A NEIGHBORHOOD STUDY
PLGNA has teamed up with Prospect Park East Network (www.ppen.org) to start a study of Prospect Lefferts Gardens and South Crown Heights. As in many parts of the city, these two areas are undergoing rapid gentrification. Our goal in undertaking this study is to preserve and protect the character of the neighborhood, especially its diversity and affordability, as well as to preserve and protect quality of life features like access to light and air, and the sense that the neighborhood has a human-scale.
- For the past several years, rents have been rising, low-income residents and small businesses are being displaced, and a large number of new, mostly luxury developments have been built or are in the pipeline.
- Residents lack information about what is happening and what can happen. There is a widespread feeling that the community is unable to have a say about these changes.
- In June of 2015 Community Board 9 (CB9) requested that the Department of City Planning (DCP) begin a rezoning study of the western half of Community Board 9. We are concerned that a Department of City Planning rezoning study, without concerted community input, could lead to further gentrification, displacement, and a deterioration of neighborhood quality of life.
Our Study is Designed To
- complement, not duplicate or replace, any studies that other groups are undertaking
- help ourselves and the community better understand the development and planning issues in the neighborhood and what our options are
- be open and inclusive to the community throughout the process
- create an opportunity for the community to present its wants and needs and to decide how to achieve these goals
Geographical Area of Our StudyThe boundary area of our study is Eastern Parkway in the north, Clarkson Avenue in the south, New York Avenue in the east, and Prospect Park in the west. This is the same area that the Department of City Planning is intending to study.
Our StudyThe Collective for Community, Culture and Environment (collectiveforcce.com) will create a broad snapshot of current conditions within the study area and Community Board 9, including housing, community facilities, population trends, infrastructure, transportation, and density. They will help us reach out to the many strands of our community so that we can work together to determine our collective priorities when it comes to future development in the neighborhood. We anticipate that one step in this process will be a large participatory meeting in February, facilitated by the Collective, where residents will hear about the Collective's research and provide their input. As experts in our own community, our input will help inform the study's final report.
Lookout Hill Public Policy Associates (www.lookouthillassociates.com) will do a detailed demographic analysis of the study area and recent changes. They will also undertake a landmark secondary displacement study which will analyze the impact that the 2005 rezoning of Greenpoint/Williamsburg had on the loss of housing affordability there and apply these findings to our neighborhood where there are enough similarities to expect similar results. This sort of study has not been done in New York City before. The firm will identify "soft sites" in our neighborhood, meaning places which can be built up under current zoning regulations. They will provide us with a micro-level view of our neighborhood and especially its rent-stabilized apartment stock, identifying where tenants are at significant risk of displacement under current zoning laws as well as how low-income residents would be affected if zoning were to change. The study will be predictive of what will probably happen to the most vulnerable residents and populations under different development scenarios. Lookout Hill will also produce a survey of local merchants to identify trends affecting their vulnerability to displacement.
PLGNA and PPEN have sufficient funds to begin the study and are working to secure additional funding to complete the research project outlined above.
For more information or to join the Study Committee, visit www.plgnanyc.org or email PLGNAnyc@gmail.com.