Community members protest ahead of final court hearing for Franklin Avenue rezoning

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Today is the final court hearing for the Franklin Avenue rezoning that some community members have been protesting.

Today’s hearing could determine whether a plan to build high-rises near the Brooklyn Botanic Garden moves forward.

In June, a temporary restraining order barred construction work at two development sites in Crown Heights that included high-rise towers, that would have affordable housing.

The activists also filed a lawsuit calling for the city council's approval of the Franklin Avenue rezoning project to be nullified and require the developer to do an environmental impact statement.

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, last year the development firm won zoning changes that would allow 175-foot tall, 16-story towers to be built at two locations in Crown Heights.

Protestors say one concern is the impact these buildings would have on the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

In June they opened the Fight for Sunlight exhibit to show the amount of sunlight the plants could lose due to the towers shadow as well as the plants that may have trouble sprouting because of that.  

A spokesperson for one of the developers of the project told News 12 that they'd tried to engage the garden's leadership in a constructive dialogue but had been rejected.

They also pointed to a study approved by the city that concluded the project would not result in significant adverse impacts on the garden.

They also called out several elected officials, like Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo, saying she failed to meet with them about this. In an op-ed earlier this year, she said the group has consistently disrupted any meaningful conversation or plans to address the housing crisis.

The hearing will be later this morning.


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