042908carrollgardens.jpgIn response to complaints about out-of-scale development, the Department of City Planning is proposing a zoning amendment to six streets in Carroll Gardens. This would classify certain streets in Carroll Gardens as narrow streets for zoning purposes and “limit the size and configuration of new buildings and enlargements to more closely match the area's prevailing character.”

Many of the 19th century homes have coveted deep front yards, thanks to the Brooklyn Law of 1846 that required 33 feet and 5 ¼ inches front gardens on 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Places (hence the neighborhood’s name). Along with rising home values, Carroll Gardens has seen its share of out-of-context development on low-rise brownstone blocks. City Council member Bill de Blasio views the amendment as a first step “towards a neighborhood-wide downzoning.”

Streets affected by the proposed text amendment would be 1st Place, 2nd Place, 3rd Place and 4th Place; 2nd Street, Carroll Street and President Street between Smith Street and Hoyt Street. The local community board supports the change, which must be approved by the City Council, but some local residents say the downzoning will prevent them from building additions to their homes. Borough President Marty Markowitz is in favor and will hold a public hearing on the matter May 7th.

Photo of Carroll Gardens brownstones courtesy nrvlowdown.