Thursday, January 11, 2018


A proposal for an eight-story self-storage facility at 72 Caton Place--the site of a parking lot formerly owned by Calvary Cathedral of Praise and used by its congregants--has evoked negative reactions from some nearby residents. New York City Councilmember Brad Lander responds:

Dear Kensington/Stable Brooklyn friends,

Like many of you, I was very distressed to read about this. The owners did not come to talk to me or my office about it in advance. As you may remember, we invited them to attend last summer's community meeting.

While we had representatives from the stables and from the 57 Caton site (next door to the stables), the owners of the 72 Caton site (i.e., the Calvary Cathedral parking lot) did not attend. We had not heard any more from them when we read this article in the paper.

We are reaching out to them again now to push them to present to the community on their plans.

It looks like they are trying to do the project "as-of-right" (i.e., without a rezoning). Self-storage is an allowable usage in a C8-2 zone . (And, for what it's worth, while C8-2 does mean 2.0 FAR*, that is not the same as a two-story building; depending on the lot & building size, it could be possible to build 8 stories.)

That does not mean, of course, that what they are proposing complies with the zoning automatically. We are reaching out to the Department of Buildings, to push them to carefully & fully scrutinize the project, and my office will look at it as well. If there are technical, building-code problems with their proposal, we will work hard to find them.

As we discussed at the meeting this summer, we had assumed that the owner/developer would likely seek a zoning change to propose a residential development (as, for example, the owners of 57 Caton are doing).

At that meeting, many of you made clear that your top priority was, understandably, to preserve the lot-line windows of the neighbors at 346 Coney Island Avenue.

I agreed to push hard for this and to only be open to any rezoning if it addressed this issue. Because the owners never reached out to us, we never had the chance for that conversation.

In the coming days, we will stay in close touch and look forward to working with you to achieve the best possible outcome. And we also hope to know more soon about what is taking place with regard to the stables and the 57 Caton site as well.


* Floor Area Ratio (FAR): The floor area ratio is the principal bulk regulation controlling the size of buildings. FAR is the ratio of total building floor area to the area of its zoning lot. Each zoning district has an FAR which, when multiplied by the lot area of the zoning lot, produces the maximum amount of floor area allowable on that zoning lot. For example, on a 10,000 square foot zoning lot in a district with a maximum FAR of 1.0, the floor area on the zoning lot cannot exceed 10,000 square feet.