Pratt Center

February 25, 2019

Supporting a community's vision for balanced mixed industrial/residential use

Testimony before the New York City Planning Commission
By Paula Crespo, Senior Planner
February 13, 2019

Good morning Commissioners; thank you for this opportunity to testify. I am Paula Crespo, a planner at the Pratt Center for Community Development, and we have strong concerns about the private rezoning applications for 1010 and 1050 Pacific Street. These are not responsive to community priorities and are premature given the City’s current efforts to develop new industrial land use policy.

For the last five years, Brooklyn Community Board 8’s Land Use Committee – with support from Councilmember Cumbo and Borough President Adams -- has been diligently working on a proposal to create a balanced mixed-use industrial and housing zoning district for six blocks that are currently zoned M1-1. These two rezoning applications are located in this area, and they fly in the face of this community-crafted vision for fostering genuine mixed-use development. The owners of 1010 Pacific are seeking a zoning designation that does not allow for any industrial uses, while the owners of 1050 Pacific are applying for the misleadingly-named “mixed-use” designation known as MX. However, while MX allows for light industrial, it does not actually require or even incentivize any amount of light industrial. Thanks to the dynamics of real estate economics, these types of zones have a strong tendency to result in residential and commercial development that is devoid of any industrial uses.

On a broader level, these rezoning applications and much of DCP’s draft framework for rezoning the six-block area are completely inconsistent with other DCP policy formulations including the recently released North Brooklyn Industry & Innovation Plan and the Industrial Business Incentive Area strategy exemplified by 25 Kent. This plan, whose original intent was to create new mixed-use zoning templates for North Brooklyn that could be applied to other parts of the City, includes FAR incentives to encourage the creation of industrial space. The special permit that was granted for 25 Kent Avenue in Williamsburg last year includes similar incentives.

In conclusion, landowners are asking for the right to develop much more than they are currently allowed and not only are they not being required to set aside space for industrial uses, but the new zoning they’re seeking doesn’t even incentivize the creation of industrial space. This contradicts the community’s vision for promoting development that allows landowners to reap the financial benefits of building new housing while also creating space for industrial businesses and the jobs they provide to City residents.

 

For more information, please contact: Adam Friedman, Executive Director at (718) 637-8640 or afriedman@prattcenter.net

NOTE: This testimony was prepared by the Pratt Center for Community Development. It does not necessarily reflect the official position of Pratt Institute.

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