Special Purpose Districts: Brooklyn


Zoning Resolution Chapter: 114-00
Maps: 22a, 22b
Effective Date: 11/2/78, (substantially modified 3/23/05)

The Special Bay Ridge District (BR) maintains the neighborhood’s existing scale in conjunction with contextual and lower-density zoning districts mapped throughout the district. Beyond the underlying district controls, the neighborhood streetscape is preserved by limitations on the maximum permitted floor area ratio (FAR) and the height of community facilities, which is limited to 32 feet in contextual zoning districts. These regulations preserve the low-rise character of one- to three-family homes on the midblocks and encourage five- to eight-story apartment houses with ground floor stores along the avenues.

Zoning Resolution Chapter: 144-00
Maps: 16d
Effective Date: 12/15/21

The Special Brooklyn Navy Yard District (BNY) was established in 2021 to position the Brooklyn Navy Yard as a modern manufacturing complex, spurring job growth by allowing for a greater range of commercial and community facility uses both to complement the existing uses and better integrate the Navy Yard with its surrounding context. The district establishes unique bulk regulations along the waterfront and promotes active streetscapes and public open spaces in strategic locations.

Zoning Resolution Chapter: 131-00
Maps: 28d
Effective Date: 7/29/09
Special Coney Island District

The Special Coney Island District (CI) was created as part of a comprehensive, long-range plan to re-establish famed Coney Island as a year-round, open entertainment and amusement destination. Outside of the entertainment area, the district fosters neighborhood amenities and new housing opportunities, including affordable housing through the Inclusionary Housing designated areas Program.

Regulations are tailored to four subdistricts: Coney East modifies the underlying zoning to facilitate the development of a year-round amusement and entertainment district with a 12-acre amusement park as its centerpiece; outside of the entertainment district, Coney North and Coney West provide for mixed residential and retail uses, including entertainment and amusement uses along a revitalized Boardwalk and Surf Avenue. Mermaid Avenue includes residential and neighborhood retail uses under contextual zoning regulations that provide a transition to the existing residential neighborhood.

Zoning Resolution Chapter: 106-00
Maps: 28d
Effective Date: 1/9/75

The Special Coney Island Mixed Use District (CO) was established to stabilize existing residential development and protect the industries within an area, zoned M1-2, north of Neptune Avenue. The district allows existing residential buildings to be improved and enlarged, and new residential infill housing to be developed if adjacent to an existing residence or community facility. Certain manufacturing uses and most commercial uses are allowed as-of-right on lots adjacent to existing commercial and manufacturing uses, and along certain streets that allow commercial uses. The City Planning Commission may grant a special permit for new commercial and manufacturing development at any location within the district.

Zoning Resolution Chapter: 101-00
Maps: 12d, 16c
Effective Date: 7/26/01, (substantially modified 6/28/04)
Special Downtown Brooklyn District

The Special Down town Brooklyn District (DB) establishes special height and setback regulations and urban design guidelines to promote and support the continued growth of Downtown Brooklyn as a unique mixed use area. The economic, civic and retail center of the borough, Downtown Brooklyn is the city’s third largest central business district — a hub of office buildings, courthouses and government buildings, major academic and cultural institutions, and active retail corridors. It is surrounded by historic residential neighborhoods.

Flexible height and setback regulations for a range of moderate- to high-density residential and commercial zoning districts facilitate development on the small, irregularly-shaped lots typical of Downtown Brooklyn. The higher density zoning districts allow either Quality Housing buildings with height limits or towers-on-a-base without height limits. The Inclusionary Housing R10 Program, which offers incentives for the provision of affordable housing, is applicable in the highest-density zoning districts. The moderate-density zoning districts allow for flexible building envelopes with height limits. A height limitation area is designated on Schermerhorn Street and Flatbush Avenue Extension as a transition between the high-rise core of the central business district and adjacent residential neighborhoods. Urban design guidelines promote ground floor retail and street wall continuity, storefront glazing, sidewalk widening, curb cut restrictions and off-street relocation of subway stairs.

There are two subdistricts - Atlantic Avenue and Fulton Mall - each with its own bulk and use regulations intended to preserve the scale and character of Atlantic Avenue, including certain architectural features, and to create an attractive shopping environment within the Fulton Mall, respectively.

Zoning Resolution Chapter: 132-00
Maps: see below
Effective Date: see below
Special Fourth Avenue Enhanced Commercial District

The purpose of the Special Enhanced Commercial District (EC) is to promote and maintain a lively and engaging pedestrian experience along commercial avenues.

The Special Enhanced Commercial District is mapped in the following areas:

EC-1: Fourth Avenue, Park Slope and South Park Slope, Brooklyn
Maps: 16c, 16d 
Effective Date: 11/29/2011

The Special Enhanced Commercial District 1 (EC-1) was created to foster the development of a lively, commercial presence on Fourth Avenue by establishing regulations that promote a vibrant mix of commercial and community facility uses on the ground floor of new developments and enlargements. The special district provisions apply ground floor use regulations, retail transparency requirements, and limitations on parking and curb cuts that enhance the pedestrian environment and create an active streetscape that better serves the growing residential population.

Enlargements and new developments in EC-1 must provide windows on the ground floor facing Fourth Avenue and may not locate residences or parking on the ground floor within 30 feet of Fourth Avenue. At least 50% of the frontage must be occupied by retail and service uses as defined for the special district, and lobbies are limited to a maximum width of 25 feet. Curb cuts are not allowed on Fourth Avenue for lots that have access to the side street.

