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Projects & Proposals > Brooklyn > Greenpoint-Williamsburg Printer Friendly Version
Greenpoint-Williamsburg Contextual Rezoning - Approved!
Existing Zoning and Context


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

Greenpoint-Williamsburg Contextual Rezoning - Locator Map Greenpoint-Williamsburg Contextual Rezoning - Land Use Map Greenpoint-Williamsburg Contextual Rezoning - Existing Zoning Map
Locator Map
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Land Use Map
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Existing Zoning Map
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The neighborhoods of Greenpoint and Williamsburg are located at the northern tip of Brooklyn, directly south of Long Island City in Queens.  The East River and Newtown Creek form their western, northern, and eastern boundaries.  Williamsburg is served by the G, L, and J-M-Z subway lines, connecting to lower Manhattan and points in Brooklyn and Queens.  Greenpoint is served by the G subway line, connecting to Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn, and points in Queens.


Neighborhood Character
The blocks within the rezoning area were originally developed in the 19th and early 20th centuries as residential neighborhoods to house workers attached to the vibrant industry located along the East River and Newtown Creek.  These industries included ship building, metal and glass production, and oil and sugar refining.    

Industry in this area declined steadily throughout the 20th century.  However, the area has seen considerable growth during the last decade as a residential neighborhood.  In response to these changes, industrial and mixed use areas on and near the waterfront were rezoned to permit residential development under the 2005 Greenpoint-Williamsburg Land Use and Waterfront Plan.  The areas rezoned in 2005 lie to the west of the residential blocks that are the subject of this action.  

Today, most blocks in the area subject to this rezoning consist of 2-4 story wood-frame attached houses and apartment buildings, while some buildings rise to five or six stories.  Neat rows of brick and masonry row houses can also be seen in Greenpoint east of Monsignor McGolrick Park.  The Greenpoint Historic District, designated in 1982, features distinctive 19th century brick row houses commissioned by business owners, foremen, and professionals who had worked on the nearby waterfront. 
 

These buildings often include ground floor commercial uses when located along the commercial corridors of Manhattan, Driggs, Nassau, Graham and Metropolitan avenues, and Grand and Franklin streets.  Community facilities such as schools and churches are common.  Scattered industrial uses occur in Northern Greenpoint, and on Metropolitan Avenue west of Bushwick Avenue.

RESIDENTIAL SIDE STREETS
Humboldt Street between Skillman Ave and Jackson St in an existing R6 District
Humboldt Street between
Skillman Ave and Jackson St
in an existing R6 District
COMMERCIAL CORRIDORS
Manhattan Avenue between Norman and Meserole Aves in an existing C4-3 District

Manhattan Avenue between
Norman and Meserole Aves
in an existing C4-3 District

WIDE STREETS
McGuinness Boulevard between Norman and Nassau Aves in an existing R6 District
McGuinness Boulevard between
Norman and Nassau Aves
in an existing R6 District
UNIQUE CONDITIONS
Elevated Roadway of the BQE at Graham Ave in an existing R6 District
Automotive uses at Humboldt St and Metropolitan Ave in an existing C8-2 District
Elevated Roadway of the BQE at Graham Ave
in an existing R6 District
Automotive uses at Humboldt St and Metropolitan Ave
in an existing C8-2 District
OUT OF CONTEXT DEVELOPMENT
Eckford Street between Greenpoint Ave and Calyer St 
in an existing R6 District   Richardson and Humboldt Streets in Williamsburg 
in an existing R6 District
Eckford Street between
Greenpoint Ave and Calyer St
in an existing R6 District
  Richardson and Humboldt Streets in Williamsburg
in an existing R6 District
Existing Zoning
The area is predominantly zoned R6, with two small C4-3 districts and a C8-2 district.  C1 and C2 commercial overlays occur on blocks along retail corridors.  The area north of the BQE was rezoned from R4 to R6 in 1974.  Zoning in the rest of the rezoning area is largely unchanged since 1961.
R6
R6 is mapped over approximately 92% (161 full or partial blocks) of the rezoning area.  R6 is a height factor district with no height limits and which permits tower construction on large lots. Building heights are regulated by the sky exposure plane The maximum floor area ratio (FAR) in R6 is 2.43 for residential buildings and 4.8 for community facilities.  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 70 percent of the dwelling units, or for 50 percent of the dwelling units when the Quality Housing program is utilized. 

C4-3
C4-3 districts cover 16 full or partial blocks along Manhattan Avenue in the northern portion of the rezoning area and along Grand Street in the south.  C4-3 district regulations permit general commercial uses to an FAR of 3.4 and community facility uses to an FAR of 4.8.  Unlike C1 and C2 commercial overlays, C4-3 districts permit commercial uses on multiple floors when residences are located above, and permit larger and more varied retail establishments such as department stores. Residential uses are also permitted and are largely governed by the R6  regulations  described above.  C4-3 districts do not have height limits and building envelopes are regulated by the sky exposure plane.

C8-2
A C8-2 district covers six full and partial blocks at the intersection of Bushwick and Metropolitan Avenues and Humboldt Street.  C8-2 districts permit commercial and community facility uses, including heavy commercial uses such as automobile repair and warehouses.  Residential uses are not permitted.  Commercial uses are permitted to 2.0 FAR and community facility uses are permitted to 4.8 FAR.  There is no height limit in a C8-2 district.

Commercial Overlays
C1-3
, C2-2, C2-3, and C2-4 commercial overlays are mapped within the R6 district on the commercial corridors of Manhattan, Driggs, Nassau, Graham and Metropolitan avenues, and Grand Street.  These overlays permit local retail and service uses.  C1 overlays permit basic small-scale retail shops, grocery stores and offices.  C2 overlays permit a slightly broader range of service uses, such as local repair services.  C1 and C2 overlays have a maximum commercial FAR of 2.0 when mapped in R6 districts, though commercial uses are limited to the first floor when residences are located above.  These overlays require parking for general retail space at rates of between one space per 300 square feet and one space per 1000 square feet.


Overview | Existing Zoning and Context | 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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