DNA's Plan for Dumbo Rezoing

In a follow up article from The Architect’s Newspaper, reporter Matt Chaban attended the Dumbo Neighborhood Association’s press conference yesterday.

The city has not released details about its plan, but a Department of City Planning spokesperson told AN that the area under consideration is much smaller, only making up 12 of the 20 blocks that comprise the Dumbo historic district. Both Gallo and Graziano said they hope to encourage the city to do more.

Like many of the rezonings that have taken place during the Michael R. Bloomberg administration, both the community and city plans seek to update a zoning map largely dating to 1961. A major feature of the older zoning that concerns Graziano and the community is the lack of building height limits in the area’s residential and manufacturing lots, which has led to spindly towers such as Two Trees, where the bulk is stacked up on only a corner of the lot.

As a result, Graziano has proposed a mix of R6, R7, and R8 contextual zones tied to neighboring buildings. This would cap buildings heights between 50 and 120 feet but still allow for high densities, which would simply be spread across the site while eliminating the potential for setback towers. “Because the area has historically been zoned for manufacturing, that allowed for greater densities than were probably appropriate,” Graziano said. “Now that we’re shifting to a residential focus, we can address that.”

According to the Save the Brooklyn Bridge group, the press conference was successful in conveying the plan to the neighborhood:

“The plan is a neighborhood-wide zoning plan that proposes a consistent, context-based, respectful updating of the old 1961 industrial zoning of sensitive parcels community wide including Dock Street and the York Street parking lot next to 70 Washington.

Dock Street Site:
Currently – M1-2 zoning with an industrial FAR of 2.0 and no height limit
Developer Proposal – R8 zoning with a residential FAR of 6.02 and no height limit (currently the 18 story building)
Our Proposal – R7B zoning with a residential FAR of 3.0 and a height limit of 75 feet (just below the height of the Brooklyn Bridge roadway)

York Street Parking Lot:
Currently – R7-1 zoning with a residential FAR of 3.44 and no height limit
Developer Proposal – TBD
Our Proposal – R7B zoning with a residential FAR of 3.0 and a height limit of 75 feet”

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