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Projects & Proposals > Brooklyn > Crown Heights West Printer Friendly Version
Crown Heights West Rezoning - Approved!
Proposed Zoning
Overview | Existing Context and Zoning | Proposed Zoning | Public Review

Zoning Map Changes
Proposed Zoning  Map
Proposed Zoning Map
PDF Document View a larger image.
The proposed Crown Heights Rezoning would introduce new zoning districts on approximately 55 full or partial blocks. The zoning map and text changes proposed would:
  • Maintain the existing scale and character of the neighborhood by establishing contextual zoning districts with height limits and ensure context sensitive new development
  • Create incentives for development of affordable housing by identifying areas that can accommodate modest growth for application of Inclusionary Housing Program
  • Match commercial zoning to reflect existing retail character

PDF Document View the zoning comparison chart.

Proposed R5B

Three full and partial blocks of the rezoning area located between Prospect Place and St. Johnís Place and Franklin and Bedford avenues are proposed to be rezoned from R6 to R5B. The R5B designation would protect the low-rise, small homes character of these aesthetically pleasing and well-preserved brownstones and rowhouses from the early 19th century. The R5B district is a rowhouse district that allows a maximum FAR of 1.35 with a maximum building height of 33 feet. Lots must be at least 18 feet wide and provide a five foot front yard. Parking is not required for one and two family homes. Where parking is required, spaces for 66 percent of the units must be provided.

Proposed R6B

Twenty-three full and partial blocks of the rezoning area are proposed to be rezoned to R6B.   This proposed designation would protect the low-rise, rowhouse character of the midblocks on east-west side streets. In portions of the area currently zoned R6, the R6B designation would allow for modest enlargements of many existing homes while establishing a height limit and a line-up provision with adjacent buildings that would reflect the scale and character of existing development. These proposed R6B areas are typically built with two- to four-story rowhouses and four-story apartment buildings. 

The R6B district is a rowhouse district that allows a maximum FAR of 2.0 for residential and community facility uses and limits building heights to 50 feet.  New development in the proposed R6B district would be required to maintain the existing street wall characteristics. New multi-family residences must provide one off-street parking space each for 50% of the dwelling units.

Proposed R6A

47 full or partial blocks of the rezoning area are proposed to be rezoned to R6A.  R6A is proposed for lot frontages along many north/south avenues and along some east-west streets. The area proposed to be mapped with R6A generally contains small and medium-sized apartment buildings, including some out-of-scale, ten- to fourteen-story buildings and mixed-use developments along parts of the avenues. Some of these areas on the north-south avenues are also zoned with either C1-3 or C2-3 commercial overlay districts and are proposed to be changed to C2-4.

R6A is a medium-density apartment district, with a maximum FAR of 3.0 for residential and community facility uses. New buildings are limited to a maximum height of 70 feet and are required to line up with adjacent structures to maintain a continuous streetwall.  Off-street parking is required for 50% of housing units.

Proposed R7A

An R7A designation is proposed for 18 full and partial blocks in the southwestern portion of the rezoning area along Franklin Avenue and between St. Mark’s Avenue and Bergen Street west of Franklin Avenue. South of Sterling Place, the proposed R7A district would reflect the existing apartment building character of the area near Eastern Parkway.  North of Sterling Place, the character is mixed density with a mix of building forms and a number of vacant sites and the proposed R7A district would be designated as an Inclusionary Housing area with incentives for the development of affordable housing.  The Inclusionary Housing program is described below in more detail.

R7A is a medium-density apartment district, with a maximum FAR of 4.0 for residential and community facility uses.  In the Inclusionary Housing program designated areas, R7A allows a maximum FAR for residential uses of 3.45 and 4.60 if affordable housing is provided.  Buildings are limited to a maximum height of 80 feet. Parking is required for 50% of the residential units.

Proposed R7D

An R7D designation is proposed for 3 partial block faces along Bedford Avenue between St John’s Place and Eastern Parkway.  Bedford Avenue is a wide street and a major thoroughfare.  Mapping R7D in this area and including it in the proposed Inclusionary Housing designated area would provide incentives for affordable housing. 

R7D is a residential district that allows apartment building development, with a base FAR of up to 4.2 for residential and community facility uses. If affordable housing is provided pursuant to the Inclusionary Housing program, the maximum FAR for residential uses is 5.60.  New structures in R7D districts are required to line up with adjacent structures to maintain the streetwall. Heights up to 100 feet are permitted.  In addition, where an R7D district is also within a commercial overlay district, active ground-floor uses, such as retail uses, commercial services, and community facilities are required. Off-street parking is required for at least 30% of the dwelling units. 

Proposed C2-4 Overlays

The proposed rezoning would update all C1-3 and C2-3 commercial overlay districts to C2-4 districts.  In addition to the residential, community facility and commercial uses allowed in C1-3 districts, C2-4 districts also allow Use Groups 7, 8, 9, and 14, which include uses such as plumbing and electrical shops, small bowling alleys and movie theaters, funeral homes, small repair shops, printers, and caterers.  Parking requirements vary depending on the type of commercial use and the districts suffix, but are generally lower than in the C1-3 and C2-3 districts. The total amount of permitted floor area on these sites would remain the same with or without the proposed action.

