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Projects & Proposals > Brooklyn > Bay Ridge Printer Friendly Version
Special Bay Ridge District Rezoning - Approved!
Proposed Zoning
Overview | Existing Context and Zoning | Proposed Zoning

The rezoning proposal seeks to:

  • Preserve neighborhood scale and character by rezoning to lower density and contextual districts and further fine-tuning those districts to reflect the context of midblocks with a detached character, those with both detached and semi-detached building types, and the blocks lined predominantly with limestone rowhouses;

  • Reinforce several of the avenues as corridors for mid-rise mixed retail and residential buildings by mapping appropriate moderate-density contextual zoning districts;

  • Preserve the central commercial district through contextual rezoning and increase permitted density in the auto district to provide for the expansion of commercial and community facility uses; and

  • Retain the SBRD and a limited number of its protective regulations to work in concert with the contextual districts.
Bay Ridge - Proposed Zoning
Proposed Zoning
PDF Document Proposed Zoning March 2005
The rezoning proposal selects from a wide range of lower density and contextual zoning districts – R2, R3X, R3-1, R3-2, R4-1, R4A, R4B, R5B, R6A, R6B, R7A and R7B – to match the diverse built contexts that together create the neighborhood character so valued by Bay Ridge residents.
(View the PDF Document Proposed Lower Density and Contextual Zoning Districts table). The bulk regulations of these lower density and contextual districts govern building type, FAR, lot width, lot area, height, density, side yards, curb cuts and parking, providing substantially more protection than the existing SBRD regulations. Table 2, PDF Document Proposed Zoning Districts gives further details about each of the proposed districts. In addition, certain SBRD regulations would be retained to provide protections greater than those of the proposed underlying districts.

Of the 249 blocks in the district, currently 15 are zoned for detached and 17 are zoned for semi-detached homes. Under the proposal, 42 blocks would be zoned for detached homes and 59 for semi-detached. In total, 101 blocks would be zoned for one and two-family homes, as compared to the current 32 blocks.

The proposed zoning map changes for each subarea within the district, as well as proposed changes to the SBRD zoning text, are as follows:

Midblocks east of Third Avenue and blocks southwest and northwest of Third Avenue (former Area A) - Proposed R3X, R4A, R4-1, R4B, R5B and R6A

Bay Ridge - Existing – R6 / subarea A - Proposed R4A Bay Ridge -  Existing – R6/ subarea A
Existing - R6 /subarea A
Proposed - R4A

93rd St between Marine Ave and Shore Rd
Existing – R6/ subarea A
with commercial. overlay
Proposed – R5B
remove commercial overlay

Bay Ridge and Narrows Aves

The underlying zoning in this portion of the SBRD is currently R6, which would be replaced by a series of contextual districts matching the prevailing housing types. The R3X and R4A districts permit one- and two-family detached residences, the R4-1 permits one- and two-family detached and semi-detached houses, and the R4B and R5B districts are designed for rowhouses and permit all building types (R4B permits attached one- and two-family homes and R5B permits multi-family housing). The blockfronts on Marine Avenue with six-story apartment houses would be zoned R6A.

The permitted FAR would be reduced from the 1.65 maximum to a range between 0.5 (plus a 0.1 attic allowance) and 1.35. The current height limit of 32 feet would be replaced by a maximum perimeter wall height of 21 feet in R3X, R4A districts and 25 feet in R4-1 with an overall maximum height of 35 feet. The R4B district permits a maximum building height of 24 feet. The R5B regulations permit a 30-foot perimeter wall with a maximum building height of 33 feet.

The parking requirement for R3 and R4 districts is 100% (one space for each unit) and 85% for R5 districts. Parking would be permitted in side lot ribbons, within buildings or in rear yards. Front yard parking would be prohibited in most cases. In R3X, R4A and R4-1, there must be 16 feet of uninterrupted curb space between curb cuts, and 34 feet between curb cuts in R4B and R5B districts.


Westside Blocks (former Area E) - Proposed R2, R3-1, R3-2 and R4A

Bay Ridge - Existing – R2/ subarea E Bay Ridge -  Existing – R2/ subarea E
Existing – R2 / subarea E
Proposed – R2

82nd St between
Colonial Rd and Narrows Ave
Existing – R2 / subarea E
Proposed – R2
80th St and Narrows Ave
   
Bay Ridge - Existing – R3-2 Bay Ridge -  Existing – R3-2 / subarea E
Existing – R3-2 to remain

72nd St between Colonial Rd
and Narrows Ave
Existing – R3-2 / subarea E
Proposed – R4A

74th St between Colonial Rd
and Narrows Ave

The 1978 SBRD retained the pre-existing R2, R3-1 and R3-2 zoning here and limited the height of buildings within the R3-2 district to 32 feet. Only single-family detached homes are permitted in R2 zoning districts, one- and two-family detached and semi-detached houses are permitted by the R3-1 district regulations, and multi-family housing of all building types is permitted in R3-2 zoning districts.

