The Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP) for the Gowanus Rezoning has ended and the Gowanus Neighborhood Plan (Rezoning) was approved by City Council on November 10, 2021 and the Mayor on November 23, 2021. A condensed timeline of GCC advocacy throughout the process is below and milestones from the formal ULURP process can be viewed in the Zoning Application Portal

Prior to the Rezoning approval, GCC and our partners in the Gowanus Neighborhood Coalition for Justice (GNCJ) celebrated commitments the City made as a part of the Points of Agreement, which delivers on numerous demands that GCC and GNCJ have been fighting for over the past 6 years.

Since the Rezoning passed, GCC has helped lead efforts to form and kick off the Gowanus Oversight Task Force (GOTF), a body of community stakeholders overseeing the 56 commitments made by the City during the rezoning. In our capacity on the Open Space and Waterfront Committee we are working to make sure 18 acres of promised public spaces are built and meet community needs. On the Resiliency Committee, we are focused on ensuring that new development does not increase pollution into the Canal and that the City builds promised sewer infrastructure to address flooding and CSO. While we have a long road ahead, the formation of GOTF has been an unprecedented milestone to increase accountability.

Points of Agreement Commitments: 

Upfront Funding for Comprehensive Repairs Public Housing with Resident Oversight

The City will fund comprehensive in-unit renovations at all apartments at Gowanus Houses (1,134 units) and Wyckoff Houses (528 units), estimated to be $200m, with commitments to oversight by public housing residents.

Mandate and Track Net Zero CSO (Combined Sewer Overflow)
The Unified Stormwater Rule, a new Citywide mandate that poses more stringent stormwater management requirements on development sites, will apply to all new properties within the Gowanus rezoning area and ensure that new development does not increase pollution to the Canal. Progress on this will be tracked by the City and the Task Force to ensure successful implementation and long-term water quality improvements in the Gowanus Canal.

Invest in Long-Term Resiliency and Infrastructure for Flood Mitigation

The City will include Gowanus, Red Hook, and the Gowanus IBZ as one of 10 neighborhoods across the City for Cloudburst Studies, which will assess stormwater flow paths, drainage patterns, and social vulnerability to identify infrastructure priorities and capital projects for flood mitigation. The City will further invest $174 million to upgrade sewer infrastructure that will eliminate flooding around 4th Avenue and Carroll Street during a 5-year storm, a critical intersection that has historically faced a great deal of flooding damage. 

Invest in Parks and Public Space Supported by Long-term Stewardship  

The City has committed to funding, timelines and public engagement for building new public spaces at Gowanus Green, the Transit Plaza at Smith/9th St, the Head End tank and the Salt Lot, along with renovation at Thomas Greene Park, Old Stone House and the Pacific Library.   The City will also support community efforts to create a Gowanus Waterfront Business Improvement District focused on stewardship, access, and public programming of open spaces, including new and existing waterfront esplanades, public parks and streetscapes.

Improve Waterfront Access and Ecology with Community Input
The City will identify locations for in-water access and tidal wetlands along the Canal as public spaces are designed, and will study pedestrian bridges as the cleanup progresses. The City will also share design concepts for waterfront esplanades with the community before certification, a critical step to improving community input on design.

Ensure Long-Term Open Space, Ecosystem Restoration, and Community Stewardship at the Salt Lot

The City has committed to ensuring that GCC has a temporary location during construction and a long-term home at the Gowanus Salt Lot, as well as committed to creating open space, ecosystem restoration and potential boat access on site, informed by a community engagement process. 

And in order to make sure that the community can hold the City accountable for all of these commitments:

Fund and Report to a Task Force

The City has committed to securing funding for and regular reporting to a Gowanus Implementation and Commitments Task Force to ensure accountability for all commitments made under the rezoning. 

GCC Advocacy throughout the Rezoning Process: 

2013 – 2018, GCC participated in community outreach for the anticipated rezoning as part of Bridging Gowanus and the Community Engagement process led by the NYC Department of City Planning (DCP) while simultaneously conducting community outreach and developing Gowanus Lowlands, a master plan that envisions a network of parks and public spaces centered on the Gowanus Canal and the surrounding watershed to ensure the community input in shaping a watershed that is accessible, active, and clean for all.

In March 2019, DCP released the Draft Scope of Work, which lays out proposed methodologies and assumptions for the rezoning’s environmental analysis. This is a critical point of the process to ensure that the City accurately measures environmental impacts of rezoning and plans for needed infrastructure. A summary of our comments on the scope are here, and the longer formal comments here.

In April 2021, DCP released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). We assessed the document for its effectiveness at accounting for and mitigating key environmental concerns such as combined sewer overflow, sewer system capacity, parks and open space, and impacts to natural resources. Read our comments on the DEIS here.

In June 2021 GCC and our partners in the Gowanus Neighborhood Coalition for Justice (GNCJ) delivered testimony at the Gowanus Rezoning Public Hearing hosted by Community Board 6, Community Board 2, and the Department of City Planning (DCP).

In October 2021, GCC and our partners in the Gowanus Neighborhood Coalition for Justice (GNCJ) delivered testimony at the City Council Hearing, the final opportunity for public comment in this ULURP process. (See GCC’s and GNCJ’s written comments.) 

We will continue to work closely with our GNCJ partners to fight for a Gowanus that is thriving, inclusive, and resilient, along the waterfront and beyond.

Read More

October 15, 2021: Gowanus Neighborhood Rezoning & Gowanus Canal CSO Facility Comments

October 8, 2021: City Commitments Needed to Ensure Net Zero CSO Rezoning Comments

September 17, 2021: GCC Comments on Gowanus Canal CSO Facility – Owls Head

August 9, 2021: Gowanus Neighborhood Rezoning and Related Actions & Draft Environmental Impact Statement Comments

June 11, 2021: GCC Gowanus Neighborhood Plan Comments

July 15, 2020: Our Position on the Gowanus Rezoning

November 15, 2019: GCC Gowanus WAP Recommendations

May 23, 2019:

GCC Comments on Gowanus Neighborhood Rezoning and Related Actions Draft Scope of Work CEQR No.19DCP157K

GCC SUMMARY OF POSITION on Gowanus Neighborhood Rezoning and Related Actions Draft Scope of Work

GCC Testimony on Draft Scope of Work

February 6, 2019: GCC Response to Draft Zoning Proposal

Learn more

Gowanus Neighborhood Coalition for Justice

Draft Zoning Proposal

Gowanus: A Framework for a Sustainable, Inclusive, Mixed-use Neighborhood

Gowanus Places Study

Bridging Gowanus

Gowanus Canal Brownfield Opportunity Area Nomination Study