The proposed C2-4 commercial overlay would also be mapped along one block front along Bedford Avenue between Eastern Parkway and Lincoln Place, replacing the existing C8-2 district, and on Nostrand Avenue between St Marks Avenue and St. Johns Place, replacing the existing C4-3 commercial district.

A new C2-4 commercial overlay would be added to a block front on the west side along Classon Avenue, between Prospect Place and Park Place. This would bring the underlying mixed use buildings with retail on ground floor in conformance, and also help match zoning with retail character, one of the goals of rezoning.

The existing C2-3 and C1-3 commercial overlays would be removed in a few areas based on the underlying land uses, where appropriate to prevent commercial encroachment on residential side streets. Commercial overlays are proposed to be mapped to a depth of 100 feet in order to better reflect the typical depth of existing lots with commercial uses along these corridors and to prevent commercial uses from encroaching on residential side streets.

In addition to updating the commercial overlays in the rezoning area, new commercial overlays are proposed to reflect the existing patterns and trends of commercial use on portions of the north-south avenues.  These new commercial overlays will bring existing commercial uses into conformance and increase the predictability of new development along these corridors.

Proposed Text Amendments

Two amendments to the Zoning Resolution are proposed:

  • One amendment would create new Inclusionary Housing Designated Areas to encourage the development of affordable housing in the rezoning area.
  • A second amendment would modify height and setback regulations in order to maintain consistency between the Zoning Resolution and the New York City Administrative Code.

These proposed zoning text amendments are described in detail below.

PDF Document View the adopted text - adopted on September 26, 2013.

Inclusionary Housing Area

Proposed Inclusionary Housing Areas Map
Proposed Inclusionary Housing Areas Map - PDF Document View a larger image.
The Crown Heights North rezoning proposal would apply the Inclusionary Housing program to portions of the proposed R7A and R7D districts within the study area, establishing incentives for the creation and preservation of affordable housing in conjunction with new development. The Inclusionary Housing program was designated in the contextual rezonings in the recently adopted Fort Greene/Clinton Hill, Bedford Stuyvesant South, Greenpoint-Williamsburg Contextual, and Sunset Park rezonings, and promotes the creation and preservation of affordable units in both rental and condominium developments.  The incentives target affordable housing to a range of income levels.

Under the Inclusionary Housing program, a development providing affordable housing is eligible for a floor area bonus, within contextual height limit and bulk regulations tailored to this area.  Affordable units can be provided either on-site or off-site, or by acquiring and preserving existing housing at affordable rents. Off-site affordable units must be located within the same community district or within a half-mile of the bonused development. Available city, state, and federal housing finance programs may be used to finance affordable units. The combination of a zoning bonus with housing programs would establish a powerful incentive for the development and preservation of affordable housing in the rezoning area. 

In R7A districts for residential development a base FAR of 3.45 is permitted as-of-right. The FAR may be increased to 4.60 if affordable housing is provided.  In R7D districts, a base FAR of 4.2 is permitted as-of-right, which can be increased to 5.6 FAR if affordable housing is provided.

Setback along Eastern Parkway

The Crown Heights rezoning includes a text amendment in order to address a requirement in the Administrative Code governing building setbacks along Eastern Parkway which requires buildings to be set back 30 feet along Eastern Parkway. The text amendment would ensure that contextual street wall requirements in contextually zoned areas would not be in conflict with the Administrative Code on Eastern Parkway.

A section in the Administrative Code dating to the construction of Eastern Parkway at the end of the 19th century requires buildings to be set 30 feet back from the street. The proposed zoning districts fronting on Eastern Parkway, however, would require buildings to be built up to or within 15 feet of the street line, which would be in conflict with the Code. To resolve this conflict and maintain the character of Eastern Parkway, a zoning text amendment is proposed to maintain the 30-foot setback requirements of the Administrative Code along Eastern Parkway. This text amendment would appliy on both sides of Eastern Parkway, which is the dividing line between Community Districts 8 and 9. Community District 9 is included because there are some contextual zoning districts along Eastern Parkway in CD 9, which the text would concurrently allow to align with the Code. 

(E) Designations

The proposed action includes the mapping of (E) designations for air quality and noise assessment, and if necessary, remediation on all of the identified development sites within the proposed rezoning areas. An (E) designation would be placed on the amended zoning map to denote certain privately-owned projected or potential development parcels where the proposed rezoning could result in new development that has the potential for impacts on noise and/or air quality. The (E) designations would ensure that these identified sites would not be developed without further assessment and remedial measures, such as use of cleaner fuels or high-quality windows, if necessary. In this way, significant impact can be avoided.


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

PDF Document Items accompanied by this symbol require the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

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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