Mayor Bill de Blasio’s controversial plan to rezone Gowanus is poised to move forward, fulfilling a decade-old ambition that aims to increase development and affordability in the fast-changing industrial enclave. The deal was approved by the City Council’s Land Use Committee on Wednesday, after the administration agreed to additional investments in public housing and sewer infrastructure.
The plan will pave the way for 8,000 new apartments to be built over the next decade, with more than a third reserved for low-income residents. The City Council’s Land Use Committee backed the proposal unanimously after last-minute negotiations between the mayor and two local council members, Brad Lander and Steve Levin, whose approval was contingent on the city’s commitment to invest $200 million to modernize two public housing complexes in the neighborhood. An additional $174 million will upgrade sewage infrastructure along the canal.
With the Gowanus Canal currently undergoing a federal clean-up, opponents of the plan fear that new construction could unearth toxins and pollutants, which would primarily impact the low-income residents that are intended to live there. Others argue that the area’s sewer system will not be able to withstand the volume of new residents.
As stated by Gothamis…