No changes are proposed for the 15 blocks that are currently zoned R2. The R2 district, which permits only detached, single-family housing with a maximum FAR of 0.5, is consistent with the extremely low density, detached character of these blocks. The R2 district would be extended south to adjacent blocks with the same character: one block currently zoned R3-1 and a half-block currently zoned R3-2.

Fifteen blocks in the existing R3-1 and R3-2 zoning districts with a concentration of detached one- and two-family residences and an average FAR of 0.9 would be rezoned to R4A to better preserve the existing character. The remaining parts of Area E, where detached housing does not predominate, would remain zoned R3-1 and R3-2.

The R3-1 district regulations permit detached and semi-detached one- and two-family residences while R3-2 zoning district regulations permit multi-family housing of all types. Both have a maximum FAR of 0.5 (plus a 0.1 attic allowance) with a perimeter wall height of 21 feet and a maximum permitted building height of 35 feet. R4A districts have the same height limits.

The parking requirement for R2, R3 and R4 districts is 100% (one space for each unit). Parking would be permitted in side lot ribbons, within buildings or rear yards and front yard parking would be prohibited. New curb cuts must have 16 feet of uninterrupted curb space between them in these districts.

Northern Third and Fifth Avenues (former Area B) - Proposed R6B

Bay Ridge - Existing – R6 / subarea B
Existing – R6 / subarea B
Proposed –R6B

Third Ave between
88th and 89th Sts
 
Bay Ridge - Existing – R6 / subarea C
Existing – R6 / subarea C
Proposed – R6A

75th St and Shore Rd
 
Bay Ridge - Existing – R7-1 / subarea E
Existing – R7-1 / subarea E
Proposed – R7A

99th St and Shore Rd
Three- and four-story buildings with ground floor commercial uses predominate on Third and Fifth Avenues north of 90th Street. R6B with commercial overlays would be mapped along these corridors, as it most closely approximates the built character. The existing FAR maximum of 2.705 with a height maximum of 48 feet would be replaced by a maximum FAR of 2.0 and a streetwall base height of 40 feet with a maximum building height of 50 feet.

Development in R6B districts is required to line up with adjacent structures to maintain a uniform streetwall. New multi-family residences must provide one off-street parking space for 50 percent of the dwelling units. A minimum of 34 feet between curb cuts for existing buildings is required and curb cuts for new residential developments on lots less than 40 feet wide are prohibited, minimizing the potential for front yard parking.

 

Southern Third & Fourth Avenues, northern Shore Road and Ridge Boulevard (former Areas B and C) and Marine Avenue (former Area A) - Proposed R6A

These existing R6 areas are predominantly residential with six-story apartment buildings and some three- and four-story mixed residential and commercial buildings on the blocks with commercial overlays. R6A allows a maximum FAR of 3.0 for residential, mixed residential/commercial, and community facility buildings, with a maximum base height of 60 feet and a maximum building height of 70 feet. New structures in R6A districts are required to line up with adjacent structures to maintain the streetwall. New multi-family residences in R6A districts must provide one off-street parking space for 50 percent of the dwelling units.

Southern Shore Road; 87th Street to Third Avenue (former Area E) - Proposed R7A

The existing R7-1 district is predominantly comprised of six- to eight-story buildings on the blocks between 87th Street and Third Avenue. The proposed R7A district would allow a maximum FAR of 4.0 for all permitted uses with a maximum base height of up to 65 feet and a building height limit of 80 feet. As is the case with other moderate-density contextual districts, new development in R7A districts is required to line up with adjacent buildings to maintain the existing streetwall. One off-street parking space must be provided for 50 percent of the dwelling units.

Northern Fourth Avenue; 67th to 85th Street (former Area D) - Proposed R7B

The existing R7-1 district is predominantly residential with six-story apartment buildings and some three- and four-story mixed residential and commercial buildings on the blocks with commercial overlays (between Ovington Avenue and 67th Street). The proposed R7B district would allow a maximum FAR of 3.0 for all permitted uses with a maximum base height of up to 60 feet and a building height limit of 75 feet. Like other contextual districts, new development in R7B districts must line up with adjacent buildings to maintain the existing streetwall and must provide one off-street parking space for 50 percent of the dwelling units.

Bay Ridge - 86th St between
86th St between
Fourth and Fifth Aves
Commercial Core: Fourth Avenue & 86th Street to Fort Hamilton Parkway (former Area C) - Proposed C4-2A

The C4-2 area surrounding 86th Street, with its large retail stores, is the commercial core of Bay Ridge. It would be replaced by a C4-2A contextual district with a maximum FAR of 3.0 for commercial, residential and community facility uses, with a maximum base height of 60 feet and a maximum building height of 70 feet. The new C4-2A district would extend one block farther east than the existing commercial district, to include the blockfronts between Fort Hamilton Parkway and the Gowanus Expressway where there are retail stores and a six-story apartment building. There would be no change in the range of permitted uses and second story retail use would continue to be permitted in mixed residential/commercial buildings. Parking requirements would be reduced from the current requirement of one off-street parking space per 300 square feet of commercial space for most commercial uses to one per 400 square feet (with a waiver for developments requiring fewer than 25 off-street parking spaces).

