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District 38

Alexa Avilés

Gowanus-Red Hook, Park Slope, South Slope, Sunset Park (West), Sunset Park (Central), Green-Wood Cemetery, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Borough Park (West)

> Introduction

The purpose of these principles is to serve as a guiding document to inform all land use decisions in District 38. They reflect the types of plans, land use proposals, and development we wish to see in our district. All proposals that come before the community for consideration – whether from City government or from private developers – must use these principles as their starting point and demonstrate a commitment to  advancing the goals and outcomes identified here. 

The intention of these principles is to help ensure more equitable, inclusive, and community-centered planning for District 38, including around:

  • the creation of truly affordable housing; 
  • addressing the effects of climate change; 
  • the creation of and investment in community-serving uses, infrastructure, and jobs; 
  • the preservation and growth of our industrial sector. 

These needs are especially critical in a district like District 38, who’s residents face some of the highest displacement risk in the city. 53% of renters in District 38 are rent-burdened, meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on rent, while 28% of renters are severely rent-burdened, spending more than 50% of their income on rent. These numbers are even higher for households of color, in a district where 75% of residents are non-white, and close to 50% are foreign-born. 

These principles seek to put the needs of our residents front and center, and place the community on a more proactive footing. 

We recognize that all districts must do their part to address city-wide needs, but they must be able to do so in an equitable manner that is mindful of and addresses local needs. These principles will help strike that balance in a transparent and consistent manner. We look forward to working collaboratively with developers and city agencies to create and adapt proposals that respond to these principles, help advance equity and inclusion, and best serve our community.

Supporting Documents/Links

The links below provide more context on our land use principles, including some of the quantitative data that they are grounded in, and a glossary for some of the terms and concepts addressed here: 

> Housing

  • Proposals on city-owned land must be 100% affordable, with deep AMI levels
  • Proposals must include no net-loss of existing affordable units and the relocation of existing tenants to comparable spaces
  • The following types of proposals are encouraged and will be given special consideration:
    • That are 100% affordable housing, utilizing Housing Preservation and Development subsidy
    • That go beyond Mandatory Inclusionary Housing to maximize deeply affordable housing
    • That include dedicated units for seniors and supportive housing
    • That are in areas with close proximity to public transit
    • That are in areas that have not produced significant new housing in the last decade
    • Mixed-use residential that include light industrial space outside the Industrial Business Zone (IBZ)

City/State/Federal Policies the CM will work for

> Climate

  • Proposals must include measures to help combat the effects of climate change, including:
    • Flood protection, including through stormwater runoff mitigation such as catch basins, bioswales and porous pavement 
    • Increased green space through the use of green roofs, street trees and shaded plazas
    • Energy efficient buildings
    • Reduced or removed parking spaces, especially near public transit
    • Efforts wherever possible to help ensure no net Combined Sewage Overflow
  • Proposals that seek to grow green industries in the district are encouraged and will be given special consideration, including for:
    • Renewable energy – with a preference for community-owned projects
    • Sustainable urban agriculture
    • Green manufacturing

City/State/Federal Policies the CM will work for

  • Investing in renewable energy
    • Electric vehicle charging stations
    • Green manufacturing
    • Particular interest in community-owned projects
  • Investing in infrastructure
    • Sewer upgrades to ensure no net Combined Sewage Overflow
    • Electric grid upgrades
  • Comprehensive planning for the waterfront addressing both climate and economic development goals, including prioritizing maritime uses and freight

> Economic Development

  • Mixed-use proposals, including those with commercial space, must address community needs by including elements such as:
    • Affordable commercial space for local small businesses
    • Retail and/or community facility space that serves a local need (eg. grocery store or daycare)
    • Reduced or removed parking spaces
    • A commitment to local hiring practices, local procurement practices, and providing a living wage – including for leased tenants
  • Industrial Business Zone (IBZ)
    • Proposals for residential development within the IBZ will not be considered
    • Proposals for industrial development in the IBZ, including for green manufacturing, sustainable energy, and use of maritime freight, are encouraged and will be given special consideration
    • Commercial proposals must include dedicated industrial space on the ground floor
    • Waterfront rezonings must include setbacks to accommodate future maritime uses and freight 
  • M Zones outside the IBZ
    • If a proposal includes rezoning for Manufacturing to Residential anywhere outside of the IBZ, there must be a significant public benefit for any consideration, including
      • Deeply affordable housing options
      • Dedicated light manufacturing space
      • Investments to address local infrastructure needs
      • Low-rent commercial space identified by community need 

City/State/Federal Policies the CM will work for

  • Map a core industrial district for the majority of the IBZ
  • Strengthen tax incentives for industrial businesses (like ICAP and REAP)
  • Comprehensive planning for the waterfront addressing both climate and economic development goals, to expand the port and industrial waterfront, including growing maritime uses and freight

> Capital Improvements

  • Proposals should address district investment needs wherever possible, and must match the scale of the project, with a particular need for:
    • Street safety improvements
    • Public & open space (truly public wherever possible, not public-private)
    • Public transit improvements
    • Community facility space
  • Capital improvement commitments must happen before or in conjunction with development and clearly define:
    • Who is responsible for the work
    • Where the money will come from
    • Timeline for implementation
    • Enforcement mechanisms
    • Community engagement component, where the project is of an appropriate scale

City/State/Federal Policies the CM will work for

  • Address promised district investments that are overdue
  • Comprehensive street safety improvements
  • Maintain and create new public and open space
  • Comprehensive public transit improvements
  • Address overcrowded schools and school districts
  • Comprehensive port and pier upgrades
  • Broadband expansion
  • Sewer infrastructure upgrades

> Community Engagement

  • All proposals must explain how they are responding to these land use principles
  • Applicants must come to the community for presentations and feedback early and often throughout the process
    • Applicants must begin the outreach process well in advance of ULURP certification
    • Applicants must put in the resources needed to achieve truly representative outreach
  • Sessions with the public must be structured in a meaningful and inclusive manner, with:
    • Well-documented, accessible information
    • Language access
    • Sessions at different times of day and on weekends
    • Constant feedback through questionnaires, surveys, etc
  • Applicants should seek to partner with local CBOs in their relevant areas of expertise
  • Community must be empowered to change the scope and outcome of proposals when their priorities help to advance the principles outlined here

City/State/Federal Policies the CM will work for

This land use principles document was created in January 2024.

A PDF of the principles can be accessed and downloaded below: