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Gowanus rezoning framework focuses on affordable housing, green space

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The framework is a lead up to the creation of a comprehensive neighborhood plan that will enable the rezoning

Eastern Effects Gowanus tour Photo by Max Touhey

Nearly two years after the city decided to commission a rezoning study of Gowanus, the Department of City Planning has now released a framework for that rezoning. While the final details of the plan are bound to change as the proposal officially enters the city’s Uniform Land Use Procedure (ULURP), the plan now lays out the priorities of local residents, the city administration, and elected officials representing Gowanus.

“We are not naive: issues of growth and development in New York City are complex, and not everyone will agree,” said City Council members Brad Lander, and Stephen Levin, in a joint statement. “And we know there is much hard work still to come. But we believe this framework gets the balance right for thoughtful growth with truly shared benefits.”

Some of the salient features of the framework are as follows:

  • Buildings and infrastructure that will be prepared for rising sea levels and floods.
  • More open and green space along the Gowanus Canal.
  • Promoting walking and biking in the neighborhood; and promoting safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers.
  • Preserving the existing NYCHA buildings in the neighborhood, and requiring that new residential development have an affordable housing component.
  • Creating more job and training opportunities within the neighborhood.

The creation of the framework follows over 100 hours of meetings and neighborhood events, and there’s still a long way to go. The city is hopeful that this framework will develop a concrete neighborhood plan, which will be worked on in the coming months. There will also be a strong focus on remediating industrial pollution in the neighborhood, and addressing climate change.

“As we move to transform Gowanus into an eco-friendly community for New York families and businesses alike, we seek to preserve and create affordable housing, protect and grow jobs and businesses, and clean up parks and waterways,” said Marisa Lago, the head of the Department of City Planning, in a statement.

The city will host an open house to discuss this framework plan on Wednesday, June 27, from 5-8:30 p.m. at P.S. 32, located at 317 Hoyt Street. Local residents can also comment on the framework plan online.