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NEWS


UPDATE

The May 19th meeting was attended by well over 400 members. It was a packed house and we apologize to all those who could not get in. Paul Graziano did a great job informing us of what needs to be done to stop the Mayor's program to change the way the city is zoned. Marine Park Civic, along with a coalition of many other local civics, intend to fight this plan and do what ever it takes to defeat it. We need your help! Please take the time to read the sample letter below and after putting it into your own words, send it to all the politicians listed. 

 

 

Sample Letter You Can Send To Your Local Politicians

Elected Officials’ Contact Information for Letter Writing Campaign. Every Adult in Each Household Should Write a Letter & a Send Copy to Each Person Listed Below.  
A mailed letter makes a bigger impact than an email

 

Mayor Bill deBlasio, City Hall, New York, NY 10007  BdeBlasio@cityhall.nyc.gov

Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President, 209 Joralemon St., Brooklyn, NY 11201 dreyna@brooklynbp.nyc.gov

Senator Martin Golden, 3604 Quentin Road, Brooklyn, NY 11234 golden@nysenate.gov

Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein, 3520 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11229 WeinstH@assembly.state.ny.us

Assemblywoman Roxanne Persaud, 5318 Avenue N, 1st Floor Store, Brooklyn, NY 11234 PersaudR@assembly.state.ny.us

Councilman Alan Maisel, 2424 Ralph Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11234 AMaisel@council.nyc.gov

Councilman Jumaane D. Williams, 4517 Avenue D, Brooklyn, NY 11203 JWilliams@council.nyc.gov

Melissa Mark-Viverito, Speaker of New York City Council, 105 East 116th St, New York, NY,10029 mviverito@council.nyc.gov

Community Board #18, Attn: Dotty Turano, District Manager, 1097 Bergen Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11234 dturano@cb.nyc.gov

Carl Weisbrod, Chair, City Planning Commission, 22 Reade Street, New York, NY 10007 cweisbrod@planning.nyc.gov

Councilman Vincent Gentile, 8018 5th Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11209 vgentile@council.nyc.gov

 

Date

 

Dear ……..

At a recent Marine Park community meeting I was informed that the Department of City Planning is attempting a zoning proposal which will eliminate zoning regulations and drastically alter the characteristics of suburban neighborhoods.  Under the guise of safe and affordable housing, the new proposal would allow increases in building height, allowable lot coverage, elimination of setbacks and elimination of parking requirements for buildings that qualify as “safe and affordable housing”.  It appears that many zoning controls which now protect neighborhood characteristics will be eliminated completely and substantially increase the density of our neighborhoods.

Neighborhoods that are comprised mainly of one and two family homes with front and rear setbacks and front and rear yards will be adversely affected, directly and indirectly.   A developer could come into my neighborhood, buy two adjoining lots and build townhouses or a larger building totally out of character with the surrounding area.  My concern is that the Department of City Planning is attempting to pass this citywide zoning proposal into law with little publicity and input from those who could be directly affected.  

I request that you vote against this proposal.  My neighbors and I do not want to see our neighborhood and community destroyed by overdevelopment.  I do not want someone building a house next to mine that will block out my sunlight.  I and my neighbors have a financial investment in our homes and have chosen to live here because of the community spirit and the character of our neighborhood.  

Sincerely,
Signed – your name

 

 

Here is a summary of the proposal

Housing  New York  : Zoning for Quality and Affordability
Draft Scope of Work for an Environmental Impact Statement - CEQR NO. 15DCP104Y
Released by the Department of City Planning: February 20, 2015

March 25th, 2015

BRIEF ANALYSIS AND RESPONSE  

The Department of City Planning (DCP) has spent the past year working on a citywide zoning proposal which they purport will respond to the lack of affordable and senior housing in  New York City . This proposal, released with little fanfare or publicity one month ago, will have a public scoping hearing on Wednesday, March 25th, 2015. After this hearing, the Department of City Planning is supposed to digest the responses from the public and rework the scope before the final submission triggers a ULURP action.

Throughout the document, several terms are used repeatedly: modernize, optimize, enhance, best practices, flexibility and reduction/elimination of obstacles. In planner-speak, all of these words mean to do away with or eviscerate the very things that civic organizations, community boards and other groups have fought for - sometimes for decades - to protect our neighborhoods from out-of-scale and inappropriate development.

