City Releases Framework for Gowanus Rezoning

June 2018

On Monday, the Department of City Planning, in partnership with a number of other city agencies, released a framework for future development of the Gowanus neighborhood. The framework will serve as the basis for a rezoning proposal affecting the area around the Gowanus Canal. In addition to land use recommendations, the framework outlines the goals of a comprehensive plan for the area, addressing environmental remediation and cleanup, resiliency and management of flood risk, public open space, jobs, housing, infrastructure needs, and mobility and transportation safety concerns.

The framework also outlines general land use criteria for the blocks around the Canal, which today are primarily zoned for manufacturing use. At this point, the framework’s recommendations are general. It proposes to rezone the blocks adjacent to the Canal to permit residential use, at a “medium to moderate density,” along with a mix of other uses, including commercial, light industrial and arts-related establishments. Blocks adjacent to the Canal will be subject to a Waterfront Access Plan and will be required to provide publicly accessible open space, including public walkways and connections from the street. Additionally, the framework proposes to apply the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program to this area, as well as a strip along Fourth Avenue that is currently already partially zoned for residential use. This would mandate affordable housing. The framework proposes to maintain the manufacturing zoning designation for selected areas, including the Industrial Business Zone at the south end of the Canal.

Flexibility in terms of height and overall density will be necessary if new development in the Gowanus area is to achieve all of the goals set forth in the framework. There will be a number of public meetings on the framework this summer and the document anticipates that a draft zoning proposal will be released next winter. The proposal will then go through the ULURP process. We continue to follow this closely and will keep you updated.

Should you have any questions, please contact:

Mitchell Korbey at +1 212 592 1483 or [email protected]  

© 2018 Herrick, Feinstein LLP. This alert is provided by Herrick, Feinstein LLP to keep its clients and other interested parties informed of current legal developments that may affect or otherwise be of interest to them. The information is not intended as legal advice or legal opinion and should not be construed as such.