Compromise for Boro Stables

By Gersh Kuntzman

The Brooklyn Papers

Horses will still get spooked — but a lot less — thanks to a compromise
proposed by the city to reduce the size and bulk of a controversial
development across the street from a historic stable in Windsor

The city Planning Commission rejected a zoning change that would have
allowed a developer to build an additional 20 units in a multi-story
building under consideration at 22 Caton Pl., directly across the
street from the Kensington Stables, where three-dozen horses hang their

The extra units, opponents said, would spook the horses. Now, as a
result of the compromise, the building will max out at 55 units instead
of the 68 units the developer sought.

“The proposed rezoning was not appropriate, but neither is the existing
zoning, so we have come up with another plan,” said Planning Commission
Chair Amanda Burden. “Our modification seeks both to provide housing at
an appropriate scale to protect the neighborhood character.”

Community activists cheered the decision, but added that it’stoo
little, too late for a neighborhood that is being rapidly re- (some
would say over-) developed. At 23 Caton Pl., an eight story building is
going up. And down the street, a nine-story building is rising.
Together, they’ll add 166 apartments, and a corresponding number of
cars, to the narrow streets that the horses trod on their way to
Prospect Park.

“We need a promise from the developer to build underground parking at
22 Caton Pl.,” said Mandy Harris, whose Web site,,
monitors development. “At the end of the day, he got permission to
build a few more apartments than the current zoning would have allowed.
It’s time for him to give something back.”

A lawyer for the developer did not return a call.

Harris said the “real negotiation” would now take place at the City
Council, where the neighborhood is represented by Bill DeBlasio (D-Park

The neighborhood is clearly on the councilman’s radar screen. Recently,
a shining green garbage can was installed in front of the stables that
reads, “Sponsored by Councilmember Bill DeBlasio.”

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