June 18, 2003
Affairs Officer -- (212) 720-3471
DEPARTMENT OF CITY PLANNING
UNVEILS COMPREHENSIVE LAND USE AND WATERFRONT PLAN
June 18, 2003, New York, NY - Deputy Mayor for Economic
Development & Rebuilding Daniel L. Doctoroff and
Department of City Planning (DCP) Director Amanda M.
Burden today unveiled the Bloomberg Administration's
ambitious proposal for the rezoning of Brooklyn's Greenpoint
and Williamsburg neighborhoods. Carefully crafted to
reflect the unique character of these neighborhoods,
the proposal encompasses a 1.6-mile stretch of the Brooklyn
Waterfront, and approximately 170 blocks in the Greenpoint-Williamsburg
area. The proposed rezoning provides opportunities for
the development of housing and neighborhood retail,
the creation of much-needed public open space, and the
forging of new links between the waterfront and upland
communities of Greenpoint and Williamsburg. This proposed
rezoning is a result of a collaborative effort with
the community that addresses their long-standing desire
to achieve access to and along the East River waterfront.
"The rezoning of the Greenpoint-Williamsburg area
focuses on two of the Administration's highest priorities
- the creation of affordable housing and increasing
access to the waterfront," said Deputy Mayor Daniel
Doctoroff. "This proposal is a key component of
our continuing efforts to create 65,000 new affordable
housing units over the next five years as outlined in
the Mayor's Housing Plan, and will be a tremendous step
forward in reconnecting Brooklynites to the waterfront
and creating public access to open space for residents
and workers to enjoy for years to come. At the same
time, this Administration is sensitive to the fact that
manufacturing is an integral part of the character and
history of the Greenpoint-Williamsburg community, and
our plan is designed to allow light industry and residences
"Greenpoint and Williamsburg are truly among New
York City's greatest assets - neighborhoods with a distinctive
character, a thriving mix of uses, a vibrant cultural
life, and a waterfront with extraordinary potential,"
said DCP Director Amanda Burden. "The plan builds
on the strengths of both neighborhoods and is tailored
to permit housing development that will leverage new
opportunities to revitalize nearly two miles of East
River waterfront that have been derelict and inaccessible
to the community for decades. We are at the beginning
of a very long process and we are committed to working
closely with the community to make this proposal a reality."
The detailed urban design plan proposed by the Bloomberg
Administration envisions 49 acres of publicly accessible
open space along the waterfront including a continuous
esplanade along two miles of the East River waterfront.
New development would be required to provide a continuous
waterfront walkway, sidewalks and streets connecting
the waterfront to existing neighborhoods, and additional
public spaces to complement existing parks on the waterfront.
The plan also embraces NYC2012's Olympic bid plans for
beach volleyball and archery venues between North 7th
and North 14th Streets on the Williamsburg waterfront.
In addition, the proposed Greenpoint-Williamsburg rezoning
calls for new housing in a variety of forms and heights
along the waterfront that will provide a compelling
skyline, a sensitive transition to the adjoining neighborhoods,
and a pedestrian-friendly streetscape. Further inland,
the proposal includes a careful mix of zoning districts,
which would allow these neighborhoods to fill in and
grow at a scale consistent with their established character.
City Planning is working closely with the Department
of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and the
Housing Development Corporation (HDC) to address the
need for affordable housing in Greenpoint Williamsburg.
As with its projects elsewhere in the City, at least
half of the new units in HPD and HDC-sponsored housing
developments would be set-aside to be rented or sold
to current residents of the community.
Lastly, the proposed zoning would permit light industry
and residences to coexist, recognizing that Greenpoint-Williamsburg's
vitality is grounded in these patterns. In areas containing
concentrations of industrial activity, including companies
like Domino Sugar and the Brooklyn Brewery, the plan
calls for the preservation of these manufacturing districts.
Over the next several months, DCP will be reviewing
the details of the plan with Community Board 1, business,
neighborhood and civic groups, as well as elected officials.
A public scoping session for an Environmental Impact
Statement (EIS) will be held in September. Once the
EIS is complete, the project could be certified for
ULURP review by January, beginning the formal, seven-month
public review process.
About 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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