City Council OKs Fort Greene church’s request for rezoning
Clergy at the Hanson Place Seventh-day Adventist Church in Fort Greene cheered the City Council after it unanimously approved their request to rezone part of the church’s property on South Portland Avenue, where the church intends to erect a 13-story tower containing below-market-rate housing.
“We are pleased to continue [our legacy in the community] by bringing critical affordable-housing opportunities and increased social programming to our vibrant community through this development,” said Pastor Bernard Penn, the church’s pastor.
Penn and fellow clergy sought the city’s approval last fall after revealing plans to demolish the church’s community center in order to build the high-rise, which will also include a below-ground medical facility, according to the Brooklyn Paper. The church originally also wanted to extend the rezoning to include the larger area generally bounded by South Portland Avenue and Hanson and South Elliott places. Community Board 2’s Land Use Committee voted in January to approve the rezoning for the tower alone, which would increase allowable construction on the plot from nine to 14 stories, the Brooklyn Paper reported.
A month later, CB2’s full board voted down the request in its entirety, even the tower. However, since community board requests are not binding, the City Council last month approved the limited rezoning after key support from Councilmember Laurie Cumbo, who represents the area. The application now moves to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s desk.