This is the Rezoning Request MTOPP placed with City Planning on August 4, 2014.
August 4, 2014
Ms. Purnima Kapur
Brooklyn Borough Office
NYC Dept of City Planning
16 Court St. 7th Fl
Brooklyn, NY 11241-0103
Re: Rezoning Request
Dear Ms. Kapur:
MTOPP a community based organization is presenting this request and is speaking for some of the home owners, tenants and business owners of New Directions In Healing Inc., 100 Sterling St. Block Assn., 200 Sterling Street Block, 901 Washington Ave Tenant Assn, Sterling Street B&W Block Assn, and Lefferts Alliance Community Togetherness.
On April 7, 2014 Community Board 9 submitted a Corrected Resolution for rezoning of Empire Blvd. In the Fifth Paragraph Number 4) Increase residential and retail density along transit and commercial corridors including Empire Boulevard.
The residents who reside on the perimeter of Empire Blvd were not informed that this request was submitted.
After several discussions, presentations by professionals, local representatives and meetings, amongst the members of the community, we have come to the following resolution:
We do not want to change Empire Blvd from a commercial to a mixed residential zone.
Our reasons are:
1. According to the 2010 Census Tract Prospect Leffarts Garden is the densest populated area and also one of the most affordable communities in Brooklyn according to The Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy. They ranked us #2 in rent stabilized units in Brooklyn. However, because of the strong interest in our community and the strength of our housing market, we are at great risk of losing thousands of affordable units, if more luxury buildings are built.
- According to the Mayor’s Five Borough – Ten Year Plan the objective is to “…Preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing.” pg 13.
- The Plan also acknowledges… “Many buildings that…are in strong markets are likely to….leave rent regulation.” Pg. 54
- This market strength is support by The Forman Center statistics which state that 28 building permits were issued in 2012 in Prospect Leffarts Garden and in 2013 it was 169, an increase of over 600%! Our ranking in Building Permits in Brooklyn, moved from 55 in 2000 to 13 in 2013.
- The New York Times has also reported on 3/16/14, that the “amount of (current) development is largely unheard of (in Prospect Leffarts Garden).”
- The Mayor also stated “If you are in a community where affordability is disappearing, we want to help.” Page 1
- The Mayor’s plan has stated they will help to preserve existing affordable neighborhoods by pursuing “…a more targeted, neighborhood base approach to preservation, by identifying the needs and engaging with the community etc…
- The creation of “new development (luxury) will push rental rates upward (in Prospect Leffarts Garden)”. New York Times 3/16/14
5. We want to preserve our affordable community.
6. The increase in density (number of people) and heights of the buildings will escalate; crime, congestion, air quality, noise pollution, shadows, water and sewer, neighborhood character, green house gas emissions, sanitation and waste infrastructure, open space, social/economic conditions and parking.
7. The proposed change will have an adverse effect upon our standard of living and change the character of our Brooklyn community.
8. We also see the need to modify and protect Empire Blvd and the surrounding community to preserve the existing character of the neighborhood.
Thus we are requesting that Empire Blvd have contextual zoning based upon the existing commercial structures.
- Prevent/limit out of context (i.e. high-rise) commercial development in the CB2 area of Empire Blvd.
- Transform the physical structure of Empire to accommodate the newly arriving more affluent community and at the same time protect the current small business owners and shops that run along Flatbush Ave.
- Create opportunities to increase small business enterprises along Empire Blvd in the form of restaurants, cafes, and upscale boutiques.
- Transform Empire Blvd into 45 degree parking to accommodate more parking on the Blvd, without it imposing a burden upon the residential parking spaces.
- Plant Trees along the Blvd, to increase it’s beauty and positive environmental effects on the community.
- Place more decorative street lamps to enhance the beauty of the Blvd and diminish light pollution.
- Limit commercial construction that will be out of context with plans to enhance and beatify Empire Blvd. i.e. no storage units, night clubs, Dive Bars, Liquor Stores etc..
- The creation of a Tourist center, with information, providing opportunity to bring in wealth into the community and to support the commercial enterprises on Empire Blvd.
We are requesting these changes to ensure that the opportunities afforded all other communities surrounding Prospect Park and within District 9 are awarded to us. The right to preserve, protect and maintain our homes, apartments, community and way of life.
MTOPP, The Movement To Protect The People