The Department of City Planning proposes zoning map changes for approximately 120 blocks in the Bensonhurst neighborhood of Brooklyn’s Community Board 11. The area proposed for rezoning is a predominantly low-rise residential community bounded by Bay Parkway and 61st Street on the north, McDonald Avenue on the east, Avenue U on the south and Stillwell Avenue on the west.
Settled primarily during the 1920s after the BMT subway company acquired the former Sea Beach and West End Railway, the area is characterized by two- and three-story residences, mostly one- and two-family homes, with corridors of six-story and taller apartment houses on Quentin Road, Avenue P, and parts of Kings Highway and 65th Street. Commercial activity is concentrated on Bay Parkway, 65th Street, Kings Highway and Avenue U, and parts of Highlawn Avenue and Avenues O, S and T.
Although the area was mainly built up by World War II, small-scale construction continued into the 1980s – mostly groups of three- or four- story rowhouses with ground floor garages. Recently, however, some taller apartment buildings have been constructed on neighborhood midblocks and on some predominantly low-rise wide streets such as 65th Street.
The proposed rezoning would preserve the existing neighborhood scale and character with lower density and contextual zoning districts, preventing new development inconsistent with that low-rise character. The proposal encourages residential development on selected wide streets with good access to mass transit and a character already defined by large apartment buildings – Avenue P, Quentin Road and Kings Highway and, to a lesser extent, along Bay Parkway and 65th Street. Along these corridors, the mid-density contextual zoning districts proposed would establish height limits consistent with neighboring apartment houses and would prevent development of overly large community facility and mixed residential/community facility buildings.
On February 14th, 2005, the Department of City Planning certified the Uniform
Land Use Review Procedure application for the Bensonhurst rezoning to begin the formal public review process. Community Board 11 held a public hearing on the proposal on March 9th and unanimously voted to recommend approval on March 10th. The Brooklyn Borough President recommended approval of the proposal on April 11th. The City Planning Commission held a public hearing on the application on April 27, 2005 and on May 25, 2005 adopted the proposed zoning changes with one modification ( Read the CPC Report). ( View the modified proposed zoning map.) On June 23, 2005, the City Council voted to adopt the application with one modification.
The City Council's modification removed from the rezoning area a one and a half block area between 65th Street, Avenue O and West 4th and West 5th Streets. That area will remain zoned R6. The zoning map changes are now in effect.
View a color map illustrating the adopted zoning map change.
For more information on the Bensonhurst Rezoning, please the Brooklyn Office of the Department of City Planning at (718) 780-8280.
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