This remarkable, Real Estate Board of  New York (REBNY)-driven document is a total violation of the expectations of rational and reasonable development in contextual neighborhoods throughout  New York City. Where the term "balance" has often been used to describe the give and take of development practices throughout  New York City , the proposed changes to development practices in the Draft Scope of Work can only be described as a giveaway to developers under the guise of promoting increased affordable and senior housing. In fact, many of the proposed changes have nothing to do with either and are included to help developers realize more buildable floor area in their projects. In other words, there is no "balance" in this proposal whatsoever

Throughout the document, the DCP has stated that the "With-Action" - or approved -  scenario will have the same effect as a "No-Action" - or not approved - scenario, because "the increment would be small and spread throughout the city." This is a disingenuous statement; if the zoning regulations are changed throughout the city in multiple zones in order to facilitate increased development, then, without question, increased development will occur throughout   New York City .   

Across the board, if these proposed changes are adopted. they will create buildings that will be higher, bulkier and have more units as-of-right - and even more so for affordable and senior housing - across the city.  

The key areas that are being discussed are senior housing and elderly care facilities; changes to building heights, setbacks and other regulations; and affordable housing. A brief summary and analysis is included on the following pages. 

1. Senior Housing and Care Facilities  

According to this document, the approach to increasing senior housing is two-fold; allow for bigger and bulkier buildings with an increased number of dwelling units and reduced or total elimination of parking requirements. Additionally, the Department of City Planning is proposing to eliminate special permits and other certificates which are needed to operate elderly care and nursing home facilities and, in a new twist, essentially allow the merging of housing and care facilities.  Other changes include:  

            Increasing the base and overall height of buildings from 10' to 40' on top of the already proposed as-of-right increases for all R6-R10 contextual zone buildings of 5' to 15'.  

            Creating a new lower-density bulk envelope for senior housing and care facilities in R3-R5 zones. The buildings would be able to be 45' to 65' in height (rather than the 35' to 40' height limits which exist today) and would not be required to get additional CPC authorization (most of the time).  

            Increasing the FAR from 5.0 to 6.0 in future R7X and R7-3 Inclusionary Housing Designated Areas. This would also apply to senior housing and care facilities in both existing and future R7X and R7-3 zones. 

  Changes to Parking Requirements:  

            Under the proposed actions, off-street parking requirements would be severely changed in most residential districts:

            Within the Transit Zone, all parking requirements for independent housing for seniors in all multifamily zoning districts would be eliminated.  

            Within the Transit Zone, all existing non-profit residences for the elderly (or simply housing units dedicated to seniors) would be able to eliminate all presently required parking.

            Senior housing of any kind within R6-R10 zones would have no parking requirements, near or far from transit. 

            Senior housing of any kind within R3-2-R5D zones would lower parking requirements to 10% instead of 85%-100% of units as is currently required.

            R6-R10 zones which presently have senior housing would retroactively be able to remove parking requirements through discretionary action by DCP/DOB. This would free up "surface parking lots" which are currently required for senior housing to be eligible for new development. 

2. Changes to Building Height, Setbacks and other Regulations

Under the proposed actions, many contextual zoning controls created in the early 1990s will be reduced significantly or even eliminated entirely; in other cases, such as protective controls in the city-wide Yards Text Amendments which were passed in 2007, these will be eviscerated to the point of being meaningless. Some of the proposed as-of-right changes to non-inclusionary or senior housing (meaning, regular as-of-right development) include:

            Increasing the maximum streetwall and maximum overall height of buildings within contextual zoning districts anywhere from 5' to 15' as-of-right. This will result in at least one additional floor per building.

            Reducing setback requirements in the front yard/streetwall and eliminating the rear yard setback requirements altogether.

            Allowing between 90% and 100% lot coverage for corner buildings for Quality Housing developments and many Special Districts.

            Increasing the maximum height of transition areas (the 25' adjacent to a lower density area, such as an R2, R4A or R6B zone for example) from the adjacent zone maximum base height (between 24' and 50' depending on the zone, but typically 35' to 40') to 65' to 75' thus increasing the height and floor area at the expense of light, air and scale for the adjacent lower-density property.

