"Is it not cruel to let our city die by degrees, stripped of all her proud monuments, until there will be nothing left of all her history and beauty to inspire our children? If they are not inspired by the past of our city, where will they find the strength to fight for her future?" Jacqueline Kennedy

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Clarett Clears A Hurdle! Gets BSA Application Approval From CB6 Land Use Committee

The Clarett Site at 340 Court Street

Proposed 340 Union Street development

proposed town houses on Sackett Street

At Monday night's Community Board 6 Land Use Committee meeting, the Clarett Group's 340 Court Street project cleared a hurdle in the NYC Board of Standards and Appeals process when the committee voted to approve the BSA application.

Although the project has been stalled due to our injured economy, it was issued a stop work order due to the recent rezoning of the Carroll Gardens neighborhood. The NYC Department of Buildings automatically stops work at development projects when there is a zoning change and requires that developers re-submit their plans to confirm that they meet the revised zoning.

As it turns out, there were a few small differences between what was permitted under the old R6 zoning with quality housing guidelines and the new contextual R6A and R6B zoning. The F.A.R. (Floor Area Ratio - which is a number which determines the allowable size of a building) did not change along the Court Street corridor but was reduced slightly (about 10%) along Union and Sackett Streets but did not significantly change the project. There was a change to the height limits along the side streets which were subject to the R6B zoning and therefore limited to a 50 foot height after a setback at 40 feet. The existing plans included townhouses along the side streets rising to a height of 42 feet without setbacks. This, it is believed, is better than requiring setbacks which would make the new townhouses look out of place compared to the existing streetscape.

As a result of this analysis and in light of the comments of a few people with knowledge of the project and with neighborhood zoning, the Landmarks/Land Use committee of Community Board Six voted to approve the application submitted by Clarett to the
NYC Board of Standards and Appeals to allow their project to proceed as vested under the old zoning requirements.

The representative, Clarett Managing Director Eric Deutsch, said that they consider the 340 Court Street project one of their high priorities and that they intend to proceed as soon as financing allows. He denied that there are any plans to sell the site to another developer.

It was suggested at Monday night's meeting that Clarett should strive to work on improving communications with the community and to reach out to residents to resolve problems.

The hearing in front of the NYC Board Of Standards and Appeals regarding 340 Court Street is scheduled for January 26th.

Related Reading:

Some Work Resumes At Clarett Site On Court Street, Despite Recent Stop Work Order

Clarett Came, Dug...And Blighted?

Clarett To Pause Construction At 340 Court For Next Few Months?

Clarett Keeping Mum About Revised Plans For 'The Collection At Court Street"

Carroll Gardens Not Exactly Loving Clarett's 340 Court Street Design

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