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Projects & Proposals > Brooklyn > Bay Ridge Printer Friendly Version
Special Bay Ridge District Rezoning - Approved!
Existing Context and Zoning
Overview | Existing Context and Zoning | Proposed Zoning
Bay Ridge - Existing Zoning
Existing Zoning
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Bay Ridge - Land Use
Land Use
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Like most New York City neighborhoods of its size, Bay Ridge does not have a single context, but a variety of land uses and housing types typical of the times in which they were built. Whatever the housing type, however, the scale is generally low, six stories or less with few exceptions. About 40 percent of the 249 blocks in the special district are characterized by one- and two-family detached and semi-detached homes.

The special district is bounded by 65th Street on the north, Shore Road and The Narrows to the south and west, and Seventh Avenue and the Gowanus Expressway to the east. Zoning regulations in the SBRD designate five separate preservation areas: Area A, the midblock preservation area; Areas B, C, and D, avenue preservation areas; and Area E for other designated locations. Table 1, SBRD Preservation Areas (below) summarizes the maximum floor area ratios (FAR) and height limits of the underlying zoning districts in each of the preservation areas.

Area A
In 1961, approximately 125 of Bay Ridge's low-rise midblocks were zoned R6, a medium-density height factor (non-contextual) zoning district. The 1978 SBRD regulations established the midblock preservation area (Area A) limiting FAR to1.65 (compared to 2.43 in R6 districts outside the SBRD) and building height to 32 feet to eliminate the potential for midblock tower construction on these low-rise streets. There is a broad mix of housing within these blocks: single-family detached homes, semi-detached and attached residences, and rowhouses and small multi-family dwellings.

Area B

Third and Fifth Avenues contain a mix of multi-family three- to six-story residential buildings with a continuous ground floor retail presence on the blocks with commercial overlays. Most Third and Fifth Avenue blockfronts are within Area B of the SBRD and are zoned R6 with commercial overlays. There is also a 48-foot height limit in this area .

Area C
The commercial core of Bay Ridge is along 86th Street, between Fourth Avenue and Fort Hamilton Parkway in a C4-2 district (Area C). It is occupied by large retail stores, typically two to three stories, as well as six-story elevator apartment buildings. The underlying C4-2 district permits up to 2.0 FAR of commercial development and a 2.43 FAR for residential development. Area C limits building height to 60 feet and allows an additional 0.275 FAR in a mixed building if all the additional floor area is located on the ground floor and occupied by a commercial or community facility use. Three other sections of Bay Ridge characterized by six-story apartment buildings are also subject to Area C regulations: southern Fourth Avenue, northern Ridge Boulevard and northern Shore Road.

Area D
Fourth Avenue north of 86th Street (Area D) is characterized by six- to eight-story elevator apartment buildings, as well as the 30-story Bay Ridge Towers. The corridor is zoned R7-1 with commercial overlays, a maximum FAR of 2.75 and a height limit of 80 feet.

Area E
All other sections of the Special Bay Ridge District are within Area E. Much of Area E is a low-density residential section of the neighborhood between Shore Road and Third Avenue. In this area, the underlying zoning districts are R2 and R3-1, both permitting only detached and semi-detached homes, and R3-2, permitting all housing types, with FARs of 0.5 in R2 and 0.6 in R3-1 and R3-2. Area E modifies only the R3-2 district regulations, imposing a building height limit of 32 feet rather than the standard 35 foot limit.

The R7-1 district along southern Shore Road overlooking the harbor and a small section of Ovington Avenue west of Third Avenue within an underlying R6 district are also part of Area E. The built character is six- to eight-story elevator apartment buildings, and the SBRD imposes a height limit of 60 feet in the R6 district and of 80 feet in the R7-1 district.

Also within Area E are Bay Ridge's auto dealership row, on Fourth Avenue south of 86th Street, zoned C8-1, and a small M1-1 light manufacturing district bounded by 65th Street, the Gowanus Expressway, Fourth Avenue and Seventh Avenue. The underlying district regulations remain unchanged by the special district within these areas. Most of the uses within the C8-1 and M1-1 districts are auto-oriented including gas stations, auto repair shops, and dealership showrooms. There is a row of non-conforming rowhouses within the M1-1 district on 66th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues.

Preservation Area Underlying Zoning Maximum FAR Maximum Height Other regulations
A: Mid-Block Preservation Area R6 1.65 32 feet Parking prohibited in the side or rear yard for sites with fewer than 3 dwelling units, no required distance between curb cuts
B: Avenue Preservation Area 1 R6 with C1 and C2 overlays 2.43 R only
2.705 if ground floor commercial or community facility
48 feet Area Coverage/Open Space Regulations specify zones for Primary Building, Required Open Space, and Restricted Building Open Space
C: Avenue Preservation Area 2 R6, R6/C2 and C4-2 2.43 R only
2.705 if ground floor commercial or community facility
60 feet Area Coverage/Open Space Regulations specify zones for Primary Building, Required Open Space, and Restricted Building Open Space
D: Avenue Preservation Area 3 R7-1, R6/C2 and C4-2 2.75 80 feet Area Coverage/Open Space Regulations specify zones for Primary Building, Required Open Space, and Restricted Building Open Space
E: Other areas R2, R3-1, R3-2 0.5 (R2)
0.6 (R3-1)
0.6 (R3-2)
R3-2: 32 feet  
R6, R7 2.43 (R6)
3.44 (R7)
R6: 60 feet
R7: 80 feet
C8-1, M1-1 1.0  


Overview | Existing Context and Zoning | Proposed Zoning

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