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ENB - Region 2 Notices 11/27/2013

Negative Declaration

Kings County (Brooklyn) - The New York City Planning Commission, as lead agency, has determined that the proposed Greenpoint Landing will not have a significant adverse environmental impact. This Revised Negative Declaration has been issued to reflect refinements to the proposal, as described in a Revised Environmental Assessment Statement (EAS) dated November 6, 2013, which supersedes the original EAS issued on July 19, 2013. These refinements, which are related to certain aspects of the development facilitated by the proposed action, have resulted in updates to the following impact categories: Hazardous Materials, Air Quality, Community Facilities, Construction and Noise. As a result of these revised analyses the proposed project components related to the environment (PCRE) pertaining to Community Facilities, Construction and Noise have changed. Further, the Hazardous Materials, Air Quality and Noise (E) designation requirements have been updated in order to reflect the development as refined in the revised EAS. The analysis concludes that the proposed refinements would not result in any significant adverse environmental impacts, as was the case in the original EAS filed on July 22, 2013 for the proposed project.

The applicants, Greenpoint Landing Associates LLC (GLA), the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (NYC HPD) and the New York City Department of City Planning (NYC DCP) are seeking land use approvals related to development of several parcels (affected area) in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn, Community District 1, New York. The affected area, also referred to as Parcels 5a, 5b, 5d and 5e within the Greenpoint-Williamsburg Waterfront Access Plan (WAP) BK-1, is generally bounded by the Newtown Creek to the north; the East River to the west; West Street and Commercial Street to the east and Eagle Street to the south.

The proposed actions include three zoning text amendments proposed by NYC DCP, which are described as follows:

  1. A zoning text amendment to ZR Section 62-931 to create the following parcels within the Greenpoint-Williamsburg WAP:
    1. A new "Parcel 5d," consisting of Brooklyn Block 2494, Lot 1 (and formerly part of WAP Parcel 5c), to allow the parcel to be developed as an affordable housing project and public school prior to certification of a waterfront access plan, and
    2. A new "Parcel 5e," comprising the portion of Brooklyn Block 2472, Lot 32 north of the western prolongation of Dupont Street (and formerly part of WAP "Parcel 5b") and providing that the new "Parcel 5e" shall be treated as a separate zoning lot from the southern portion of Lot 32 (Parcel 5b-1) for the purposes of the waterfront public access area and visual corridor provisions of Sections 62-50 through 62-90 of the Zoning Resolution to enable the southern portion of Lot 32 to receive a waterfront certification without designing the waterfront access areas on "Parcel 5e;"
  2. A zoning text amendment to ZR Sections 62-351(d), 62-354 and 62-355 to:
    1. Allow floor space used by schools located on the newly created "Parcel 5d" to be exempt from the definition of floor area; and
    2. Modify height and setback, lot coverage, and yard controls for a public school on the newly created "Parcel 5d," and
  3. A zoning text amendment to ZR Sections 11-13 and 62-351 to allow the newly created "Parcel 5e" to continue to generate floor area notwithstanding its intended future use as a public park.

These actions would facilitate the site selection and acquisition of a portion of "Parcel 5d" to the School Construction Authority.

Additionally, the proposed action would allow the City of New York to convey via an Urban Development Action Area Project (UDAAP) disposition to GLA all of Block 2494, Lot 6, the portion of Block 2472, Lot 32 located within and south of the western prolongation of Dupont Street, and all of the development rights attributable to the remainder of Block 2472, Lot 32. The City of New York would retain ownership of the remainder of Lot 32 and improve it as a publicly accessible open space. The UDAAP approval would facilitate the deliverance of 431 units of affordable housing on nearby land. Under the proposed action, GLA would also contribute $2.5M to the expansion of nearby Newtown Barge Park. Therefore, in addition to the actions described above, the proposal involves Urban Development Action Area Project (UDAAP) actions, pursuant to Article 16 of the General Municipal Law, proposed by HPD that would allow:

  1. Designation of the City Property as an Urban Development Action Area and approval of an UDAAP;
  2. Disposition of the following properties to GLA:
    1. Block 2494, Lot 6 (Parcel 5b-2);
    2. Block 2472, p/o Lot 32 (Parcel 5b-1); and
  3. Disposition of development rights attributable to Block 2472, p/o Lot 32 (Parcel 5e) to GLA.

The proposed actions also include four waterfront-related zoning actions, proposed by GLA. Additionally, four waterfront-related ministerial actions, not subject to environmental review, are included in the proposal.

The proposed actions would facilitate a proposal by GLA construct a mixed-use development comprised of approximately 1,476 dwelling units (585 affordable housing units), 6,700 gross square feet of retail uses, 47,643 gross square feet of publicly accessibly open space and 576 accessory parking spaces (as detailed below, an incremental increase of approximately 707 dwelling units, 4,900 square feet of retail, and 28,535 square feet of open space) within the affected area. Further, GLA would lease a portion of the affected area (Block 2494, p/o Lot 1) to the School Construction Authority (SCA). On this lot, SCA would develop an approximately 120,000 gross square feet, 640-seat elementary and intermediate school. The proposal also includes a 12,000 linear-foot extension of the existing West Street. Collectively, this proposal is referred to as the "Proposed Project."

