To the surprise and consternation of many, City Planning broke out the rubber stamp for the Toll Brothers requested re-zoning of their parcel on the Gowanus Canal. Part of the surprise is that City Planning approved Toll's plans on February 17th . . . while the first inkling members of the community got was from Pardon Me For Asking on February 28th. One more indignity in a process that has been flawed from the beginning.
The Toll Brothers site is being re-zoned, by itself, ahead of the broader Gowanus re-zoning that is currently being studied. Why?
One of the biggest selling points that Toll used in seeking approval for this re-zoning was the promise of affordable housing. It turns out that the affordable housing was a chimera; when CB6 went back to condition their (unfortunate) approval of Toll's plans to condition it upon required inclusion of affordable housing, Toll cried foul.
So now we have a major change of zoning for a parcel that was considered outside of the zoning process for the rest of the Gowanus region, which if approved will have zero requirements for affordable units.
A number of area residents will be at the City Council Zoning Committee Hearing tomorrow to urge the council to vote no to on this one-sided rezoning. Please join us if you can:
Public hearing on the Toll Brothers proposal located at 363-365
Where: City Hall, Committee Room (R to City Hall or A to Chambers St.)
When: March 4, 2009 9:30am
If you are unable to attend in person please send written testimony to
firstname.lastname@example.org and Tgray@council.nyc.gov.
Additional Information about the Zoning & Franchises Subcommittee