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Projects & Proposals > Brooklyn > Crown Heights West Printer Friendly Version
Crown Heights West 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.
The western part of Crown Heights is a predominantly residential neighborhood in central Brooklyn well-known for its scenic brownstones, rowhouses, apartment buildings, churches and public institutions. The rezoning area covers approximately 55 blocks and is generally bounded by Atlantic Avenue, Pacific, Dean and Bergen streets to the north; Nostrand Avenue to the east; Eastern Parkway to the south; and, Washington and Grand avenues to the west.

Eastern Parkway was the world’s first six-lane parkway when it was built in the 1870s, and encouraged the development of the southern part of the rezoning area. The Franklin Avenue Shuttle started running in 1878 as a steam railroad line serving the area connecting it to Fulton Ferry and Coney Island. With the completion of the Brooklyn Bridge in 1883 and the opening of an elevated railway along Fulton Street just north of the rezoning area, Crown Heights became a very desirable area to live. A subway extension along Eastern Parkway in 1920 led to the development of larger apartment buildings near Eastern Parkway. Recently, the area has started to see a new influx of residents and the development of new apartment buildings.

The rezoning area is characterized by a wide variety of residential building types.  East-west midblocks are generally developed with three- to four-story brownstones and rowhouses and four-story medium-density apartment buildings, with no off-street parking.  There are also pockets of very low-rise blocks containing two- to three-story one- and two-family homes. Several large six- to seven-story, higher-density apartments are predominant in the southwestern portion of the rezoning area along Eastern Parkway and Washington Avenue. Some blocks have seen the recent construction of out-of-character residential buildings, including tallthirteen story towers on Bergen Street, St. Marks Avenue and Classon Avenue, and buildings set back far from the street wall of adjacent buildings on Sterling Place.

Tower development on Bergen Street Out-of-context development on

Tower development on Bergen Street

Out-of-context development on
Sterling Place

The neighborhood is served by several bus lines in addition to the 2, 3, 4 and 5 subway lines along Eastern Parkway and the Franklin Avenue Shuttle parallel to Franklin Avenue. The A and C subway lines have stations north of the rezoning area on Fulton Street.

The area is predominately zoned R6 and R7-1 with C1-3 and C2-3 commercial overlays on parts of Franklin, Nostrand, Bedford, Rogers and Classon avenues. Additionally, there is a C8-2 district over a 2-block portion at the southern tip of Bedford Avenue and a C4-3 commercial district along Nostrand Avenue. PDF Document View the zoning comparison chart.


The majority of the rezoning area is zoned R6, which permits tower construction with no height limit on large lots under the 1961 height factor regulations at a maximum floor area ratio (FAR) of 2.43 for residential buildings.  The R6 regulations also allow community facility buildings, such as hospitals, schools, churches, medical offices and mixed residential and 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 and limits building heights to 55 feet and 70 feet, respectively. Off-street parking is required for a minimum of 70% of dwelling units and a minimum of 50% of dwelling units when the Quality Housing program is utilized. 


The southwest portion of the rezoning area, south of Sterling Place and west of Classon Avenue, is zoned R7-1, which allows residential and community facility uses and a maximum FAR of 3.44 for residential uses and 4.8 for community facility uses. There is no height limit and building envelopes are governed by a sky exposure plane. Residential developments using the optional Quality Housing program in an R7-1 district are allowed a maximum 3.44 FAR on narrow streets and 4.0 FAR on wide streets with maximum building heights of 75 feet and 80 feet respectively. Off-street parking is required for 60% of the dwelling units or 50% of the dwelling units under the Quality Housing program.

A four-block stretch of Nostrand Avenue is zoned C4-3, a regional commercial district where uses such as specialty and department stores that serve a larger area and generate more activity than a local retail area are allowed. The C4-3 district regulations permit commercial uses up to 3.4 FAR, with the R6 regulations, as discussed above, applying to residential and community facility uses. There is no height limit and building envelopes are governed by a sky exposure plane Non-residential parking requirements vary by use.


A C8-2 zoning district is mapped on portions of two blocks at the southern tip of Bedford Avenue between Eastern Parkway and Lincoln Place. C8-2 districts bridge commercial and manufacturing districts and are mapped mainly along major arterials. The C8-2 district regulations allow all commercial uses, including automotive and other heavy commercial services, up to 2.0 FAR or 4.8 FAR for community facility or mixed commercial and community facility uses. New residential uses are not permitted in C8-2 districts and performance standards apply to commercial uses.  Building heights are governed by a sky exposure plane. Off-street parking requirements vary with use, but are generally substantial for automotive uses.

C1-3 and C2-3 Overlays

Commercial overlays permit local commercial retail uses along Franklin Avenue and parts of Nostrand, Bedford, and Rogers avenues and on one block front along Classon Avenue.  C1-3 commercial districts allow small-scale retail and service shops needed in residential neighborhoods. C2-3 commercial districts allow a slightly broader range of service uses, such as funeral homes and repair services. In R6 districts, the commercial FAR can be up to 2.0.


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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