Board to death: Majority of community boards reject mayor’s upzoning

The Brooklyn Paper
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Mayor DeBlasio’s plan to upzone the city in the hopes of making new developments more affordable and less ugly is a dud, say the majority of Brooklyn’s community boards.

Almost all of the borough’s panels have now rendered their decisions on City Hall’s so-called Zoning for Quality and Affordability proposal to relax height, design, and parking restrictions on new construction — especially when they involve below-market or senior housing — with 13 of 17 voting against it.

The boards were almost united in their condemnation, but not in their rationales — Sheepshead Bay’s Community Board 15 members were worried about losing parking, Community Board 7 thought it would actually result in developers knocking down existing affordable housing in Sunset Park, the Downtown area’s Community Board 2 just didn’t think it would work, and members of Community Board 10 in Bay Ridge had so many issues with the 600-page plan they simply stopped dissecting it and voted no.

The majority of boards also voted against a separate but related proposal to force developers to create below-market housing when building on rezoned land — nine said no, two didn’t render a decision either way, and five approved it.

The only board that has not voted is Community Board 1, covering Greenpoint and Williamsburg, which pushed its vote off to Dec. 1.

The Borough Board — comprising Borough President Adams, the community boards’ chair people, and Brooklyn Council members — will vote on the plans on Dec. 1. Kings County Council people have so far remained resolutely mum on the topic, though their counterparts in Queens and the Bronx have already voted against it.

In the mean time, check out a breakdown of how the various panels voted — in both graph form (above) and map form (below).

Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018: Updated with details on Community Board 17's vote.
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Reasonable discourse

Cb6Fix? from Downtown says:
Isn't the head of CB6 the same guy that signed DeBlasio's letter that sought to convince that closing a 150 yr old full-service hospital (LICH) was oddly a good deal for 100,000s of residents in Brooklyn?
Nov. 27, 2015, 1:58 pm
The Fix from Carroll Gardens says:

You are correct. I have that letter from the president of the Community Board. At one point he had political aspirations. I'm not sure if that is still the case. The return address on the letter was the Campaign for One New York which is de Blasio's political fund raising not-for-profit.

I expected no more from CB6.
Nov. 27, 2015, 9:40 pm
MJ from Bay Ridge says:
Brooklyn should need to modernize, otherwise people will move away to cities that are more affordable
Nov. 27, 2015, 10:24 pm
bash CB6 from CB6 says:
The ED has ED and it's time to replace him with one that can "stand up STRAIGHT" for the community rather than his own initiatives, agendas and "boys club"
Nov. 28, 2015, 9:22 am
FGSkeptic from CB2 says:
Perhaps one or more of the Bklyn City Council people who are "remaining mum" on the subject are doing so because their election budget was largely funded by REBNY. For such a council person, the votes of constituents are vastly secondary to the preferences of their financial backers. Welcome to the post-Citizens United world, where dollars are the only votes that count.
Nov. 28, 2015, 4:39 pm
Ian from Williamsburg says:
Maybe De Blasio should figure out what the people want before trying to cram his will down their throats in order to meet his arbitrary quota on subsidized housing.
Nov. 28, 2015, 10:28 pm
Billy from Park Slope says:
Let's change

"No Sleep for Brooklyn"


"No Up Zoning for Brooklyn"
Nov. 29, 2015, 12:37 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Sad to see so many people in the comments here so committed to keeping Brooklyn unaffordable. But you got yours, right? Who cares about anyone else.
Nov. 29, 2015, 5:37 pm
Billy from Park Slope says:
To Mike from Billyburg; your being fooled. Increasing bulk won't make it more affordable, it actually drives up rates as new development pushes out lower paying residents for higher paying ones. Further, the overpopulation that I causes lowers the quality of life for everyone.

Go west my friend!
Nov. 30, 2015, 4:05 am
D from BH says:
Housing costs aren't arbitrarily assigned by the whim of a developer. Housing costs come from the cost of construction, property taxes, legal fees, etc. The problem is zoning and regulations are onerous. It's simply impossible to build anything for low or middle income people and pay rent. We can continue to subsidize rent control but keep in mind everyone else is paying for that in higher taxes. Perhaps we should revisit building code. I know it's not the solution anyone wants to touch but if we make it legal and profitable to build lower quality housing, considering the level of demand, people will build to fill the need.
Nov. 30, 2015, 8:16 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Who am I gonna believe about economics, Billy or Paul Krugman. Hmmmm.... one has a Nobel prize and the other writes wrong things in the comments of the Brooklyn Paper. Hmmm...
Nov. 30, 2015, 11:48 am
Rob from NY says:
The only valid reason to reject the plan is that there is not enough affordable housing, and even that is a stretch since these inclusionary zoning percentages are pretty good.

Sadly, these community board members will one day look back on this as a missed opportunity (and probably last chance) to expand affordable housing in NYC. Obama with his GOP-controlled Congress, and Cuomo with his conservative leanings, will not be forthcoming with funds to build affordable housing outright. And land isn't getting any cheaper.

Maybe community boards should also include people who are wait-listed for NYCHA housing in the district or who grew up there and have already been priced out. Then there would be a voice for expanding housing supply.
Nov. 30, 2015, 11:50 am
BrooklynSandy from Ft Greene says:
When all is said and's all in the hands of the mostly co-opted City Council...from Land Use Committee Chair - David Greenfield -$115,255 of campaign contributions (guess from whom..) David G

to all those "concerned" council member electeds who are using this disingenuous ploy by the Mayor to 'help the underserved'. Please...

Unless there is a 2/3 council override veto of the Mayor's ZQA/MIH proposal...the people of New York City have been screwed ...yet again.
Nov. 30, 2015, 5:38 pm
Schellie from Clinton Hill says:
This is getting interesting. The Mayor didn't expect the universal opposition to his alphabet-scrambled universal zoning. I love the community board who voted No on the basis that they couldn't piece their way through 600 pages of coded information. Now that the tide of the people is against him, our Progressive leader declares the community boards -- the people -- advisory, i.e. negligible. Looks like he didn't expect this. He's going to try to enforce ZQA by executive order. Don't forget, de Blasio owes his office in great part to the developers lobby and what's more lucrative politically and financially than affordable housing. The poor are also just advisory.
Nov. 30, 2015, 5:59 pm
jjm from c. hill says:
Its real simple, the constituents of the borlard saw that so called "affordable" really isnt such to those that have been in the neighborhood through thick & thin. And plus its for 20% of the total units within a building. It should definitely be much higher to maybe 50%. Even if its 60% affordable, the developer would still make a very nice profit from it off of the strength of the market-rate renters.
Nov. 30, 2015, 6 pm
jjm from c. hill says:
Constituents of the board* typo.
Nov. 30, 2015, 6:02 pm
Aaron from Greenwood Hts. says:
And this from a Mayor who championed the downzoning of his neighborhood in 2003 and then the adjacent neighborhood in 2005 when he wan in City Council. Hmmm...
Dec. 1, 2015, 10:37 am
Moses Kestenbaum ODA from Williamsburg says:
Fight the upzoning . We have enough traffic already. Stop the sprawl stop the developments . Poor folks rise up and demand a stop to this mayham
Dec. 1, 2015, 6:09 pm

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