Bay Ridge - Fourth Ave between
Fourth Ave between
89th and 90th Streets
Auto District: Fourth and Fifth Avenues, 89th through 95th Streets (former Area E) -
Proposed C8-2 with SBRD modifications

The existing C8-1 area has mostly auto-related uses (e.g., car dealerships with service facilities, automobile repair shops, car washes) with some recent office and medical office construction. The proposed C8-2 would increase the permitted commercial FAR from 1.0 to 2.0. An amendment to the SBRD would impose a height limit of 70 feet for all uses and limit community facility FAR to 3.0. This would allow for medical office development and for expansion of auto-related and other permitted commercial uses. As in the adjacent proposed C4-2A district, parking requirements in this area would be reduced from one space per 300 square feet to one per 400 square feet.

Light Manufacturing District: 65th Street to the Gowanus Expressway, Fourth Avenue to Seventh Avenue (former Area E) - Proposed M1-1 and R5B

While most of the land uses within this small M1-1 area are auto-related or light manufacturing, there is a group of non-conforming rowhouses on 66th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues. The proposal would map an R5B district in this area to bring these two-to three story, attached residential structures into conformance with the zoning regulations.

Proposed Changes to Commercial Overlays

Throughout the SBRD, all existing C1-2 overlays would be changed to C1-3, and all C2-2 overlays to C2-3 to provide for more liberal parking requirements. Parking for most retail uses would be reduced from one space per 300 square feet of floor area to one per 400 square feet. The existing 100-foot depth of the overlays is not large enough to accommodate the current higher parking regulations without several floors of costly underground parking.

Bay Ridge - Commercial Overlays
Commercial Overlays
PDF Document Commercial Overlays
March 2005

In addition, new commercial overlays are established and existing commercial overlays are changed to accurately reflect existing land uses. These areas include:

  • Fifth Avenue, adding a C2-3 overlay for a half-blockfront (at 92nd Street) and changing an existing C1-2 to C2-3 for two blockfronts (92nd - 95th Streets);

  • Fourth Avenue, changing an existing C1-2 to C2-3 for one blockfront (95th - 96th Streets) and modifying a C1-3 to a C2-3 for seven blockfronts (67th Street to Ovington Avenue);

  • Third Avenue, adding a C1-3 overlay for a three blockfronts (78th - 81st Streets) and a C2-3 for one blockfront (81st - 82nd Streets); and

  • Bay Ridge Avenue, adding a C1-4 overlay for approximately two blockfronts (3rd Avenue - Bay Ridge Place).

Changes to the Special Bay Ridge District Text

The proposed lower density contextual zoning districts diminish the need for most of the existing SBRD provisions, which were created to modify higher density underlying zoning districts. The proposal would eliminate the SBRD's five preservation subareas but retain a limited number of SBRD regulations to provide additional protections. View the PDF Document proposed zoning text amendment to the special Bay Ridge district.

These protections include maintaining the 32 foot height limit for community facility development in R3X, R3-2, R4A, R4-1, R4B and R5B zoning districts, and continuing to limit permitted FARs for community facility uses to 1.65 in R4A, R4-1, R4B and R5B districts. Under the underlying zoning regulations for these districts, the height and bulk regulations for community facility developments, including churches, schools, hospitals and medical offices, are less restrictive than those for residential construction, with no height limits and higher permitted FARs. In the proposed amended SBRD, community facilities on the midblocks would continue to be restricted to a maximum FAR of 1.65 (1.0 in R3X) and a height limit of 32 feet. The maximum permitted FAR for these uses in R2 and R3 districts is 1.0 (which would not be modified by the SBRD); in R4 and R5 districts it is 2.0.

The proposed changes to the SBRD would also limit community facility FAR in the proposed C8-2 district, to 3.0, equal to that permitted in the adjacent proposed C4-2A district surrounding 86th Street to the north. The SBRD would also impose a height limit in the proposed C8-2 district to a total building height of 70 feet after a setback at 60 feet, similar to that in the proposed, adjacent C4-2A district.

The street tree planting provision of the SBRD would also be retained, though amended to require street tree planting for all developments and enlargements only in districts that permit residential development, including commercial overlay districts and the C4-2A district on 86th Street. The current SBRD regulations mandate street tree planting for all developments within the Special District, including those within the M1-1 and C8-1 districts.

The proposed SBRD would also modify the regulations of Section 33-42, Permitted Obstructions, to allow elevators, stair bulkheads, roof water tanks, cooling towers and other mechanical equipment to exceed the maximum height limit in R7A, R7B, R6A, R6B, C4-2A and C8-2 districts. This change recognizes the tighter envelopes of the contextual districts, and the practical necessity for sufficient flexibility to allow new buildings to be constructed in these districts.

 

Overview | Existing Context and Zoning | Proposed Zoning

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