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March 26, 2007

Rachaele Raynoff, Press Secretary -- (212) 720-3471


March 26, 2006 - City Planning Director Amanda M. Burden announced the official start of public review for a rezoning to prevent out-of-character development on roughly160 blocks of Dyker Heights and Ft. Hamilton as promised by Mayor Bloomberg just over a year ago at a town hall meeting in the community. The fine grained rezoning would reinforce existing neighborhood character through the mapping of lower density and contextual zoning districts that reflect the existing detached, semi-detached and small row houses. It would also provide modest opportunities for new commercial and residential development on its main thoroughfares. Local elected officials and Community Board 10 had championed the rezoning as a follow up to City Planning's successful rezoning of neighboring Bay Ridge, adopted in March 2005.

"As Mayor Bloomberg promised, we are proposing new zoning that will protect the unique character of this community by removing the incentive to demolish one and two-family homes in order to build multi-family residential buildings," said Director Burden. "By better reflecting the built fabric of this neighborhood, our rezoning would provide for more predictable development that reinforces its character and strengthens the community's commercial corridors."

The proposed zoning would extend one- and two-family zoning districts to protect much of the area south of Bay Ridge Parkway from out-of-character development. In these lower-density areas, the new zoning would limit the size of medical offices, which had been producing bulkier buildings and raising concerns about parking. In other low-rise areas, primarily north of Bay Ridge Parkway, new contextual districts would be mapped to better reflect the scale of the two and three-story homes. The rezoning would also reduce depths of commercial overlays to prevent commercial uses on the avenues from encroaching on residential side streets.

The proposed zoning would allow modest commercial and residential growth in the neighborhood's wider thoroughfares where it would complement the predominant character of Ft. Hamilton Parkway, 11th Avenue and 13th Avenue north of Bay Ridge Parkway. The new contextual district would allow residential buildings with ground-floor retail at a scale compatible with existing buildings along these corridors. South of Bay Ridge Parkway along 7th Avenue and 13th Avenue the rezoning would map a lower density district with commercial overlays to preserve the existing two- and three-story row houses with ground-floor retail. The rezoning would also extend a commercial district for a two-block area on 86th Street, the area's commercial core, between the Gowanus Expressway and 7th Avenue, allowing for new mid-density commercial or residential buildings.

The community board now has 60 days to review the proposal, after which it will go to the Borough President, the City Planning Commission and the City Council as part of the City's Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP). For specifics of the zoning proposal or more details on the ULURP timeline, please visit the DCP website.

Department of City Planning
The Department of City Planning is responsible for the City's physical and socioeconomic planning, including land use and environmental review; preparation of plans and policies; and provision of technical assistance and planning information to government agencies, public officials, and community boards.

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