| Project Update: March 11, 2009
|A public scoping meeting was held on the proposed Gowanus Rezoning and Related Actions on Tuesday March 10, 2009, at the Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn, New York 11201. More information is available here.
| Project Update: May 29, 2008
| A draft zoning proposal for the Gowanus Canal area was presented at a public meeting on May 29, 2008. View the draft proposal.
The Gowanus Canal
The Department of City Planning has initiated a study of the Gowanus Canal corridor to establish a comprehensive framework to guide future land use changes. This effort responds to requests from the local community to establish a dialogue on land use issues in the Gowanus Canal area.
The Gowanus Canal is a 1.5 mile-long man-made waterway extending northward from the Gowanus Bay. It lies within a valley, with the blocks along its eastern and western banks rising in grade to the adjacent neighborhoods of Carroll Gardens and Park Slope. The canal was created in the late 1860s as an industrial waterway for barged materials. In the following decades, surrounding land was used for a wide range of industrial activities including heavy manufacturing, as well as the storage and distribution of materials used to build and maintain the adjacent residential neighborhoods.
In recent decades, the nature of activity along the canal has changed. Portions of the land along the canal are still strongly industrial in character. However, manufacturing and industrial uses are no longer present in other locations, leaving substantial parcels of vacant and underutilized land. Other areas near the canal contain a mix of uses, including housing and community facilities. A concentration of existing, non-conforming residential uses exists on the east side of the canal near Carroll Street. Commercial and light industrial activities are scattered through much of the area, with the greatest concentration in the area south of Third Street. As continuing efforts to improve water quality in the canal have progressed, notably with the reactivation of the flushing tunnel at the head of the canal in 1999, area residents have expressed interest in creating opportunities for future recreation and open space at its edge.
The framework for the Gowanus Canal area identified areas where future housing or mixed use may be appropriate, as well as areas to be maintained for continued industrial and commercial use. It also proposed key urban design principles for areas where such land use changes could occur. The Department has since translated the parameters of the framework into a draft zoning proposal, which can be seen here