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Protect Fort Greene and Clinton Hill? Wait a few more months

The Brooklyn Paper
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Weren’t Fort Greene and Clinton Hill supposed to be downzoned by now?

That’s what some residents are muttering, claiming that it’s been a full year since a city official told the neighborhood that the downzoning plan would be certified by fall, 2006.

In the bureaucratic headache that is the downzoning process, “certificat­ion” of the plan is required before it can enters the formal public-review phase, called the Uniform Land-Use Review Procedure or ULURP. Once the seven-month ULURP is complete, the rezoning is enacted.

But that ULURP would have been completed around now if city officials were doing their jobs, activists said.

“This just allows more and more developers to get foundations in the ground [before the downzoning goes into effect],” said Sharon Barnes, the head of the Society for Clinton Hill.

Rob Perris, the district manager of Community Board 2, echoed Barnes’s concern: “The Community Board is disappointed that this has taken three years.”

But at least one foe of overdevelopment isn’t concerned with the delay — indeed, Councilwoman Letitia James (D–Fort Greene) thinks the damage is already done.

“The developments I have serious concerns are already going up: the ‘Forte’ tower, the Williamsburgh Bank conversion, the ‘Greene’ on Carlton and Greene. None have affordable housing, all are luxury towers [subsidized by the city], and all are totally out of context with the neighborho­od.”

City Planning spokeswoman Jennifer Torres told The Brooklyn Paper that the certification plan is “on schedule” and would be happening “in the coming months.”

Preservationists are no longer holding their breath.

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