Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso just outlined his vision for the city’s most populous borough in a new 201-page plan.
Reynoso’s Comprehensive Plan for Brooklyn comes after more than a year of studies and data collection. While the borough president’s office is mainly ceremonial, it holds a lot of sway over land use policies. And Reynoso’s vision for Brooklyn includes comprehensive planning, departing from Mayor Eric Adams’ preference for city planning through zoning.
“Almost every major city in the world has a long-term, comprehensive plan to guide growth and development — except New York City,” Reynoso states at the start of the plan. Though a bill that would have required comprehensive planning was introduced into the City Council in 2021, it failed to pass.
The comprehensive plan is not a mandate, but rather, “it is intended to inform the Borough President’s land use decisions and recommendations and to provide shared data and information to all Brooklyn stakeholders,” as Reynoso states.
As THE CITY summarizes: “Some of Reyono’s recommendations include a permitted residential parking system with fees that would pay for public space upgrades, planting more trees, and pressuring Mayor Eric Adams to build out protected bike lanes…”
While the plan covers the entire borough, what does it tell us about Greenpoint and Williamsburg? Here are some excerpts:
North Brooklyn is a major job creator.
“Between 2010 and 2020, Brooklyn’s economy expanded dramatically, outpacing citywide employment growth with a 47% increase in jobs.
“The borough added 210,798 jobs, of which 42% were generated by three communities: Borough Park, Sheepshead Bay, and Greenpoint/Williamsburg.”
We’ve added more housing units than other neighborhoods.
“When comparing across community districts, CD 1 (Greenpoint, Williamsburg) added 18,500 units of housing while CD 18 (Canarsie, Bergen Beach, Mill Basin, Flatlands, Marine Park, Georgetown, and Mill Island) added only 500 units.”
Flooding is only going to get worse.
“The NYC Panel on Climate Change determined that sea level rise occurring over time is likely to increase coastal flooding during hurricanes and storms.
“Red Hook and portions of Greenpoint will also see increased coastal flood risk.”
As for specific policy goals that relate to North Brooklyn, the plan did not offer many specific suggestions. Reynoso’s office supports a larger overhaul of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, including the addition of the BQGreen, a proposed park space near the BQE. His office also recommended for “the State to remove the provision in the 2019 Loft Law that allows loft conversions within the Greenpoint/Williamsburg and North Brooklyn Industrial Business Zones.”