Why Resist Proposed Gowanus Rezoning?
The Gowanus area is a beautiful and interesting collection of diverse
neighborhoods and natural beauty – a Brooklyn gem. Our preference
is to help polish the gem, not push through development that will grind
down and destroy its unique character.
Five reasons to resist:
Justice: Public Advocate Jumanne Williams is calling for a racial
impact study prior to any future rezoning proposals, and the Gowanus
Neighborhood Coalition for Justice supports this demand. City Council
members from districts in the impacted area – Brad Lander and Steven Levin – are co-sponsors of Williams’ legislation, so
why are they pushing to rezone Gowanus without it?
Because, it would seem,
rezoning is another
name for a ‘real estate giveaway.’ Don’t forget that James Baldwin famously
wrote: "Urban renewal is ... removal." Do Lander and Levin prioritize their
constituents, or are they siding with developers and their developer dollars?
Environment: An environmental impact study is an absolute necessity.
The Gowanus Canal is a Superfund Site located in a flood zone.
Initiating new development here, in an era when the climate grows only more volatile, simply
defies common sense. A Gowanus rezoning proposal must create an environmental special district with powerful and
clear local oversight.
Net zero combined sewer overflow (CSO) is an
absolute infrastructure investments of any kind must
completely mitigate hydrological
impacts (remember, this is a Superfund Site surrounded by brownfields).
Further, any potential increase in population requires an equivalent per capita investment in mass transit, schools, public green spaces and parks, and other
city services that prioritize health and social resilience.
80/20 or 75/25 low income housing thresholds are a PR scam.
Truly affordable housing, accessible to low-income NYC residents, almost
never actually gets built. We demand housing and community amenities
that prioritize the needs of current residents – including full upfront funding
for our friends and neighbors in local NYCHA housing – as well as preserving
small business owners and local artists who have invested their lives in the
Gowanus area. Development, and public-private partnerships on public land,
often lead to displacement. It must be done right this time.
Superfund Flood Zone:
This point bears repeating, no?!
Extinction Rebellion (xrebellion.nyc) supports the
Gowanus Neighborhood Coalition for Justice (GNCJ.org)