100708tollgowanus.JPGThe development company that's pushing for a special rezoning approval to construct several residential buildings by the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn came under fire at a Neighborhood Association meeting in Carrol Gardens last night, with two local architects dismissing the project renderings as deceptive. Chris McVoy and John Hatheway maintained that the developer, Toll Brothers, has provided renderings that make their tallest building—which would be 12 stories and 125 feet high—look more like 85 feet.

Furthermore, the developer's seductive renderings for a lush esplanade along the canal omit the tall buildings that would turn the promenade "into a canyon"—so McVoy and Hatheway put the buildings into the picture to show what it would really look like. The ambitious project is currently at the mercy of the local community board, and last night the neighborhood association was urged to rally against it. While the rest of the area is awaiting rezoning from manufacturing to residential, Toll Brothers are seeking a "spot-rezoning" for their 3.4-acre property in order to move forward now.

Blogger Pardon Me for Asking was in attendance and reports that the main objections have to do with the out-of-scale height of the largest building, which would "tower over Carroll Gardens' historic core." McVoy and Hatheway presented an alternative, seven story design to give Toll Brothers something to think about, but McVoy also stressed that because the developer "jumped the gun" by moving forward before the area was rezoned, the community now has more leverage over what they want to build. A Community Board meeting last month was indecisive.