BROOKLYN (VINnews/Sandy Eller) – Concerned Borough Parkers are hoping that Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso will join the growing list of those expressing opposition to a requested zoning change that could bring a 93 foot high apartment building to a residential street, during a public hearing to be held next week.
At issue is a parcel of undeveloped land, composed of several lots located on 57th Street between 12th and 13th avenues.
According to an Environmental Assessment Statement submitted by the developer, changing the zoning from R5 to R6A would allow for the construction of an eight story 79,330 square foot building that would be supplemented with a 10 foot tall bulkhead.
Currently, buildings on Borough Park’s residential streets have been restricted to a height of three stories, with taller structures located only on the neighborhood’s avenues.
Several hundred Borough Parkers turned out at a Community Board 12 meeting on April 20th to express their opposition to the zoning change. Community Board 12’s zoning committee voted unanimously against the change, with the full board voting in an advisory capacity to reject the proposal.
A grassroots group opposing the zone change is urging community members to attend the May 15th public hearing held by Reynoso at Brooklyn Borough Hall to continue demonstrating public opposition to the project, with free transportation available from Borough Park.
Resident Avrumi Klein told VIN News that the zoning proposal is similar in many ways to another submitted for a proposed Dyker Heights development. That project, which would have been located on the four lane-wide 86th Street, was withdrawn by the developer after it was soundly rejected by the local community, reported Brooklyn Eagle (bit.ly/41iJjlU).
Klein noted that a major difference between the two projects was that the Dyker Heights developer was a long-time resident of the community, while the Borough Park project is being developed by an outsider. Klein named the developer as Staten Islander John Gulino, Richmond County’s former democratic party chairman, who was named number 12 on the list of 50 most influential Staten Islanders by City & State New York in 2019.
“This developer doesn’t care about the community,” Klein told VIN News, adding that a revised proposal submitted by the developer for a shorter building is meaningless without the initial plans being withdrawn. “It is crucial for people to show up and voice their opinions. We need to show the borough president that Borough Park doesn’t want this.”
Reynoso’s support or rejection of the zone change is just the next step in the process with the final decision resting in the hands of the City Council.