two neighborhoods have been particularly vocal in their opposition to tall, modern buildings popping up among the diminutive skyline.
“We became concerned when there was a proposal to put an 11-story building on the corner of Sackett and Columbia streets,” said Michael Webster, president of the Columbia Waterfront Neighborhood Association. “That particular proposal didn’t actually get built, but it was a very strong warning of what could happen.”
The Department of City Planning, which already said it would begin a review this summer to cap new construction at 60 feet in Carroll Gardens, now says it will include the Columbia Street area, just across the Brooklyn–Queens Expressway, in the study to determine which parts of the neighborhood will get the protective zoning.
“The goals for these areas are the same: update decades-old zoning with contextual zoning designations, establish height limits for the first time and curb out-of-scale development,” said City Planning Department spokeswoman Jennifer Torres.
Webster told The Brooklyn Paper that the city indicated it will probably not alter the manufacturing zoning on blocks close to Van Brunt Street and Red Hook’s working cargo port.
A neighborhood-wide rezoning must undergo a comprehensive and time-consuming public review before it can be enacted. Community Board 6, Borough President Markowitz, the City Planning Commission and the City Council will all vote on the measure.