Upzoning in Williamsburg

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

One of Mayor Bloomberg’s lasting legacies, whether or not he goes on to a third, will be his rezonings. He’s undertaken 97 of them, more than any other mayor since 1961. Most of them were actually downzonings in outlying neighborhoods like Canarsie—where the city actually limits building heights or outlaws apartment buildings. The ones that are more controversial are upzonings, where the city has allowed taller and bigger buildings to be built.

WNYC looked at one such rezoning today: Greenpoint and Williamsburg. Approved in 2005, the rezoning has made progress on some fronts (new affordable housing is actually keeping pace with market-rate housing) and fallen short on others (it took a year to establish a fund to help displaced industrial businesses). But all in all, the most striking conclusion is just how long the rezoning is taking to play out. Planners had thought the changes spurred by the rezoning would have mostly taken place by 2013. Now the Bloomberg administration is saying it’ll be more like 2019.

That means that even if Mayor Bloomberg wins a third term, he’ll be out of office by the time people can truly say the rezoning was a net benefit for the neighborhood, and the city.


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Comments [2]


what has the industrial fund $$ been spent on?

Jul. 16 2009 10:54 AM
Sasha Sumner

MOST UNPOPULAR SITE: 444 Graham Ave. is a construction site, where the developer wants to put 14 story condos. The rezoning, which would restrict to 5 floors, will not go into effect until early September '09. If the foundation is completed before rezoning then the community, which is largely against this, will be subjected to another foreboding high-rise. This is already a dense neighborhood and does not need a huge building put right in the middle of a block surrounded by other smaller houses. If anyone has any ideas or energy to put toward stopping this construction I'd be very interested join forces.

Jul. 15 2009 11:35 AM

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