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Projects & Proposals > Brooklyn > Carroll Gardens/Columbia Street Printer Friendly Version
Carroll Gardens/Columbia Street Rezoning - Approved!
Existing Context and Zoning
Overview | Existing Context & Zoning | Proposed Zoning | Public Review

The proposed rezoning area is part of the neighborhood formerly known as South Brooklyn, located south of Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill and east of Red Hook. 

The Carroll Gardens neighborhood is served by the F and G subway lines on Smith Street which stop at the Carroll Street station.  Bus service is provided by the B75 bus on Court Street, the B77 bus on 9th Street  and the B71 bus on Sackett and Union streets.  The Columbia Street neighborhood is also served by the B71 bus as well as the B61 bus on Columbia Street.

PDF Document View the Zoning Comparison Table.

Neighborhood Character
Carroll Gardens is a predominantly residential neighborhood characterized by 3 to 4-story row houses and some 4- and 5-story multi-family apartment buildings.  Smith Street and Court Street are the local retail corridors, characterized  by 3- and 4-story mixed use buildings with ground floor commercial and community facilities with residential above.  Carroll Gardens is notable for its predominantly intact brownstone context and its unconventional street grid on many blocks, mapped in such a way that the row houses on the east-west streets have 30-foot deep front yards (the “Gardens” for which the neighborhood is named). The Carroll Gardens Historic District, located along President Street and  Carroll Street between Smith Street and Hoyt Street, was established in 1973 in recognition of the area’s special architectural and historic character.

The Columbia Street area has a mixed character as a result of its proximity to the industrial waterfront.  During the second half of the twentieth century, the area suffered from its isolation from the rest of the borough from the construction of Brooklyn Queens Expressway, lack of transportation options and declining manufacturing activity.  Recently, the neighborhood has been revitalized and seen an increase in residential and commercial development interest.  The neighborhood is predominantly characterized by 3- and 4-story row houses and 3-story New York City Partnership homes that were built under the Columbia Street Urban Renewal Plan.  In addition, seven story former manufacturing buildings on Tiffany Place have been converted into apartments.  Columbia Street and Union Street are the local retail corridors, characterized by 3- and 4-story mixed use buildings with ground floor retail and residential above. 

In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, European immigrants settled south of Downtown Brooklyn, close to jobs on the industrial waterfront.  In the 1950s, the construction of limited-access highways cut off waterfront blocks from the rest of the neighborhood and divided South Brooklyn into distinct communities.   Today, the areas east of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway are known as Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill and Gowanus; the neighborhoods of Columbia Street and Red Hook are located west of the highway along the industrial waterfront.

Existing Context

Residential Row House Context
Third Place between Henry Street and Clinton Street Carroll Street between Columbia Street and Henry Street
Third Place between Henry Street and Clinton Street Carroll Street between Columbia Street and Henry Street
Commercial Corridors
Out of scale development
Smith Street and Union Street Tiffany Place between Kane and Degraw
Smith Street and Union Street Tiffany Place between Kane and Degraw

Existing Zoning Land Use
Existing Zoning & Land Use Map
PDF Document View a larger image
The area is zoned entirely R6.  C1 and C2 commercial overlays occur primarily on blocks along retail corridors.  R6 is a height factor district with no height limits and which permits tower construction on large lots. Building envelopes are regulated by the sky exposure plane.The maximum floor area ratio (FAR) in R6 is 2.43 for residential buildings and 4.8 for community facilities. The optional Quality Housing program permits an FAR of 2.2 on narrow streets and 3.0 on wide streets and limits building heights to 55 feet and 70 feet, respectively.  Off-street parking is required for 70 percent of the dwelling units, or for 50 percent of the dwelling units when the Quality Housing program is utilized.

C1-3 and C2-3 commercial overlays, which allow for local retail and service uses, are mapped within the R6 district along most of Smith Street, Court Street and Columbia Street, as well as portions of Hoyt Street, Henry Street, Union Street and Hamilton Avenue.  C1 overlays permit basic small-scale retail shops, grocery stores and offices.  C2 overlays permit a slightly broader range of service uses, such as local repair services.  C1 and C2 overlays have a maximum commercial FAR of 2.0 when mapped in R6 districts, though commercial uses are limited to the first floor when residences are located above.  These overlays require parking for general retail space at rates of between one space per 300 square feet and one space per 1,000 square feet. 

In 2008, the City Council approved the Department’s Carroll Gardens Narrow Streets Text Amendment to establish the following streets as narrow streets for zoning purposes: First Place, Second Place, Third Place and Fourth Place between Henry and Smith streets; and President Street, Carroll Street and Second Street between Smith Street and Hoyt Street.  Prior to this zoning text amendment, those streets were considered wide streets because the City Map includes their characteristic deep front yards as part of the measurement of the mapped street.

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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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