            Allowing for intrusions into the streetwall setbacks for "better design flexibility"  for between 30-50% of the front facade between 1 and 3 feet in depth.

            Decreasing line-up provisions which, along with maximum streetwall and overall height limits, are one of the key controls in contextual zones. The line-up would   decrease from 15' to 10', allowing for buildings to jut out into the streetscape. Additionally, buildings would only have to line up to the adjacent buildings on either side, not within 150'.    

            Significantly decreasing the width to depth ratio for court provisions, which would have the effect of creating smaller amounts of open space within a building.

            Simplifying retail regulations for ground floor spaces by making the retail spaces significantly shallower than current rules permit.  

            Allowing community facility uses to be located on the same floor as residential  uses, which are currently prohibited.   

            Changing the formulas of minimum square footage required for a legal apartment in order to create "micro-units" of 275 square feet.        

            Encouraging elevated  ground floor residences with ramps in the residential lobby.  

            Rewriting the provisions for shallow lots, which currently require a 30' rear yard if the property is at least 70' deep, with a 1' to 1' ratio for each foot that it is shallower; the new provision would remove 6" needed for a rear yard for every foot less than 95', resulting in much more building and less open space on a shallow lot. This rule would affect all shallow lots, regardless of when they were created after 1961.  

            Significant reduction of required minimum distances between windows and buildings.         

3. Affordable Housing  

According to this document, the approach to increasing affordable housing is similar to senior housing; allow for bigger and bulkier buildings with an increased number of dwelling units and reduced or total elimination of parking requirements. This includes:

            Increasing the base and overall height of buildings from 10' to 40' on top of the already proposed as-of-right increases for all R6-R10 contextual zone buildings of 5' to 15'.  

            Allowing accessory uses, such as laundry rooms, recreation space, trash rooms and mechanicals to be built in the rear yards of buildings up to 15' in height, which are normally required to left open for light, air and space between buildings.

            Encouraging taller buildings on narrow lots in R7-R10 zones by removing the "sliver law" provisions which curtail these out-of-scale buildings, even at off-site affordable housing locations.

            Creating a new, very tall non-contextual building envelope in R6-R10 zones - similar to a new "Special District" - to promote high-density affordable housing along rail lines and highways. Maximum heights would range from 115 to 355 feet.

            Increasing the FAR from 5.0 to 6.0 in future R7X and R7-3 Inclusionary Housing Designated Areas

 Changes to Parking Requirements:  

            Under the proposed actions, off-street parking requirements would be severely  reduced are eliminated in most residential districts:

            Within the "Transit Zone," all qualifying affordable housing would be able to eliminate any parking requirements, regardless of the residential zone in question. Developments that have some affordable units would also be able to reduce and possibly eliminate parking requirements.

            R6-R10 zones would have no parking requirements, near or far from transit.         

            R3-2-R5D zones would lower parking requirements to 10% instead of 85%-100% of units.  

            All future buildings with a mix of affordable and non-affordable units would be eligible to have reduced parking requirements on a case-by-case basis.  

            R6-R10 zones which currently have affordable housing within the "Transit Zone" would be eligible to retroactively remove parking requirements on a case-by-case basis through discretionary action by DCP/DOB. This would free up "surface parking lots" which are currently required for senior housing to be eligible for new development.

Click here to view the 166 page proposal

 

Zoning map for our area

From the Department of City Planning website - http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/zone/zh_r3-2.shtml

R3-2 Zoning - General Residence District

 R3-2 districts are general residence districts that allow a variety of housing types, including low-rise attached houses, small multi­family apartment houses, and detached and semi-detached one- and two-family residences. It is the lowest density zoning district in which multiple dwellings are permitted. Because of their flexibility, R3-2 districts are mapped widely in all boroughs except Manhattan. 

The 0.5 floor area ratio (FAR) may be increased by an attic allowance of up to 20% for the inclusion of space beneath a pitched roof. The perimeter wall may rise to 21 feet before sloping or being set back to a maximum building height of 35 feet. Lots with detached homes must be at least 40 feet wide; if occupied by semi-detached and attached buildings, lots must be at least 18 feet wide. The maximum street wall length for a building on a zoning lot is 125 feet. The maximum lot coverage of any residence is 35%. Front yards must be at least 15 feet deep. Cars may park in the side or rear yard, in the garage or in the front yard within the side lot ribbon; parking is also allowed within the front yard when the lot is wider than 35 feet. One off-street parking space is required for each dwelling unit.

