From the Brooklyn Paper:
Architects want to build the brownstone of the future in Red Hook, but the city is stuck in the past.
The Department of Buildings killed plans for a local businessman’s zero-energy building last week, citing zoning regulations.
“They could have just as easily ruled the other way,” said Jay Amato, who owns the Conover Street lot where he hoped to build the energy-efficient structure as a model for the future. “There was nothing in the regulations.”
Amato hired Garrison Architects to design the building, called Red Hook Green, more than a year ago.
But now it may not be built at all.
The problem is that the brownstone-sized lot is zoned for manufacturing — so Amato can’t simply build a house on it unless the city allowed him to invoke a zoning rule that allows for a small residence, called a caretaker’s residence, inside a manufacturing building.
Such residences can’t exceed 15 percent of the total square footage. Amato said the residential portion of his structure comprises only 12 percent.
Yet the city still denied the permit.