Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Atlantic Yards site in (crazy-quilt) zoning context

The Department of City Planning's new Zoning and Land Use application, aka ZoLa, offers a new way to find city zoning and other rules, though the department cautions that it "is provided solely for informational purposes," with no promises of accuracy.

Indeed, a look at the area around and including the Atlantic Yards site shows that the map had not caught up with reality, as Fifth Avenue between Flatbush and Atlantic avenues, and Pacific Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues, and between Carlton and Vanderbilt avenues, had not been demapped.



Moreover, several buildings remain on the site, whereas now all of those needed for the first phase are gone, and that little triangle just east of the C6-2 designation, home to the Brooklyn Bear's Garden, seems to be designated as vacant land.

But what is remarkable is the diversity of the site, a railyard north of Pacific Street zoned for low-rise manufacturing (M-1), a western parcel zoned for big development (C6-1), a southeast block zoned mainly for manufacturing, neighboring "fingers" outlined in heavy blue indicating a historic district, residential on Pacific and Dean streets in the southwest portion of the site, and commercial overlays on Flatbush (including within the site), and on Vanderbilt bordering the site.

No wonder developer Forest City Ratner sought and got a state override of zoning, especially for that arbitrary plot of land just 100 feet east of Sixth Avenue between Dean and Pacific streets.



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