Board backs housing on former Culver Shuttle land

The city is moving ahead with a plan to create affordable housing on a strip of land that was once an elevated train line.

The plan would allow the Southern Brooklyn Community Organization to build 17 four-story buildings on the south side of 37th Street between 12th and 14th avenues, which was once the route of the Culver Shuttle, which ran between the F-train stop at Ditmas and McDonald avenues and what is now the D-train station at Ninth Avenue and 39th Street.

The line was discontinued in 1975 and then torn down, leaving a thin strip of land that is currently used as parking lots.

In all, 68 condo apartments would be created under a plan that would alter the current manufacturing zoning to include some medium-density residential uses.

The rezoning area extends beyond the Culver Shuttle strip to include the area from 36th Street to nearly 40th Street between 12th and 14th avenues.

The land-use review process began with a presentation and vote at Community Board 12, which overwhelmingly approved the plan at its June meeting, though one member complained that the portion of the rezoning along 37th Street would create lots with very shallow backyards

“It’s too dense,” said Maggie Tobin, who was one of two CB12 members to vote against the project.

Adam Rothkrug, an attorney representing the developer, said that the density would be offset by additional green space provided in front of and in between the buildings.

Experts say that housing is badly needed in the neighborhood, which experienced a 15.6-percent population growth between 1990 and 2000, yet only had a 4.5-percent increase in housing stock.

The below-market-rate housing will be priced for families making less than $43,300 per year, which is 110 percent of the median income in the area, statistics show.

The next stop on the land-use process is with Borough President Markowitz, who is expected to approve it, too.

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