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Projects & Proposals > Brooklyn > Coney Island Printer Friendly Version
Coney Island Comprehensive Rezoning Plan - Approved!
The Proposal
Overview | Existing Context and Zoning | The Proposal | Public Review

  Update April 9th, 2009:

On April 9, 2009, in response to community comments received during the public process, the Department of City Planning filed a modified application (N 090273(A) ZRK) for the Special Coney Island District text.


Proposed Actions
The proposal would establish a new special zoning district, the Special Coney Island District, encompassing 17 blocks located between the Aquarium, the Riegelmann Boardwalk, Mermaid Avenue and West 22nd Street. The Special Coney Island District would include use, density, bulk and parking regulations to incentivize and guide development of the amusement and entertainment district as well as the residential developments outside of the amusement area. PDF Document View the zoning comparison chart.

In addition, the proposed actions of the Coney Island Plan include: Zoning map and text changes, mapping and demapping of parkland, mapping and demapping of streets, private property acquisition, UDAAP designation and project approval and disposition of City-owned property.

The zoning proposal was presented to the City Planning Commission for certification on January 20th, 2009. See the full Certification Presentation. Read the press release.


Land Use Framework
Land Use Framework
PDF Document View a larger image
Illustrative Development Plan
Illustrative Development Plan
PDF Document View a larger image
Proposed Zoning map
Proposed Zoning Map
PDF Document View a larger image


The special district would be comprised of four subdistricts with special zoning regulations for each subdistrict that would supplement those of the underlying zoning:

Coney East (bounded by KeySpan Park to the west, the Aquarium to the east, Riegelmann Boardwalk to the south and the subway tracks to the north)

Coney East is intended to become a 27-acre amusement and entertainment district.  The proposed Special District would define regulations that modify those of the underlying C7 zoning district to broaden the range of allowed uses and create four categories of uses:

  • Hotels: Limited to Surf Avenue frontages. Hotels on lots larger than 20,000 square feet would be required to provide 20 percent of their floor area as amusement uses.

  • Open and enclosed amusements with limited accessory retail. Amusement uses would also include virtual reality and simulated gaming, dark rides, recreational sports facilities and water parks;

  • Restaurants of any size, including those with entertainment and dancing.  It would also include other complementary uses to amusements uses such as performance venues, bathhouses, breweries, tattoo parlors or wedding chapels;

  • Retail and service uses complementary to amusement uses and beach activities such as arts and crafts production and sales, bicycle sales and repair, gift shops, and beach furniture stores.  These uses would be limited in size and frontage.

The allowable density would be increased from a Floor Area Ration (FAR) of 2.0 to a range of FARs between 2.6 and 4.5.  Closer to the open amusements and along the subway tracks north of Surf Avenue, the FAR would be 2.6.   Along Surf Avenue, FAR would range from 4.5  to 4.0 stepping down towards the Cyclone.  These density regulations are intended to provide a transition downward from the 120 foot wide Surf Avenue to the beach and boardwalk and from KeySpan ballpark to the Cyclone.

To promote a vibrant active district and to create a seamless transition between the amusement park and the rest of the entertainment district, new developments on Wonder Wheel Way (a proposed new street) and Bowery would be required to have amusements occupying half of the total street frontage and the ground floor level of hotels would be required to have active uses such as restaurants, retail and entertainment venues.

Wonder Wheel Way Today
Wonder Wheel Way Today       
Wonder Wheel Way
Wonder Wheel Way PDF Document View a larger image.


On Surf Avenue, the minimum and maximum base height would be 40 feet and 85 feet respectively, which is the height of the Shore Theater.   Maximum building height on Wonder Wheel Way and Bowery will be capped at 60 feet after a setback at 40 feet.  On Surf Avenue, towers would be allowed at defined corner locations.  Footprints would be limited to 8,500 square feet.  Maximum tower height would range from 150 feet closer to the Wonder Wheel to 270 feet (Parachute Jump height) closer to KeySpan Park.