 Department of City Planning website - http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/zone/zh_r4.shtml

 R4 Zoning - General Residence District

 R4 districts allow all types of ­housing at a slightly higher density than permit­ted in R3-2 districts. The floor area ratio (FAR) of 0.75, plus an attic allowance of up to 20% for inclusion of space under the pitched roof common to these districts, ­usually produces buildings with three stories instead of the two-story homes characteristic of R3 districts. Much of the residential development in North Corona in Queens and Arden Heights in Staten Island is typical of R4 districts.

To accommodate a potential third floor beneath a pitched roof, the perimeter wall in R4 districts may rise to 25 feet before being set back to the maximum building height of 35 feet. Front yards must be 10 feet deep or, if deeper, a minimum of 18 feet to provide sufficient space for on-site parking. Cars may park in the side or rear yard, in the garage or in the front yard within the side lot ribbon; the driveway must be within the side lot ribbon unless the lot is wider than 35 feet. Detached houses must have two side yards that total at least 13 feet and each one must be at least five feet wide. Semi-detached buildings need one side yard with a minimum width of eight feet. The maximum street wall length for a building on a single zoning lot is 185 feet. One off-street parking space is required for each dwelling unit.

The definition of As-of-Right:

 If something is zoned in a particular way and what you plan to build is allowed within that zoning, then it is "As-of-Right" and doesn't need any additional approvals beyond getting a building permit with approved plans. This is in contrast to something that needs a SPECIAL PERMIT or VARIANCE, where additional approvals are needed from either the Department of City Planning or the Board of Standards and Appeals.

 For example, if you live in an R2A zone, you can build a single-family house on a 40' x 100' lot or larger; the house and garage cannot exceed 30% lot coverage; minimum setbacks must be 15' front yard, 5' & 8' side yards; and a 30' rear yard; if the front yard is deeper than 15' on both sides of your property, your house must "line up" with the other houses to a depth of 20'. The house cannot be any taller than 21' at the perimeter wall of the entire house, and he height of the building cannot be taller than 35'. The Floor Area Ratio is a .5, meaning that only a 2,000 square foot house may be built on a 4,000 square foot lot, with 300 square feet exemption if a garage is constructed.

 If you meet that criteria for the R2A zone, then you can build "As-of-Right" - otherwise, you will be denied a building permit, or you would have to seek a SPECIAL PERMIT or VARIANCE, both of which are supposed to be given only in very special circumstances.

 


Volunteers Needed: to teach
children and adults how to play chess. Saturday afternoons at the Carmine Carro Community Center, 3000 Fillmore Avenue.

Call Bob  646-552-6640

 


 

New 25 MPH Speed Limit

        The City Council has voted to lower the default speed limit to 25 mph as part of its effort to reduce pedestrian deaths.
      The new speed limit went into effect on Friday,
 Nov. 7, and applies to areas where no other limit is already posted.
        Expressways, parkways and other roads managed by the state Department of Transportation will not be affected by the new law.

 


 

 
Click below for:
 
Crime Stats for the 63d Precinct 

 


 

Lost and Found
Pet Bulletin Board
If you have lost a pet or found one, we now have an outside bulletin board dedicated to lost and found pets. The bulletin board is located outside the Salt Marsh Nature Center. Come by and fill out a card. You can also include a small photo (please put name on the back). We will then post it. No phone calls please.


If you have a complaint or a suggestion on how to solve a problem please call M.P.C.A. Hotline @1.718.336.7343.
We cannot offer any help if we do not know who or where to contact you.
All names/phone numbers will be kept confidential.


If you have concerns, send us an email MPCA@marineparkcivic.com 

Remember…

For the arrest and conviction of anyone who commits Graffiti Vandalism

Call 911 - To report crimes in progress

Call 311 - To report past crimes and to learn more about the NYPD Graffiti Reward Program


 
                                  F R E E D O M
                        "For those who have fought for it, 
                freedom has a taste the protected will never know." 

                       S U P P O R T   O U R   T R O O P S !

 

 

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