Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Why Resist Proposed Gowanus Rezoning? #NoGowanusRezone

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?!



For more information, and to sign a petition related to these demands, please visit:



Extinction Rebellion ( supports the

Gowanus Neighborhood Coalition for Justice (


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