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City Hits Brighton Beach Overdevelopment: Does It Matter?

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[Photo courtesy of Igor Kossov/City Limits]

We hate to call this a case of closing the barn door after the horse already left and is being put to sleep as we speak, but the city is considering rezoning Brighton Beach. Please don't fall asleep. We realize that zoning is the conceptual equivalent of Ambien or Lunesta and that Brighton Beach doesn't rank high on many New Yorker's priority lists except those who pine for good old days of the USSR and Leonid Brezhnev. In any case, City Limits reports this week that "after years of haphazard building construction that's played havoc with community development, Brighton Beach may finally see some relief." Next month, City Planning is starting the final review for zoning changes for the neighborhood that would represent a massive zoning change, including height limits that would prevent things like 12-story buidings going up next to two-story bungalows. City Planning is proud of the solution but a lot of residents say it's too little, too late. Under the plan, about 80 percent of the neighborhood would have a height limit of four stories. Buildings on commercial strips could go to eight stories and to ten stories on one avenue. Which is all well and good, but Brighton Beach's biggest problem for the next five years may be unsold condos, bankrupt developers, empty lots and half-built buildings. But the zoning will be there when the next boom comes.
· Rezoning Too Late for Brighton Beach? [City Limits]