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Projects & Proposals > Brooklyn > 4th Avenue Printer Friendly Version
Special 4th Avenue Enhanced Commercial District - Approved!
Proposed Zoning

Proposed Zoning Map
Proposed Zoning -
PDF Document View a larger image.

The proposed Special Fourth Avenue Enhanced Commercial District would establish regulations to require a broad range of engaging, pedestrian-friendly commercial and community facility uses on the ground floor of buildings fronting on Fourth Avenue, and limit the location of less pedestrian-friendly residential and parking uses on the ground floor.  It would apply certain streetscape and parking entrance location guidelines on the ground floor to further enhance the pedestrian streetscape environment.  The proposed Special Fourth Avenue Enhanced Commercial District text amendment would be shown on the zoning map by mapping a Special District denoted “EC” for Enhanced Commercial.  This Special District follows the existing zoning line for the R8A and R8A/C2-4 zoning district that is mapped along this portion of 4th Avenue. 

Each of the three major components to this text amendment seeks to address a specific issue and will result in diverse commercial and retail developments in this emerging new neighborhood.

 PDF Document View the proposed text amendment.


Enlivening Ground Floor Uses
Ground Floor Uses
Ground Floor Uses - PDF Document View a larger image
To ensure a mix of commercial and retail uses as already permitted by the underlying zoning, the proposal would require that the first 30 feet of the entire ground floor frontage be developed with certain permitted commercial or community facility, non-residential uses.  Of the ground floor frontage of a lot, at least 50% must be occupied by retail uses.  The remaining frontage of the lot (but not more than 50%) may be occupied by uses otherwise permitted in the C2-4 zoning district, with the exception of public parking garages, as well as lobby spaces and parking entrances where applicable.  This flexibility in permitting a range of uses will encourage the development of a varied, active streetscape.

While parking and residential uses remain desirable and would continue to be permitted, these uses would be accommodated elsewhere in the building as otherwise permitted by zoning or beyond the first 30 feet of the building on the ground floor.  Residential lobby sizes would be limited to 25’ at most to ensure that the maximum feasible ground floor space be occupied by shops and offices that serve the neighborhood and its new residents. 

Sidewalk Continuity/Curb Cuts
Sidwalk Continuity/Curb Cuts
Curb Cuts - PDF Document View a larger image
To ensure that cars do not overshadow the pedestrian experience, curb cuts serving new buildings would generally be limited to the side streets. This would minimize interruptions to the sidewalk and streetwall and assure that Fourth Avenue developed and evolved with an improved pedestrian environment. A curb cut would only be permitted on Fourth Avenue if it serves an interior zoning lot which does not have access to a side street AND has a lot width along Fourth Avenue greater than 60’.

Streetscape Design/Transparency
Streetscape Design/Transparency
Transparency - PDF Document View a larger image
To ensure an interactive and social space along 4th Avenue, all uses fronting on Fourth Avenue, including lobbies, must adhere to a minimum level of streetwall transparency of 50% measured between 2’ and 12’.  Shops and uses with glass storefronts allow pedestrians to look at activities inside from the sidewalk.  Blank streetwalls necessary for building elements such as columns or fire doors could not exceed 10’ in width.

Schools, houses of worship and pre-existing lots of less than 20' would be exempted from the ground floor use and streetscape design/transparency regulations but curb cut regulations would apply to these uses.

When an area within the Special Fourth Avenue Enhanced Commercial District is zoned R8A only, transparency requirements and ground floor commercial use regulations would not apply.

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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