EC-4: Broadway, Bedford-Stuyvesant
Maps: PDF Document 13b, 17a 
Effective Date: 10/11/2012

The Special Enhanced Commercial District 4 (EC-1) located along Broadway in Bedford-Stuyvesant North was created to foster a safe and engaging pedestrian experience along the commercial corridor and reinforce the existing commercial character of the area by establishing regulations governing ground floor use, transparency on the ground floor and limiting curb cuts on lots that are at least 20 feet wide. The regulations apply to new development and enlargements along the street, except for schools and churches.

The ground floor regulations require uses fronting on Broadway, or within 30 feet of Broadway to be non-residential, such as retail establishments, offices and community facilities. In order to strengthen the continuity of active uses along the corridor, curb cuts to access off-street parking are not permitted on or within 30 feet of Broadway, and residential lobbies are limited to a maximum width of 25 feet.

Ground floor uses on Broadway are required to provide glazing or other transparent treatments. A minimum of 50 percent of the area between 2 and 12 feet above curb level is required to be transparent, with no blank walls to exceed more than ten feet in width.

EC-5: Ocean Hill and East New York, Brooklyn
Atlantic Avenue, between Sheffield Avenue and Euclid Avenue; Pitkin Avenue, between Sheffield Avenue and Crescent Avenue; Fulton Street, between Eastern Parkway and Van Sinderen Avenue; and Pennsylvania Avenue, between Fulton Street and Atlantic Avenue.
Map: PDF Document 17c
Effective Date: 4/20/2016
Zoning Resolution Chapter: 139-00
Maps: 16c, 16d
Effective Date: 11/23/21

The Special Gowanus Mixed Use District (G), generally surrounding the Gowanus Canal, was created in 2021 to support continued reinvestment in the neighborhood and promote affordable housing growth, while maintaining the long-standing mix of commercial, manufacturing and cultural uses that make the area distinctive. The district also includes a Waterfront Access Plan with special rules to help activate the areas along the canal.

Zoning Resolution Chapter: 123-00
Maps: see below
Effective Date: see below
Mixed Use District

The Special Mixed Use District (MX) was established in 1997 to encourage investment in, and enhance the vitality of, existing neighborhoods with mixed residential and industrial uses in close proximity and create expanded opportunities for new mixed use communities. New residential and non-residential uses (commercial, community facility and light industrial) can be developed as-of-right and be located side-by-side or within the same building. Pairing an M1 district with an R3 through R10 district (e.g. M1-2/R6) ensures a balanced variety of uses.

Residential uses are generally subject to the bulk controls of the governing residence district; commercial, industrial and community facility uses are subject to the M1 district bulk controls, except that community facilities are subject to residential FAR limits. Most light industrial uses are permitted in each MX district as-of-right, others are subject to restrictions and Use Group 18 uses are excluded altogether, except for small breweries.

Special Mixed Use Districts in Brooklyn:

Effective Date: 7/29/09
MX-4: Flushing/Bedford
Maps:12d, 13b
Effective Date: 5/9/01
MX-5: Red Hook
Effective Date: 1/30/02,
MX-8: Greenpoint-Williamsburg
Maps: 12c, 12d, 13a, 13b
Effective Date: 9/28/04
MX-10: Atlantic and Howard Avenues
Map: 17a
Effective Date: 10/29/07
MX-11: Gowanus
Map: 16c
Effective Date: 3/11/09
MX-12: Borough Park
Map: 22c
Effective Date: 10/27/10
MX-16: Ocean Hill/East New York
Map: 17c
Effective Date: 4/20/16
Zoning Resolution Chapter: 113-00
Maps: 16d, 22c, 22d, 28c, 28d
Effective Date: 1/20/77
Ocean Parkway

The Special Ocean Parkway District (OP), encompassing a band of blocks east and west of the parkway between Prospect Park and Brighton Beach, enhances the qualities of this broad landscaped road designated a scenic landmark. All new developments fronting on Ocean Parkway are required to have a 30-foot-deep landscaped front yard unobstructed by porches, canopies or stairs. Only driveways or walkways may be paved. Accessory off-street parking must be completely enclosed and any new community facility development or enlargement is limited to the residential bulk regulations of the underlying zoning district, except by City Planning Commission certification. The district also preserves the character of the large, detached and semi-detached, one- and two-family homes in the areas east and west of the Parkway.

Zoning Resolution Chapter: 102-00
Maps: 12b, 12d
Effective Date: 10/24/74
Scenic View

The Special Scenic View District (SV) is intended to prevent obstruction of outstanding scenic views as seen from a public park, esplanade or mapped public place. No buildings or structures are allowed to penetrate a scenic view plane except by special permit of the City Planning Commission. The Brooklyn Heights Scenic View District (SV-1) extends over an area west of the Brooklyn Heights Promenade to protect the views of the Lower Manhattan skyline, Governors Island, the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge.

Zoning Resolution Chapter: 94-00
Maps: 29a
Effective Date: 10/4/73
Sheepshead Bay

The Special Sheepshead Bay District (SB) seeks to encourage development that will strengthen and protect the unique character of this waterfront community. In the area immediately north of the fishing fleet wharves, commercial uses are restricted to waterfront and tourist-related activities. Special density and height limits govern new development throughout the district. Along Emmons Avenue, new developments must provide widened sidewalks and plazas with sitting areas, landscaping, kiosks and cafes upon certification of the City Planning Commission. Floor area bonuses are available for large plazas, arcades, accessory outdoor space and additional accessory commercial parking.