This plan is a combination of zoning changes, housing subsidy commitments, service commitments, capital investment, and economic development strategies which affect areas of Council Member Rafael Espinal’s 37th District and Council Member Inez Barron’s 42nd District.
Note, this summary and the illustrative maps are for informational purposes only and are not meant to serve as a substitute for the zoning text and the zoning map amendment.
What are the goals of the East New York Community Plan?
The de Blasio administration has stated four goals of the plan: promote affordable housing preservation and development; encourage economic development; create pedestrian-friendly streets; and introduce new community resources to support the long-term growth and sustainability of East New York, Cypress Hills and Ocean Hill.
What specific land use actions did the City Council review?
While the Council reviewed the entire plan, the Charter gives the Council the power to approve, modify, or disapprove certain land use actions contained within the proposal. However, any changes made by the City Council had to be “within scope”—which means that any proposed changes had to be on the same topic and within the boundaries of what was studied in the Environmental Impact Statement.
Here are the land use actions that were reviewed:
- Zoning text amendments:
- A Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Area was mapped in the rezoning area in East New York and Ocean Hill. New buildings may comply with this zoning with either Option 1 (25% of housing at average of 60% AMI with 10% set aside for 40% AMI) or the Deep Affordability Option (20% of housing at 40% AMI). See the Council page on Mandatory Inclusionary Housing for more information.
- Additionally, enhanced commercial districts were mapped along major corridors. This zoning requires non-residential ground floor uses for new development as well as transparent ground floor facades (i.e. glass storefronts). Along Fulton Street new buildings have to be set back five feet at curb level to separate such buildings from the elevated train and provide more space for pedestrians.
- This plan also established mixed-use districts so that manufacturing and residential uses can be developed within the same zoning districts in certain areas.
- Zoning map amendment to allow for significantly more residential density along the major commercial corridors, particularly Atlantic Avenue. Please see the final zoning maps for East New York and Ocean Hill for more details.
- Disposition of City Owned Land for a parcel of land (Block 4142, Lot 32) within the Dinsmore-Chestnut Urban Renewal Area and an amendment to the Urban Renewal Plan for the Dinsmore-Chestnut Urban Renewal Area. These actions allow the City to sell or lease a city-owned parcel for the development of affordable housing and potentially other uses.
What else is in the plan?
In addition the above land use actions, the administration has made public commitments regarding housing subsidies, capital expenditures, and economic development strategies. Below are some highlights from these commitments.
The Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) has created an East New York Housing Plan, which would be implemented as part of the East New York Plan.
The plan brings Mandatory Inclusionary Housing to East New York, and the City is also committing to building more than 1,300 units of affordable housing within the next two years. Fifty percent of all new housing will be affordable. Hundreds of homeless families will be moved out of shelters and into stable, affordable housing.
The East New York Plan also provides a variety of financial and legal services to homeowners, tenants, and first-time home buyers.
- HPD has committed to developing over 1,200 units of affordable housing within the next two years plus over an additional 100 units at a city owned site at the intersection of Christopher Avenue and Glenmore Avenue.
- HPD has committed that 50 percent of all new housing developed in East New York will be affordable
- On public and private sites, new housing will largely be financed with HPD’s Extremely Low & Low-Income Affordability (ELLA) Program.
- While optional for private sites, on public sites the City can require that a developer use ELLA and produce affordable housing.
- At the Christopher/Glenmore site and the Dinsmore/Chestnut site, HPD will achieve even deeper affordability than the ELLA termsheet would normally require.
- HPD will implement Mandatory Inclusionary Housing in East New York.
- HPD has committed to preserving the affordability of government-assisted housing by renewing all regulatory agreements in East New York to the extent possible.
- The City will Dedicate 500 LINC vouchers to help move 500 homeless families out of shelters and into stable, affordable housing.
- The City will commit to close the Hector’s Court shelter in FY 17 and complete the closure of shelter units at 1801 Pitkin Avenue and 247 Vermont Avenue by the end of FY16. HRA and HPD will make every reasonable effort to convert these cluster homeless units and shelter units to affordable housing.
- HPD will study the feasibility of affordable housing development on the Grant Avenue Municipal Parking Lot.
- HPD has committed to implementing the Green Housing Preservation Program, which would bring small and mid-size buildings into affordability regulatory agreements by financing energy and water conservation improvements and moderate rehabilitation.
- The City will convene a working group to study barriers related to legalizing basement units in East New York including $12 million in funding to support conversions or other small home repairs should conversions prove impractical.
- HPD will establish a dedicated Homeowner Helpdesk in the community with financial and legal counselors to help homeowners modify mortgages, prevent foreclosures, access home repair and weatherization loans, and address scams such as deed thefts and other issues.
- HPD will market loans and grant-funding to East New York low-income homeowners for critical repairs including the Home Improvement Program, the Senior Citizen Home Assistance Program, and funds from Project Help.
- HPD will support the community’s efforts to study the feasibility of establishing a Cease and Desist Zone to protect homeowners from unwanted solicitation.
- HPD will assist low-income, first-time homebuyers in East New York with the HomeFirst Down Payment Assistance Program, which provides up to $15,000 toward the down payment or closing costs on a one- to four-family home, condominium, or cooperative.
- The Human Resources Administration (HRA) is providing legal services for tenants in the neighborhood who need to go to housing court for at least five more years from plan adoption.
- HPD will pilot a Neighborhood Retail Preservation Program requiring new development to set aside discounted space for local businesses.
- HPD will work with DEP to implement water rate relief programs for low-income homeowners and affordable housing, including the Home Water Assistance Program and the Multifamily Water Assistance Program.
Under the East New York Plan, the city will build a 1,000-seat primary and intermediate school in the neighborhood. It also outlines new investments in schools and childcare, transportation infrastructure, local parks and community centers, and environmental improvement projects.
