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Broadway Triangle, Still Up in the Air

In the Greenpoint Gazette, Juliet Linderman recaps the current status of the Broadway Triangle rezoning. The judge hearing the case has continued the stay on the project in light of the ongoing investigations of Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Services Corp., one of the groups selected to develop the city-owned sites in the Triangle. In the meantime, the tax abatements that were to help fund it have expired, eliminating at least one reason for quick action.

I’ve said before that the courts – not the land-use process – are the proper place to decide the issues of who got what and who got left out – the process issues. But the plaintiffs suit with regard to the land-use issues is foolish.

the lawsuit wagers that the preliminary planning meetings were exclusive, and that the overall structure of the affordable housing complexes—low-density with a disproportionate number of multiple-room dwellings—are designed specifically for Hasidic families, and neglect the needs of black and Hispanic area residents.

“Low-density” in this case means the same density as every other rezoning that has happened over the past decade in North Brooklyn (OK, with one exception), and roughly the same density as all of the high-rise projects nearby (the tower in the park configuration of these projects yields a surprisingly low density). And the zoning – the R6s and R7s – does not dictate unit size. That is decided by the developers (which goes back to the issues that should be decided in court).

And for all the attention on Ridgewood Bushwick and UJO, it’s worth remembering that the vast majority of the Triangle is privately owned. If history is any guide, those sites will not be built with affordable housing, but they will be built to the maximum building envelope allowed under zoning. And to whatever price and configuration the market will bear.

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