Tomorrow, Tuesday, February 25, Community Board 9 – which encompasses the southern and largely Jewish half of Crown Heights – will gather for their monthly meeting. Among other items on the agenda, the board will vote on whether a study should done on the impact of a zoning change of the Jewish area of the neighborhood from R-2 to 2-6.
Under its current designation, R-2, it is very difficult and costly for a homeowner to obtain the permits necessary from the NYC Dept. of Buildings to expand their home. Such permits would be significantly easier to obtain under an R-6 zoning designation.
Under R-6 as well, the area of livable space per square footage of the plot (FAR) that is allowed for new developments will be significantly increased.
The request for a change in zoning was put forth by the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council.
Supporters of the measure point to the prohibitive and fast-rising cost of housing in the Crown Heights neighborhood. The rising costs are the result of steadily increasing demand for housing, without a corresponding increase in the supply of livable space to meet it.
“An increase in the quantity of livable space will at minimum slow down, if not reduce, the rising cost of rent in the neighborhood,” one supporter of the measure told CrownHeights.info.
“All members of the Crown Heights community, especially homeowners, should come to the meeting and make their voice heard,” said chairman of the board Col. Rabbi Jacob Goldstein. “People often complain to me that the board doesn’t affect change,” he continued, “if you want change to happen, you must get involved.”
The area that would be affected by the zoning change is from Eastern Parkway to Maple Street and Nostrand Avenue to Utica Avenue, an approximate 50-block area.
Community board meetings are open to the public and take place every fourth Tuesday at MS 61 located at 400 Empire Boulevard. The next meeting will take place Tuesday 2/25/14 at 7:00pm.