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Projects & Proposals > Brooklyn > Greenpoint-Williamsburg Printer Friendly Version
Greenpoint-Williamsburg - Approved!
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Waterfront Zoning: Public Access Requirements
Article VI, Chapter 2 of the New York City Zoning Resolution, commonly known as waterfront zoning, includes requirements for public access upon residential or commercial development of a waterfront parcel. Under these rules, residential or commercial redevelopment of individual parcels would require developers to build and maintain specified public access areas:

Shore public walkways.
A continuous walkway must be provided along the shoreline of a development site. This area typically contains one or more pedestrian paths as well as buffer areas. In medium and higher density districts, the minimum width for a shore public walkway is 40 feet.

Upland connections.
Paths connecting the shore public walkway to streets and sidewalks or parks are required at specified intervals. In medium and higher density districts, the minimum width for an upland connection is 30 feet. Upland connection requirements can also be satisfied within a private street by building sidewalks at least 12 feet wide.

Visual corridors.
Unobstructed views to the water are required at specified intervals. Where visual corridors are extensions of streets, they must be as wide as the street; elsewhere, visual corridors must be at least 50 feet wide.

Public access on piers.
Piers that are part of a waterfront lot must be accessible to the public. Public access is required on both sides of piers for their entire length.

Supplemental public access areas.
Waterfront developments are required to provide a minimum of 15 to 20 percent of their lot area for public access. (In R6 districts, this minimum is 15 percent; in R8 districts, it is 20 percent). If the sum of other public access requirements is less than this percentage, the development must provide one or more supplemental public access areas, which can be parks, plazas, or sitting areas. Like other public access areas, these areas are subject to design guidelines. Maintenance and access. Under waterfront zoning, public access areas must be open to the public between dawn and dusk. Public access requirements are recorded in a restrictive declaration against the property, and are maintained by the property owner under a maintenance and operation agreement signed with the Department of Parks and Recreation.

Design guidelines.
Section 62-60 of the Zoning Resolution contains a detailed set of design standards for waterfront public access areas and visual corridors. It includes parameters for their location and configuration, as well as requirements for paving, planting, seating, lighting, signage, fences and guardrails.





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