 Bowery Today
Bowery Today
The Historic Bowery
The Historic Bowery
Bowery After
A Reactivated Bowery - PDF Document View a larger image.


Due to the limited size of most of the blocks, the high water table and the requirement for active frontages, the provision of accessory parking spaces on site is limited.  In addition, the concentration of traffic in the amusement and entertainment district is not desirable. To facilitate the provision of off-site parking, Special District regulations would allow for accessory spaces to be provided off-site in an area defined from Ocean Parkway to West 27th Street and from the Creek to the Boardwalk.

Amusement area Today
Amusement area
Beach, Boardwalk and Amusements



Coney West (bounded by West 22nd Street to the west, Parachute Way to the east, Riegelmann Boardwalk to the south and Surf Avenue to the north)

Coney West will be rezoned to allow for residential uses with ground-floor retail along Surf Avenue and revitalized uses along the Boardwalk.  Developments on the two westernmost blocks in this subdistrict would have a maximum FAR of 5.8 with the provision of affordable housing through the Inclusionary Housing Program.  Developments that do not elect to participate in the Inclusionary Housing Program would be limited to an FAR of 4.35.  Development on the demapped KeySpan Park parking lot would have a maximum FAR of 5.5 with the provision of affordable housing through the Inclusionary Housing Program. Development that does not elect to participate in the Inclusionary Housing Program would be limited to an FAR of 4.12. Commercial and Community Facility uses would have a maximum FAR of 2.0.

On Surf Avenue, commercial ground floor uses would be mandated and 20 percent of the frontages would have to be dedicated to entertainment-related uses.

Along Surf Avenue Special, special district regulations will mandate that buildings locate at the street line.  The minimum and maximum base heights for Surf Avenue will be 60 and 85 feet, which is the height of the Shore Theater.  Towers would be allowed in defined locations, with the highest tower placed at the corner of Surf Avenue and the intersecting streets.  Footprints will be limited to 8,500 square feet and broad tower height limited to 220 feet.  For developments that participate in the Inclusionary Housing Program, point towers would be able to rise to 270 feet.

To preserve the unique sense of openness on the Boardwalk, special regulations will limit uses to amusement and entertainment and cap building height at 40 feet, which is the height of the landmarked Childs’ building.

Because of the difficulty and cost involved in providing underground parking, parking for new residential buildings will likely be in multi-level, above grade garages.  These garages would be required to be wrapped by active uses on all street frontages.  To facilitate the provision of parking, required accessory parking spaces and public parking provided in addition to required accessory parking would be exempted from the FAR definition.  It is anticipated that the existing parking spaces accessory to the KeySpan ballpark would be replaced as part of the proposed development.



Surf Avenue Today
Surf Avenue Today     
Surf Avenue
Surf Avenue as the spine of the district


Boardwalk
Boardwalk Today
Boardwalk
A Reactivated Boardwalk PDF Document View a larger image.



Coney North/Mermaid Avenue
(bounded by West 20th Street to the west, Stillwell Avenue to the east, Surf Avenue to the south and Mermaid Avenue to the north)

Coney North and Mermaid Avenue will be rezoned to allow for residential uses with ground-floor retail along Surf Avenue and Mermaid Avenue. Developments within Coney North would have a maximum FAR of 5.0 with the provision of affordable housing through the Inclusionary Housing Program. Developments that do not elect to participate in the Inclusionary Housing Program would be limited to an FAR of 3.75.

The special use and bulk regulations applying to Surf Avenue and the mandate to wrap parking in Coney West would also apply in Coney North. Tower controls would also be the same.

Developments within the four Mermaid Avenue frontages would have a maximum FAR of 4.6 with the provision of affordable housing through the Inclusionary Housing Program. Developments that do not elect to participate in the Inclusionary Housing Program would be limited to an FAR of 3.45. The Mermaid Avenue frontages would be rezoned to a contextual zoning district. Overall building heights would be limited to 80 feet and base heights would be between 40 and 65 feet.

