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Projects & Proposals > Brooklyn > Bedford-Stuyvesant North Printer Friendly Version
Bedford-Stuyvesant North Rezoning - Approved!
Existing Context and Zoning
Overview | Existing Context and Zoning | Proposed Zoning | Public Review

Existing Zoning  Map
Existing Zoning Map
PDF Document View a larger image.
Bedford-Stuyvesant is a predominantly residential neighborhood in central Brooklyn well-known for its brownstones, rowhouses, churches, and neighborhood institutions. The rezoning area covers approximately 140 blocks and is generally bounded by Lafayette Avenue and Quincy Street to the south, Classon and Franklin Avenues to the west, Broadway to the east, and Flushing Avenue to the north.

Present-day Bedford-Stuyvesant is characterized by a variety of residential building types. East-west midblocks are generally developed with two four story brownstones and rowhouses with front stoops and no off-street parking. Medium-density apartment buildings are generally located on the north-south avenues. Myrtle Avenue is the area's most significant east-west commercial street, with medium and high-density apartment buildings, including NYCHA developments and significant ground floor retail activity. Broadway, the primary commercial corridor in the area, has an elevated subway line running along it. Five large NYCHA housing developments, characterized by their 'tower in the park' design, occupy 10 superblocks throughout the area.

Recent years have seen an increase in commercial and residential development in Bedford-Stuyvesant, with some recent development creating buildings that are out of character with the surrounding neighborhood context. In addition, the existing commercial zoning is not always a good match with existing local commercial uses. Some commercial overlays extend deep into the residential side streets, making it possible for new commercial uses to encroach upon these residential areas. At the same time, some portions of existing commercial corridors lack commercial zoning, or have commercial zoning that does not allow of the type or configuration of commercial use that currently exists.

Height Factor Development on Spencer Street Out-of-context development on Tomkins Avenue
Height Factor development on Spencer Street Out-of-context development on
Tomkins Avenue

The neighborhood is served by several bus lines in addition to the J, M, Z and G subway lines, with A and C subway stations located south of the rezoning area on Fulton Street. The area is predominately zoned R5 and R6 with C1-3 and C2-3 commercial overlays on Broadway, Myrtle and Flushing Avenues and interspersed along the north/south avenues. Additionally, there are C8-2 and C4-3 commercial districts on Broadway. PDF Document View the zoning comparison chart.


An R5 zoning district is mapped in the center of the rezoning area, bounded by Tompkins Avenue to the west, Lafayette Avenue and Kosciusko Street to the north, Stuyvesant Avenue to the east, and Lexington Avenue and Greene Street to the south.  R5 has a 40-foot height limit and a maximum floor area ratio (FAR) of 1.25, or 1.65 for infill in a predominantly built-up area. Community facilities have a maximum FAR of 2.00. R5 development requires a deep front yard, even where the neighboring buildings provide a consistent street wall.


The majority of the rezoning area is zoned R6. There is no firm height limit in R6 districts if height factor regulations are utilized, rather, height is governed by a sky exposure plane.  Lot coverage is regulated by open space ratio.  The maximum FAR is 2.43 for residential buildings, and R6 regulations permit community facility buildings up to a maximum FAR of 4.8.  The optional Quality Housing program permits an FAR of 2.2 on narrow streets and 3.0 on wide streets but limits building heights to 55 feet and 70 feet, respectively. Off-street parking is required for a minimum of 70% dwelling units and a minimum of 50% dwelling units when the Quality Housing program is utilized.


There are two C4-3 commercial zoning districts mapped in the northern half of Bedford-Stuyvesant, both along Broadway.  One is close to the Gates Avenue subway station along Ralph Avenue and Broadway, south of Greene Street.  The other is along Broadway north of Ellery Street extending along Flushing Avenue east of Throop Avenue.  The C4-3 district regulations permit commercial buildings of up to 3.4 FAR, residential and mixed commercial/residential building of up to 2.43 FAR under height factor regulations and 3.0 using the Quality Housing regulations (R6 equivalent).  Community facility buildings may build to a maximum FAR of 4.8.  There is no firm height limit in C4-3 districts if height factor regulations are utilized, rather, height is governed by a sky exposure plane.


There are two C8-2 zoning districts mapped in the rezoning area. One is along Myrtle Avenue between Lewis Avenue and Broadway. The other is comprised of partial blocks generally defined by Broadway to the east, Van Buren Street to the north, between Patchen Avenue and Ralph Avenue to the west, and between Lexington Avenue and Quincy Street to the south. The C8-2 district regulations allow all commercial uses up to FAR 2.0 or FAR 4.8 for community facilities or mixed commercial and community facility buildings. Height is governed by a sky exposure plane.

Commercial Overlays

There are commercial overlays permitting local commercial retail uses along Broadway, DeKalb and Myrtle Avenues, and intermittently along the north-south avenues. The predominant C1-3 commercial overlay allows small-scale retail and service shops in residential neighborhoods and is mapped generally along Myrtle, DeKalb, Bedford, Nostrand, and Tompkins Avenues, as well as Marcus-Garvey Boulevard. In R6 districts, the commercial FAR can be up to 2.0, while in R5 districts the maximum FAR is 1.0.

The C2-3 overlays allow a slightly broader range of service uses, such as funeral homes and repair services and are mapped along Flushing, Bedford, Nostrand, and Throop Avenues, Malcolm X Boulevard, and Broadway. In R6 districts, the commercial FAR can be up to 2.0, while in R5 districts the maximum is 1.0. 


Overview | Existing Context and Zoning | Proposed Zoning | Public Review

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Brief explanations of terms in green italics can be viewed by clicking on the term. Words and phrases followed by an asterisk (*) are defined terms in the Zoning Resolution, primarily in Section 12-10. Consult the Zoning Resolution for the official and legally binding definitions of these words and phrases.
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