In addition to the Proposed Project, several improvements that would eliminate the potential for significant adverse impacts related to community facilities, transportation and construction are proposed by GLA, also referred to as project components related to the environment (PCRE). The first improvement concerns the provision of child care for children from eligible households. In accordance with the terms of legal documents recorded on the sites of the 431 affordable units constructed pursuant to the disposition of City-owned property, GLA would provide funding for publicly-funded child care. This funding would be provided prior to the occupancy of 126 affordable housing units for residents whose incomes are at or below 80 percent of area median income (AMI) in buildings located within the Proposed Project. The second PCRE involves an additional high entry/exit turnstile that would be added to the fare array located at the India Street entrance to the northbound platform of the Greenpoint Avenue subway station to increase fare array capacity at that location. This fare array would be installed by MTA NYC Transit and paid for by GLA as a condition of project implementation. Additional improvements to prevent potential impacts include construction noise barriers (referenced in Table J-9, Summary of Recommended Construction Barriers on page J-25 of the Revised EAS), implementation of diesel particulate matter (DPM) emissions and utilization of best available technologies and Tier 3 or newer equipment during construction, as indicated in the Revised EAS (November 2013).

A Reasonable Worst Case Development Scenario (RWCDS) was identified for analysis purposes. In the future without the proposed action (No Action Scenario), the affected area would be developed with mixed use development comprising 769 dwelling units (154 of which would be affordable housing units); 1,800 gross square feet of retail uses; 19,290 square feet of publicly accessible open space; and 323 accessory parking spaces.

In the future with the proposed action (With Action Scenario), it is expected that the affected area would be developed with approximately 1,476 dwelling units (585 of which would be affordable housing units); 6,700 gross square feet of retail uses; 120,000 gross square feet of community facilities uses (comprising a 640 seat elementary and intermediate school); 47,643 gross square feet of publicly accessibly open space and 576 accessory parking spaces. It should be noted that the proposed school would be exempt from the definition of floor area under zoning and the building would be developed pursuant to the proposed zoning text amendment to ZR Sections 62-351(d), 62-354 and 62-355 establishing new bulk controls. In addition, an extension to West Street would be built and opened from Eagle Street to DuPont Street. This street segment, which is currently mapped but is not built, is 70 feet wide and 200 feet long. It would operate one-way northbound, similar to the existing block to the south. The increment between the No Action and With Action Scenarios would comprise a net increase in development of approximately 707 dwelling units (of which 431 would be affordable); 4,900 gross square feet of retail uses; 120,000 gross square feet of community facility (school) uses; 28,353 gross square feet of publicly accessible open space; and 253 accessory parking spaces.

The affected area is a partially vacant waterfront property currently containing open vehicle and equipment storage and a sludge tank owned and operated by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYC DEP).

The affected area was previously rezoned R6 and R8 in 2004 under the Greenpoint Williamsburg rezoning (CEQR No. 04DCP003K), which also mapped C2-4 commercial overlays along West and Commercial Streets, and along Green Street, leading to one of the longest piers on the East River. Under special rules for this area, the R6 and R8 districts mapped on each site blend to permit residential uses to an FAR of approximately 3.7, bonusable to 4.7 under the Inclusionary Housing program. Community facility uses are permitted to an FAR of approximately 5.65 if no residences are present on the zoning lot, and are limited to residential FARs if residences are present. Commercial uses are permitted to an FAR of 2.0 within the C2-4 overlays and to a limited extent elsewhere as well. The R6 and R8 boundaries were drawn to permit high-rise towers within the R8 districts towards the water and lower development toward the upland. Within the R8 districts, towers are permitted to rise to 230 and 330 feet, bonusable to 300 and 400 feet under the Inclusionary Housing program. Streetwalls must be between 30 and 70 feet. Within the R6 districts, buildings are limited to 65 feet within 100 feet of Commercial, West, Franklin, or DuPont Streets, and may rise to 150 feet elsewhere, with streetwall heights between 30 and 65 feet. The anticipated build year for the proposed project is 2020.

To avoid the potential for significant adverse impacts related to hazardous materials, air quality and noise, an (E) designation (E-317) has been incorporated to the proposed project as described below. This new (E) designation supersedes an (E) designation (E-138) previously assigned to the affected area pursuant to the former Greenpoint Williamsburg rezoning (CEQR No. 04DCP003K).

Contact: Robert Dobruskin, New York City Department of City Planning, 22 Reade Street Room 4E, New York, NY 10007, Phone: (212) 720-3423. Email: r_dobrus@planning.nyc.gov.


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