MERMAID AVENUE TODAY
Mermaid Avenue Today       
MERMAID AVENUE
Mermaid Avenue - PDF Document View a larger image.

'A' Application
On April 9, 2009, in response to community comments received during the public process, the Department of City Planning filed a modified application (N 090273(A) ZRK) for the Special Coney Island District text. The Special text is largely identical to the proposal as referred on January 20, 2009.

The proposed modifications include the subdivision of Use Group A into two subgroups and their applicability within the Coney East subdistrict. The modifications also include a reduction in the maximum capacity of ‘Arenas or Auditoriums’ and the elimination of ‘Cigar and Tobacco stores’ from Use Group C.

In addition, the proposed modifications include changes to the base heights regulations for buildings fronting on Surf Avenue in Coney East, changes to the transition height regulations in Coney West, introduction of a transition height in Coney North, the creation of a new tower form in Coney North and Coney West and a modification to one of the tower top articulation options applicable to all three subdistricts.

PDF Document View the original proposed zoning text.

PDF Document View the proposed modified zoning text.


Zoning Map Changes
In addition to the mapping of the Special District, Coney North would be rezoned from C7 and R6 to R7X with a C2-4 overlay over the entire subdistrict. Coney West would be rezoned from C7 to R7D with a C2-4 overlay mapped over the entire subdistrict.

Mermaid Avenue would be rezoned from R6 with a mapped C1-2 overlay to R7A with a C2-4 overlay mapped over the entire subdistrict.

Portions of two blocks located between West 22nd and West 24th Streets currently zoned C7 would be rezoned to R5 as an extension of the existing adjacent R5 zoning district. These two portions of blocks contain vacant land, school bus parking, and a nursing care facility. R5 zoning districts allow for residential development at 1.25 FAR with a maximum building height of 40 feet. This zoning change will bring the existing nursing care facility into conformance.

Other related actions
In addition to the zoning actions, implementation of the plan also requires the following actions:

City Map Changes
The plan includes the demapping of 9.30 acres of parkland currently used primarily as parking lots for the KeySpan Park.  The Abe Stark Skating Rink is also located in the area to be demapped.  The demapped parkland would be replaced by the mapping of two parks along the Riegelmann Boardwalk: a 9.39 acre park that would be developed as the amusement area and a 1.41 acre neighborhood park.  The relocation and replacement of the Abe Stark Skating Rink would be required before development of this parcel begins.  The demapping of parkland requires that the City applies to the State for alienation legislation.

This mapping action would create a cohesive 44-acre network of parks along the beachfront stretching from the proposed new neighborhood park (‘Highland View Park’) to Asser Levy Park through the KeySpan Park and Steeplechase Plaza, the proposed amusement park and the Aquarium.

Parkland Strategy
Parkland Strategy - PDF Document View a larger image.
A 44-acre network of Parks
A 44-ACRE NETWORK OF PARKS -
PDF DocumentView a larger image.

To facilitate the redevelopment of vacant and underutilized land through the creation of new block configurations, enhance the access to the Boardwalk and develop new connections between the residential community and the amusement area, the proposal includes demapping portions of seven streets and mapping of six new streets.

The new Wonder Wheel Way in Coney East will provide a direct connection between the Parachute Jump and the newly designed Steeplechase Plaza and the Cyclone roller coaster via the Wonder Wheel.  In Coney West, Ocean Way, Parachute Way and West 20th Streets will facilitate the development of a new mixed-use neighborhood and provide improved connections between the surrounding community and the Boardwalk.

Because this area is in a floodplain, the news streets are being mapped at grades closer to or at the floodplain elevation. To create cohesive development parcels, the grades of some existing streets would also need to be adjusted.

Other Actions
To facilitate the development of the amusement and entertainment district and the mixed-use developments outside of the amusement area, the City also proposes to acquire and subsequently dispose of property.


Overview | Existing Context and Zoning | The Proposal | Public Review



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