Some Crown Heights residents no longer need to worry about skyscrapers and shopping malls disrupting their residential vibe.
The Department of City Planning unanimously approved the rezoning of 55 blocks in western Crown Heights that will limit the construction of tall buildings and keep mom and pop businesses in the area’s commercial districts.
“They gave us everything we asked for,” said a member of Community Board 8, who declined to give her name but spoke on behalf of the board, which requested the rezoning last year.
“Our primary goal was to prevent large scale development in the neighborhood and that happened, and second was to ensure some form of affordable housing.”
Most of the future building plans will be capped at seven stories in the large swath, which is bound by Atlantic Ave., Pacific, Dean, and Bergen Sts. to the north, Nostrand Ave. to the east, Eastern Parkway to the south, and Washington and Grand Aves. to the west.
Two specific zones in the newly designated area allow taller buildings to have more apartments per building for supplying a certain percentage of affordable housing.
“There is no doubt that policy changes are needed to ensure that housing that is truly affordable to individuals at the median income level for this community is developed and preserved,” said outgoing Councilman Albert Vann (D-Crown Heights), who pushed for the rezoning changes.
The neighborhood is directly on the border with Prospect Heights and has been rapidly gentrifying in the last few years. Both sections of Franklin and Nostrand Aves. have seen trendy bars, restaurants and boutiques pop up in recent months.
The changes have led to skyrocketing rents in the brownstone-filled area, said realtor Jonas Rudofsky.
The previous zoning map would have allowed luxury condos to sprout up between historic homes.
Many of the changes are intended to maintain “the traditional row-house districts, which preserve the scale and harmonious streetscape of neighborhoods of four-story, attached buildings developed during the 19th century,” according to the city’s zoning rules.
The commercial areas around Franklin, Bedford, Rogers and Nostrand Aves. will be limited to smaller businesses like the existing grocery stores, bodegas, bars and boutiques.