Roads will be redesigned with bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in mind. East New York streets will also get new infrastructure to manage storm water. Public spaces, like existing parks and playgrounds, will be renovated and a new community center will be built.
- Investment in schools:
- The School Construction Authority has committed to building a 1,000 seat primary and intermediate school in the neighborhood.
- The City will fund up to $17.45 million in SCA School Improvement projects for existing schools in the neighborhood.
- The City will fund the acquisition and/or renovation of a new childcare center in East New York with $2.8 million.
- Investment in transportation and infrastructure:
- The Department of Transportation (DOT) has committed to redeveloping Atlantic Avenue including added pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure with $40.8 million.
- DOT has committed to completing its redevelopment of the bus waiting area in front of the Broadway Junction subway complex.
- DOT has committed to widening sidewalks, add new vendor kiosks, seating and plantings to the median, and improving access to Callahan-Kelly Playground.
- DOT has committed to redesigning the surface street grid in front of Broadway Junction.
- DOT will spend $412,000 to repave roads on Fulton Street from Essex to Hale and on Ridgewood Ave from Jamaica to Elton, Euclid to Eldert.
- DOT is installing new bike lanes on Pitkin Avenue.
- The City will spend $1.7 million to install conduit for broadband along Atlantic Avenue to bring high-speed broadband to residential areas of East New York.
- Investment in local parks:
- DPR will spend $18.1 million to renovate Callahan-Kelly Playground including a new comfort station, reconstruction of existing basketball courts, new adult fitness equipment, playground renovation, new seating and landscaping, and a potential new skate park.
- DPR will spend $13.1 million to upgrades Highland Park including the following:
- Lower Playground improvement with new amenities, which could include: play equipment designed for ages 5-12, a new spray shower, expanded planted areas, and enhanced perimeter pathways.
- Renovation of BBQ area in Upper Highland Park to include new paths, picnic tables, and grills.
- Renovation of Asphalt pathways throughout the park, including to the children’s garden and tennis courts.
- Improvements to Upper and Lower Highland Park comfort stations.
- Upgrades to Jamaica Avenue Sidewalks.
- Reconstruction of handball courts and chain link fence.
- Creation of a dog run.
- The City will spend $10 million to convert 127 Pennsylvania Avenue into a multi-purpose NYPD community center with a variety of programs for young people. This center will offer a range of programs led by community and police partners for youth between 12-19. The City will invest in a significant interior renovation of the building.
- The Department of Parks and Recreation (Parks) has committed to redeveloping a one-acre asphalt area of City Line Park into a new neighborhood park with $5.2 million.
- Through the City’s Schoolyards-to-Playground program, both PS 677-East Elementary School of Excellence and PS 345-Patrolman Robert Bolden will open for community use after school hours and on weekends. Additionally, part of the play yard at PS 345 will be resurfaced and new play equipment will be installed. Capital Funding: $1.3 million.
- The City will spend $500,000 to update the play area at NYCHA’s Fiorentino Plaza, including the leveling of the area and immediate grounds area, the installation of new rubberized safety surfacing, and replacing the children’s play equipment.
- Parks has committed to investing in the basketball and handball courts in Sperandeo Brothers Playground with funding from Council Member Rafael Espinal.
- Investment in the environment:
- The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will spend $21 million to install new curbside bioswales to absorb and manage storm water.
- DEP is planning up to $17 million in water main, sewer, and distribution main replacement along East New York Avenue.
In addition to the capital commitments listed above, the administration is committing to a number of economic development services and projects. The plan will strengthen the East New York Industrial Business Zone, build a Workforce1 center, and bring other initiatives to benefit local workers and businesses in the neighborhood.
- The Department of Small Business Services (SBS) has committed to locating a satellite Workforce1 Career Center in the community, where employers can access free recruitment services and job seekers can receive employment services.
- The Department of City Planning (DCP), together with NYC’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC), will conduct a follow-up study of Broadway Junction. To support this study, NYCEDC is prepared to commit resources to fund a real estate planning consultant.
- SBS has committed to conducting a commercial district needs assessment with local partners, with $500,000 in capital dedicated to streetscape improvements.
- SBS has committed to launching a comprehensive business growth course (East New York FastTrac) for local businesses.
- SBS has committed to helping local businesses navigate government regulations through Small Business First program as well as helping small businesses with lease negotiation and execution.
- The City will establish new “Industry Partnerships” in the retail, hospitality, manufacturing, and construction sectors.
- The City will provide support through WE NYC to help women start, operate and grow a business.
- The City will strengthen the East New York Industrial Business Zone with $16.7 million of City capital:
- Renovate City-owned industrial building to better serve business needs.
- Improve connectivity and streetscape in and around the East New York IBZ.
- Bring high-speed broadband to businesses in the IBZ.
- The City will undertake a detailed land use study with the goal of strengthening the East New York Industrial Business Zone.
- DCP will protect and strengthen industrial core by limiting new self-storage and hotel uses within IBZ.
- SBS will select new industrial business zone service provider for ENY IBZ.
- EDC will create a digital marketing campaign to promote ENY IBZ businesses and advertise new real estate opportunities.
- The City will assist ENY IBZ businesses and property owners to adopt solar energy.
- EDC will work with the local community to market the Industrial Developer Fund to potential not-for-profit and for-profit developers to create new and modernized industrial space in the ENY IBZ.
What has been the reaction to the proposal?
We have posted all of the Community Board and Borough President recommendations for review, and we have posted all the testimony we received on this webpage.
How is the public involved?
We held a public hearing on the proposal on March 7, 2016 in the City Council chambers within City Hall. At this hearing representatives of the Mayor and members of the public gave testimony about the plan. You can watch the hearing online.